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Released on 2nd February, the Government’s ‘levelling up’ white paper contains a number of rental reforms that are set to dramatically reshape the rental sector and shift the power to the tenant. But what does this mean for landlords and letting agents?

The simple answer is that we can’t be sure yet. Joanne Kay, Head of Property Management at Prospect Estate Agency, says “whilst these are bold additions to legislation within the rental sector, full disclosure of how and when these changes will be implemented is yet to be confirmed. We expect more details to be outlined in the coming months”.

But while we await more details on how and when to expect these changes to happen, letting agents can start putting measures in place to ensure that our landlords are prepared for these reforms. Below, we lay out the key changes to be aware of and how to prepare for them.

What changes make up the rental reform?

  • Section 21 notices are to be abolished in a bid to tackle No Fault Evictions, providing security for tenants as well as strengthening repossession grounds for landlords under Section 8 when they have valid cause.
  • All properties within the rental sector to meet a new minimum Decent Home Standards
  • Introduction of a landlords register is to be launched in a bid to crackdown on rogue landlords. Fines and bans will be put in place to stop repeat offenders and achieve the government’s ambition of reducing the number of non-decent homes by 50%.
  • Introduction of Lifetime Deposits, allowing a tenant to transfer a deposit from property to property creating less financial burden when moving home. A tenant will be required to top up the deposit if any deductions were made for dilapidations.

How to prepare for these changes?

It is not yet known what the Decent Homes Standard will involve, but we can assume that it will mean adequate heating and boiler facilities, absence of mould and damp, and relatively modern and working kitchen appliances and bathroom units – things that any letting agent would hope to provide for their tenants. However, one missed compliance or maintenance issue could cause one of your properties to fall short of the Decent Homes Standard, which could have serious consequences – ranging from your landlord receiving a hefty fine to their being banned from the Landlord Register.

It is important that your landlords receive the appropriate guidance on this legislation and the potential repercussions of failing to follow it. You will also need to instil confidence in your landlords that you have good systems in place to keep them compliant with new legislation.

A great way to give your landlords confidence as well as maintaining confidence in your own failsafe systems is to download our revolutionary EZ Property Reporting app. With a handy toggle tool to flag compliance and maintenance issues, you and your landlords can rest easy knowing that no maintenance or compliance issue will be missed and that your properties will remain compliant with the Decent Homes Standard. Not only this, but our industry-leading experts will train up your staff to become professional inventory clerks themselves, so that you can be confident that your reporting will be carried out with the utmost precision and your landlords and property management team are protected.

Additionally, the introduction of these rental reforms could cause many private landlords to seek out a letting agency to manage their property and keep them in line with ever-changing legislation. With this in mind, it would be prudent to prepare for an influx in landlords registering for your services. The EZ Property Reporting app can also help you manage your team to ensure that you are never left short-staffed during busy periods by coordinating staff holiday and absences with ease.

We cannot say for sure how these reforms will be carried out and how they will impact letting agents, but it is best to be prepared – especially as the stakes for missed compliance and maintenance issues are now even higher. Keep compliant and on top of the latest legislation with the EZ Property Reports app – now available to download on most apple and android devices with a free trial.


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