Housing Law Specialist Central Housing Group

Housing Law Specialist Warns Of Renters Reform Bill

The Renters Reform Bill could force landlords into insolvency warns a housing law specialist.

The housing law specialist Des Taylor says the Bill which has finally passed through its Second Reading will make common mistakes and errors made by agents and landlords illegal and hand over powers to councils to impose massive fines of up to £30,000 for each misdemeanour.

Taylor said: “The Bill will not only end the use of ‘no-fault’ evictions, but also introduce new requirements for landlords to register on a national register and with an ombudsman scheme, to provide meticulously correct paperwork and notice forms to tenants, and to comply with even more standards and regulations.

“Failure to do any of these things exactly, will expose landlords to the risk of hefty fines from councils who will have a statutory duty to enforce them under the bill when it is enacted.”
The Renters Reform Bill also increases the range of contentious rent repayment orders which Taylor says will be “devastating” for many landlords.

He continues: “They could face multiple RROs and fines, which could wipe out their income and assets.

“The consequences for their tenants’ security of tenure would also be dire.”

Taylor wants a national authority to decide the level of fines and Rent Repayment Orders that are metered out, rather than the current system of letting Local Housing Authorities decide upon the level of fines.

He adds: “We have seen how many LHAs have abused their powers under the Housing and Planning Act 2016, which introduced civil penalties for rogue landlords.

“LHAs have instead targeted the low-hanging fruit of reasonable landlords, not rogues, and imposed exorbitant fines that are massively disproportionate to the offences, often without proper evidence or due process.”

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