Drastic Changes to Tenant’s Rights That You Must Know
The term ‘Generation Rent’ has become a popular way to describe the growing percentage of 25-34 years old renting within the UK. According to Institute for Fiscal Studies, the share of 25-34 year olds who own their own home has fallen from 55 % to 35 % over the past 20 years!
As you can imagine the UK government is well aware of ‘Generation Rent’ and has made attempts in the recent years to provide more protection for tenants.
So, here are some changes you should know about.
Scotland – A haven for Generation Rent
Scotland, has recognised the urgency to implement new legislations and have made meaningful changes.
Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST) scrapped:
Private landlords in Scotland are no longer allowed to provide the conventional ASTs seen in England and Wales. Instead all tenants should be given a private residential tenancy that encapsulates all new improvements.
No more fixed terms:
All private tenancies are now open ended. In other words there is no set period and the Landlord has no right to ask tenants to leave after 6 months.
Control in Rent increases:
Rent can only be increased once every 12 months (with 3 months’ notice), but can be disputed if the tenant deems it unfair.
Longer notice period:
If the tenant has stayed in the property for longer than 6 months, landlords now need to provide 84 days’ notice to vacate. This is all under the assumption the tenant hasn’t broken any terms!
England and Wales – Catching up
Tenants must be very clear on the terms that they are signing with their landlords. The most common contract is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, you can find more details on different types of agreements on websites such as Shelter.
Tenant Fee ban:
Soon landlords or letting agents will no longer be able to charge admin fees such as credit checks, referencing and contract renewals. Tenants should now only expect to be charged for: rent, utilities, council tax, deposit, property damage, early termination and terms changed in the contract.
However, this new legislation will only apply to agreements signed on or after 1st June 2019.
Short notice eviction (Section 21) ban:
The proposed ban commonly known as ‘No Fault Evictions’, will mean that Landlords will no longer be able to evict tenants without any reasonable grounds.
However, the ban is currently under-going consultation and review. If the new legislation is passed through parliament it may result in landlords having to provide Section 8 eviction notices instead, which require explicit reasons for eviction.
Many in the industry believe this will be one of many legislations that will be under review in the future. Labour's shadow housing secretary John Healey has called for, “…new rights and protections across the board, including controls on rents, higher minimum standards to rule out the substandard accommodation.”
For Landlords that are concerned about the impacts to their portfolio, reach out to our team directly and let's discuss how we can help.
Normette Homes specialise in providing guaranteed rent and free management services.