We’re on course for a dramatically different private rental sector in 2022, with the promise of two Government White Papers taking effect. Here’s our guide to what reforms lie ahead for landlords.
What are Government White Papers?
White Papers are policy documents issued by the Government. They set out future plans regarding legislation in a certain Government department, industry or sector. White Papers often include a draft version of a formal proposal for a new law – also known as a Bill.
Why should landlords be concerned with new White Papers?
Although already heavily legislated, the private rental sector and its associated lettings industry is the target of future reforms. For the record, the current Government has adopted a very pro-tenant stance. It is using the publication of White Papers to improve the private rental sector and landlords are seen as integral in its bid to raise standards.
What White Papers should I be concerned about?
In February 2022, the Government released its Levelling Up the United Kingdom White Paper, detailing its moral, social and economic programme for a fairer society. In the line of fire was the private rental sector and the biggest take-away was the intention to consult on a new legally binding Decent Homes Standard for all let properties.
Although there are already minimum standards when it comes to aspects such as gas and electrical safety, energy efficiency standards and conditions fit for human habitation, a new Decent Homes Standard could concern itself with modernity and more cosmetic aspects.
As a result, thousands of landlords may face replacing outdated bathrooms and ripping out old but functional kitchens. LandlordBuyer is closely monitoring the consultation process as the detail could be very detrimental for private landlords.
How about the Renters’ Reform Bill?
The Levelling Up the United Kingdom White Paper also trod on the toes of another document set to be released in 2022. Another yet untitled White Paper – this time dedicated to reforming the private rental sector – is due for release this year.
The Paper was delayed due to the pandemic but the Government has confirmed it will be published in 2022. The document will add to detail to what was outlined in the Levelling Up the United Kingdom White Paper, and of particular note for landlords is the Renters’ Reform Bill.
What can landlords expect in 2022?
The intentions of the Government have been in the public domain since 2019 but 2022 may be the year talk becomes enshrined in law. How a buy-to-let is managed is set to change forever, with these three key points:-
- A ban on Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions will take place: landlords will find it harder to regain their property if they want to live in it, sell it or move tenants out without good reason.
- The introduction of an accessible National Landlord Register: this would be open for the general public to search, allowing tenants to clearly identify landlords who have received banning orders or multiple civil penalties. The quest to rid the industry of rogue operators may also see private landlords needing to register with their local authority and obtain a license in order to operate legally.
- The exploration of a new lifetime tenancy deposit: instead of a new deposit every time, tenants would pay a one off cash deposit that follows them around from property-to-property. It is unclear at this stage how a lifetime tenancy deposit would work in respect to deductions for repairs and unpaid rent.
Addressing the impact on landlords
If you have any concerns regarding the proposals contained in the two new White Papers, we’re here to talk you through a landlord’s changing responsibilities. We understand many buy-to-let owners may read the details and consider their future in lettings.
From single rentals to entire buy-to-let portfolios, LandlordBuyer purchases directly from landlords for cash. We are ourselves professional landlords with the deep pockets and skilled resources needed to manage buy-to-lets in 2022 and beyond.