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Renters Reform Bill

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« on: June 16, 2022, 09:38:54 AM »

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-61817249
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2022, 12:36:52 PM »

As always, the devil will be in the detail, of which there's precious little as yet. I can't even find the text of the White Paper at the moment.

On balance I'd have preferred something like the new Welsh rules, keeping Section 21 but with a much longer notice period. In any case, I hope there'll be some sort of provision for a landlord to sell up with vacant possession, given sufficient notice.
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2022, 03:59:21 PM »

I have only used S21 a few times,but it's good to know we have it. I don't let to tenants on benefits,but perhaps there will be ways around that. I don't like the idea that a landlord can be forced to take a tenant if it goes against his wishes.I do allow pets and children at my discretion,according to the suitability of the property. However I have rejected applications from those wishing to have a dog or child in the studios. I hope I could still do that.

I can't imagine anything will come into force for a year or more,so I'll wait and see. It's hard to see how any of the pressures on private  landlords will end up improving the lot of tenants.
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« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2022, 09:08:37 PM »

So if they get rid of section 21, what are the possible reasons we could use to get our properties back? Any ideas?
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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2022, 12:38:30 PM »

There seem to be vague noises around a strengthened version of of Section 8, so that it's easier for "good" landlords to evict "bad" tenants via that route. That still leaves the question of whether a tenant who broadly sticks to the terms of the tenancy can effectively stay indefinitely. That being the case, is it still an assured short-hold? I can see it leading to an outflow of casual landlords from the industry. Whether they'll be replaced by larger operators, or whether there'll be a shortage of rental properties (and consequent rise in rents) remains to be seen.
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« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2022, 10:34:48 AM »

That still leaves the question of whether a tenant who broadly sticks to the terms of the tenancy can effectively stay indefinitely.

What I am going to expand upon here... is that you are implying if a fixed term Tenancy commences for 1 year... and the Tenant is bad (but not bad enough to 'pass' revised Section 8 criteria), and the Landlord wants to get rid of them... but can't as Section 21 doesn't exist... the Landlord might think - "oh, well, I can just wait until the fixed term comes to an end and not renew or indicate I'm cool with it going to SPT" - and then I can get shot... but things might transpire that there are no such fixed terms in future. There may be no opportunity to have a 6 month minimum fixed term, tenancies may be designed as perpetual.

For Letting Agents there'll be no renewal fees they can pass on to Landlords.

For Landlords who can't claim they need the property back to live in... I wonder what means there'll be of getting a property back from a Tenant who wants to stay there and is a good Tenant. None?

Every time Section 21 is reported on it focuses on poor Tenants who've had a rough time of it from their Landlord / Letting Agent - and the stories can be heartbreaking. It can colour the issue I feel. Section 21 is a very valuable tool and I don't see that Tenants are living their lives in fear of being uprooted and moved-on at any minute.

As a Landlord I feel somewhat jaded by all the changes... I don't decry the fact we should have safe properties... so all the costly testing etc. I support... but the tax changes and the legislation changes suck. Why should I pay the cost to reference someone who wants to rent my very valuable asset? Surely a Tenant has to put some skin into the game at some stage? Removing the ability to get your property back via a "no fault" eviction doesn't sound positive. Sometimes this is good. It's "no fault, no reason"... you can give a reason if you want... it could easily not be the Tenant's 'fault' and that might make them feel a bit better. The Landlord could have thrown all his money into crypto. last year and now be spending his days sobbing away, wondering if he can raise rents by 50%... or he can sell a property to put food on the table (theoretical situation).

It's like the rules of the game you started in good faith keep on changing and hardly ever for the better (I can't think of a better rule change for Landlords).
« Last Edit: June 20, 2022, 10:37:51 AM by Hippogriff »
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« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2022, 11:12:33 AM »

I heard a radio discussion where the likelihood of open-ended contracts was mentioned.No more ASTs.Tenants will end up with the choice of highly-priced corporate-owned rentals,or slums with landlords who know they have the upper hand. There is always a risk in handing the keys to your property to any tenant,it's going to be downright foolhardy the ways things are going.
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2022, 02:06:22 PM »

One thing I had heard rumours of some months ago is that DLUHC was also looking at reforming the deposit system. I hope this is still the case!

Having had a rather bruising deposit deduction case, I think there is room to reform the system in a way which cannot be exploited by problem landlords. Specifically:

1. Under the current system, landlords have no incentive not to try their luck with deposits. The worst that can happen is that these will be sturck out at adjudication. However, I can understand that many people (including my former landlord) would see this as risk free - after all, if you don't try, you don't get!

If a landlord/agency is persistently pushing for high deposit deductions and having some of these struck out in adjudication, there should be some sort of penalty. After all, surely it is creating extra costs for the deposit administrators to review the cases?

2. Many tenants are at a structural disadvanage in that they are reliant on their deposit to complete their move. Moving house/flat is often expensive, and it can be tricky if you have the equivalent of 5 weeks' rent still resting in your old landlord's bank account.

