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Reform bill will make PRS 'more hostile' to landlords, warn letting agents

reform bill

The UK's leading property trade association has warned MPs that the Renters Reform Bill contains measures likely to make the PRS increasingly hostile to landlords.

In evidence submitted to the Commons committee studying the bill’s detail, Propertymark says it strongly challenges the proposal to remove fixed-term tenancies, which will provide less long-term security for landlords. It explains that a fixed term allows guarantors to be confident about the length of time they are signing up for.

A more practical solution would be to allow all private tenants the option to choose between a fixed-term and rolling periodic tenancy, says Properymark.

It believes proposed court reforms don’t go far enough to meet the rising demand once Section 21 notices are abolished.

Instead, the professional body wants amendments to make breach of tenancy, deterioration of property and acquiring a tenancy by using a false statement mandatory grounds for eviction, and for clear principles that judges must consider to be set out for anti-social behaviour.

Redress

It asserts that only fully self-managing landlords should join a redress scheme and says the current Property Ombudsman and Property Redress Scheme don’t operate to the same criteria or adjudicate against members in the same way, which leads to inconsistencies in agent complaint procedures and a lack of clarity for consumers.  

Propertymark also believes that a new required written tenancy statement would duplicate much of the information already included in a tenancy agreement. A better option would include an inventory, or check-in and check-out reports, to reduce the potential for disputes.

Regarding pet ownership, the government should enable deposits to be more flexible to reflect greater risk of damage, it adds. Propertymark wants to see a definition of what it means for consent to keep a pet to be unreasonably refused, and examples given.

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