Money Wellness
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calendar icon11 Apr 2024

Proposed changes to Renters Reform Bill not enough, expert says

The Government said that a changed Renters Reform Bill will be brought to the House of Commons, and it “must strike the balance between delivering security for tenants and fairness for landlords”.

But these amendments don’t amount to enough of a change as Neil Cobbold, Payprop’s managing director, says: “When you take a step back and look at the details, these new changes amount to very little in real terms – in fact, the bill is more or less intact.”

The proposed changes to the Renters Reform Bill include:

  • When fixed-term tenancy agreements end, tenants should be unable to give two months’ notice to leave until they have been in a property for at least four months.
  • Reviewing the operation of courts before abolishing Section 21 for existing tenants.
  • Ensuring all types of student housing, including one- and two-bed properties, are covered by the planned ground for possession.
  • Reviewing the need for local authority licensing schemes in light of the proposed property portal.

Cobbold added: “The Government has made some tweaks after speaking to the industry, but in practical terms, nothing substantial in the Renters Reform Bill has changed for the majority of tenants and landlords.”

“The abolition of Section 21 has been a policy of every major party since the last election, so it has become a question of whether this Government will abolish it or a future one. Until Section 21 is abolished, landlords will have to think in a slightly more structured way about how they actually evict somebody.”

Cobbold said that amending legislation to protect student lets was “something almost everybody is in favour of”, and if the Government didn’t take action, there would be a “major problem for the new intake of students at the beginning of the academic year”.

MPs return to work after their Spring break on Monday 15 April, and the bill will progress after that.

Struggling with rent costs?

Talk to your landlord

Try and maintain a good relationship with your landlord by being honest about the difficulties you’re facing. It can be awkward talking about money problems but your landlord can’t help you if they don’t know what’s going on.

Payment plan

See if you can agree a payment plan for any rent arrears you have. Work out a budget to see what’s affordable each month that you can share with your landlord.

Benefits check

It’s believed a whopping £19bn of income-related benefits and social tariffs go unclaimed every year in the UK. Make sure you’re not missing out on money you’re entitled to by using our free benefits calculator. Local councils also have money set aside to help people struggling with the rising cost of living. This money is provided under a scheme known as the household support fund. Contact your local council to see what’s available in your area. 

Prioritise your debts 

Rent is a priority debt, so you should pay this before things like credit cards, personal loans and buy now pay later. Find out more about how to deal with priority and non-priority debts

Get free debt advice

If you’re struggling to pay your rent, you should get debt advice as soon as possible. Our debt advice is available online and over the phone. We’ll run through your finances and then let you know what help’s available. Maybe you just need a hand with budgeting. Or maybe you’d benefit from a debt solution.

Debt solutions can reduce your monthly debt repayments and even write off some of what you owe. Of course, you’ll need to weigh this up against the fact your credit rating’s likely to be affected. But we’ll run through all the info you need on your various options.

All of our advice is free and some debt solutions are also free. For others, there’s a fee. We’ll give you time to digest the info we’ve provided, talk it over with friends or family and ask us any questions you might have. If we’ve suggested a debt solution as a suitable option and you decide you’d like to go ahead, we can help get it set up for you.

 

Avatar of Lydia Bell-Jones

Lydia Bell-Jones

With a background in banking, Lydia has been writing professionally for over five years. She is passionate about helping people improve their personal finances and has a particular interest in the connection between money and mental health.

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