In my case, my former landlord claimed 60% of my deposit, and kept the remaining 40% right until the beginning of adjudication (something the agent was insistent was perfectly legal). A tenant with less cash in the bank may have felt they had to concede to the damage claims just to get 40% of their deposit back on time.

3. I also wonder if there could be a way to reward responsible tenants. In my case, I had rented a flat for 8 years' beforehand and had 100% of my deposit returned plus a glowing reference... In such a case, maybe the agencies could require a smaller 'downpayment' from me next time around, and then provide the rest via an insurance system?

After all, the car insurance system is setup so that drivers pay smaller premiums if they demonstrate a smaller risk. Why not have a similar system for renters?

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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2022, 02:34:35 PM »

One thing I had heard rumours of some months ago is that DLUHC was also looking at reforming the deposit system. I hope this is still the case!

Having had a rather bruising deposit deduction case, I think there is room to reform the system in a way which cannot be exploited by problem landlords. Specifically:

1. Under the current system, landlords have no incentive not to try their luck with deposits. The worst that can happen is that these will be sturck out at adjudication. However, I can understand that many people (including my former landlord) would see this as risk free - after all, if you don't try, you don't get!

If a landlord/agency is persistently pushing for high deposit deductions and having some of these struck out in adjudication, there should be some sort of penalty. After all, surely it is creating extra costs for the deposit administrators to review the cases?

2. Many tenants are at a structural disadvanage in that they are reliant on their deposit to complete their move. Moving house/flat is often expensive, and it can be tricky if you have the equivalent of 5 weeks' rent still resting in your old landlord's bank account.

In my case, my former landlord claimed 60% of my deposit, and kept the remaining 40% right until the beginning of adjudication (something the agent was insistent was perfectly legal). A tenant with less cash in the bank may have felt they had to concede to the damage claims just to get 40% of their deposit back on time.

3. I also wonder if there could be a way to reward responsible tenants. In my case, I had rented a flat for 8 years' beforehand and had 100% of my deposit returned plus a glowing reference... In such a case, maybe the agencies could require a smaller 'downpayment' from me next time around, and then provide the rest via an insurance system?

After all, the car insurance system is setup so that drivers pay smaller premiums if they demonstrate a smaller risk. Why not have a similar system for renters?

On point 1 this works both ways. There is nothing to stop a tenant arguing a case and taking a deposit to adjudication and hoping to get something back.
A deposit dispute is more work for the landlord or agent than the tenant.

Tenants can be at a disadvantage but then if a tenant owes rent or the damages are above the deposit amount it becomes very difficult for the landlord to get the amount they are owed.
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« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2022, 02:37:21 PM »

I have only used S21 a few times,but it's good to know we have it. I don't let to tenants on benefits,but perhaps there will be ways around that. I don't like the idea that a landlord can be forced to take a tenant if it goes against his wishes.I do allow pets and children at my discretion,according to the suitability of the property. However I have rejected applications from those wishing to have a dog or child in the studios. I hope I could still do that.

I can't imagine anything will come into force for a year or more,so I'll wait and see. It's hard to see how any of the pressures on private  landlords will end up improving the lot of tenants.

My suggestion would be minimum six months for s21, provided there are no rent arrears.

I had an excellent landlord and flat I very much loved for 8 years, but was served a s21 when the landlord decided to sell. My approach at the time was that I wanted to get the house-hunting over and done with, so I think I was actually out within 5 weeks (of course, the landlord did not expect me to pay the remaining 3 weeks' rent). Many tenants may feel the same, and thus landlords could have their properties returned within 2, 3 or 4 months despite a longer statutory minumu,.

I do think, though, that when a tenant has made a home and held up their end of the bargain, 6 months (or even a year) is not unreasonable for unilateral notice to end the tenancy.
Newbie
Posts: 7

Deposit dispute veteran

« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2022, 02:45:56 PM »

One thing I had heard rumours of some months ago is that DLUHC was also looking at reforming the deposit system. I hope this is still the case!

Having had a rather bruising deposit deduction case, I think there is room to reform the system in a way which cannot be exploited by problem landlords. Specifically:

1. Under the current system, landlords have no incentive not to try their luck with deposits. The worst that can happen is that these will be sturck out at adjudication. However, I can understand that many people (including my former landlord) would see this as risk free - after all, if you don't try, you don't get!

If a landlord/agency is persistently pushing for high deposit deductions and having some of these struck out in adjudication, there should be some sort of penalty. After all, surely it is creating extra costs for the deposit administrators to review the cases?

2. Many tenants are at a structural disadvanage in that they are reliant on their deposit to complete their move. Moving house/flat is often expensive, and it can be tricky if you have the equivalent of 5 weeks' rent still resting in your old landlord's bank account.

In my case, my former landlord claimed 60% of my deposit, and kept the remaining 40% right until the beginning of adjudication (something the agent was insistent was perfectly legal). A tenant with less cash in the bank may have felt they had to concede to the damage claims just to get 40% of their deposit back on time.

