Landlords warned over Renters Reform Bill preparations

Steve Lumley·21 December 2021·5 min read
Landlords warned over Renters Reform Bill preparations

Student landlords are being warned that they shouldn't wait for the Renters Reform Bill to become law before improving their properties or understanding what the implications for their business will be.

The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) says landlords should act now before the legislation, which along with the proposed Regulation of Property Agents, is expected next year.

The White Paper will be published in the next few months and its proposed changes will be brought in before 2023.

However, many lettings sector experts say that the proposed changes will be significant, and it is important for landlords with student accommodation to begin preparing now, as well as keeping abreast of the Bill's progress.

Measures in the Renters Reform Bill

The measures that could be announced in the Renters Reform Bill include:

· The introduction of lifetime deposits so tenants can reduce their costs when moving between rental homes

· Removing Section 21 in the Housing Act and replacing it with a comprehensive Section 8

· Allowing the public to access a database of rogue letting agents and landlords for transparency purposes.

Important role in the smooth running of properties

Now the chairman of the AIIC, Daniel Evans, says that inventory keeping will play an important role in the smooth running of properties and the rental sector but that standards are still 'not high enough'.

He said: "If we are serious about cleaning up and improving the sector, we need the inventory sector along for the ride to ensure minimum standards are high."

He says that the rental sector should look at improving processes and standards from within rather than waiting for instruction, guidance and recommendations coming from the Government.

Mr Evans added: "Lettings still has a trust issue, whether unfairly or fairly, and there's a negative perception among the public - despite the great work that many landlords, agents and inventory clerks do."

Working to build trust and the sector's reputation

He says the sector should be working to build trust and the sector's reputation, as well as boosting transparency and that landlords and agents can do this by ensuring the quality of their inventories.

Mr Evans said that landlords and agents should trust an independent professional for the preparation of a property’s inventory so that trust can be improved.

He said that an inventory provides a clear evidence trail so that everyone in the process knows where they stand, most importantly when checking out or checking in.

The managing director of Accommodation for Students, Simon Thompson, said: "The Renters Reform Bill will have an effect on every landlord and letting agent in the country and it's important that any proposals are understood.

"Most landlords offer quality homes for rent, and they will want to continue offering a professional service and there is room for an independent inventory offering that tenants as well as agents and landlords, can trust."

The UK's PBSA sector will hit £72 billion

Meanwhile, one real estate firm says that the value of the UK's PBSA sector will reach £72 billion in 2022.

That's the view of global property consultancy Knight Frank who say that 24,000 extra PBSA beds have been delivered this year.

That's up from the additional 14,000 beds provided last year and is a year-on-year increase of 71%.

That now brings the UK's total PBSA bed number to more than 700,000.

'Provides much-needed student accommodation'

The firm's joint head of student properties, Neil Armstrong, said: "The delivery of beds forecast in 2022 sees a return to pre-Covid 19 delivery levels and provides much-needed student accommodation.

"The supply will play a significant role in easing existing housing stock pressure in university cities."

In their latest report, Knight Frank says that interest from international students in the UK's higher education offering remains strong.

They say that applications are up 20% from students outside of the EU.

Investors will spend £4billion on the PBSA

In addition, investors will spend £4billion on the PBSA sector in 2021, with investors spending £1.9 billion in the last six months of this year.

The UK's PBSA sector, Knight Frank says, will continue being attractive to investors from Asia and North America who are wanting quality student accommodation to invest in.

The real estate firm adds that the student accommodation sector will continue being attractive while it offers better returns than most traditional asset classes.