3. I also wonder if there could be a way to reward responsible tenants. In my case, I had rented a flat for 8 years' beforehand and had 100% of my deposit returned plus a glowing reference... In such a case, maybe the agencies could require a smaller 'downpayment' from me next time around, and then provide the rest via an insurance system?

After all, the car insurance system is setup so that drivers pay smaller premiums if they demonstrate a smaller risk. Why not have a similar system for renters?

On point 1 this works both ways. There is nothing to stop a tenant arguing a case and taking a deposit to adjudication and hoping to get something back.
A deposit dispute is more work for the landlord or agent than the tenant.

Tenants can be at a disadvantage but then if a tenant owes rent or the damages are above the deposit amount it becomes very difficult for the landlord to get the amount they are owed.


Yes I completely accept the second point. I personally am a London renter, so am used to demonstrating a suitably high salary, six months' rent in cash savings etc in order to secure a property. If I stopped paying rent, my landlord would likely be confident they could get the money out of me sooner or later... However, when I speak to friends or family who let their properties outside of the big cities, though, it seems it is more common to have tenants who are living from month to month.

I accept the incentive point might go both ways...BUT there is also the fact that most tenants will only go through the process once, where some landlords/agencies have become experts at dealing with it. In my case, the landlord's agent had hired a third-party contractor to compile a 50-page photographed reports at both check-in and check-out, and then attach a cash value to ANY slight changes.

By contacting names from Trustpilot reviews (yes, I became a bit obsessed!), I have spoken to others who say this agency did exactly the same thing: essentially mounting excessive claims against the departing tenant with the hope of getting as much as possible...

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« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2022, 03:03:28 PM »

One thing I had heard rumours of some months ago is that DLUHC was also looking at reforming the deposit system. I hope this is still the case!

Having had a rather bruising deposit deduction case, I think there is room to reform the system in a way which cannot be exploited by problem landlords. Specifically:

1. Under the current system, landlords have no incentive not to try their luck with deposits. The worst that can happen is that these will be sturck out at adjudication. However, I can understand that many people (including my former landlord) would see this as risk free - after all, if you don't try, you don't get!

If a landlord/agency is persistently pushing for high deposit deductions and having some of these struck out in adjudication, there should be some sort of penalty. After all, surely it is creating extra costs for the deposit administrators to review the cases?

2. Many tenants are at a structural disadvanage in that they are reliant on their deposit to complete their move. Moving house/flat is often expensive, and it can be tricky if you have the equivalent of 5 weeks' rent still resting in your old landlord's bank account.

In my case, my former landlord claimed 60% of my deposit, and kept the remaining 40% right until the beginning of adjudication (something the agent was insistent was perfectly legal). A tenant with less cash in the bank may have felt they had to concede to the damage claims just to get 40% of their deposit back on time.

3. I also wonder if there could be a way to reward responsible tenants. In my case, I had rented a flat for 8 years' beforehand and had 100% of my deposit returned plus a glowing reference... In such a case, maybe the agencies could require a smaller 'downpayment' from me next time around, and then provide the rest via an insurance system?

After all, the car insurance system is setup so that drivers pay smaller premiums if they demonstrate a smaller risk. Why not have a similar system for renters?

On point 1 this works both ways. There is nothing to stop a tenant arguing a case and taking a deposit to adjudication and hoping to get something back.
A deposit dispute is more work for the landlord or agent than the tenant.

Tenants can be at a disadvantage but then if a tenant owes rent or the damages are above the deposit amount it becomes very difficult for the landlord to get the amount they are owed.


Yes I completely accept the second point. I personally am a London renter, so am used to demonstrating a suitably high salary, six months' rent in cash savings etc in order to secure a property. If I stopped paying rent, my landlord would likely be confident they could get the money out of me sooner or later... However, when I speak to friends or family who let their properties outside of the big cities, though, it seems it is more common to have tenants who are living from month to month.

I accept the incentive point might go both ways...BUT there is also the fact that most tenants will only go through the process once, where some landlords/agencies have become experts at dealing with it. In my case, the landlord's agent had hired a third-party contractor to compile a 50-page photographed reports at both check-in and check-out, and then attach a cash value to ANY slight changes.

By contacting names from Trustpilot reviews (yes, I became a bit obsessed!), I have spoken to others who say this agency did exactly the same thing: essentially mounting excessive claims against the departing tenant with the hope of getting as much as possible...
I completely agree that the landlord and agent has an advantage as they know the industry.

I am an inventory clerk and the landlord or agent pays us to compile a check-in and checkout with condition at the beginning and end of a tenancy. This is yet another cost the landlord has to bear.  If a case goes to a dispute the ADR will take into account if the damage is deemed fair wear and tear or tenant liability but not how much to charge for each deduction.

The tenant can hire a relocation agent or inventory clerk to do their own checkin and checkout report to help with the deposit. If a tenant feels the deposit deductions are unfair and don't know how to get it back they can pay Deposit Negotiators - https://depositnegotiators.co.uk/ to look into their case for them.

In short, the landlord pays people to look after their interests, tenants can do the same.
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