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Five potential law changes which could impact letting agents in 2022

Posted by on December 2, 2021

The beginning of a new year is an opportunity for letting agents to assess new challenges they may face in the next 12 months and beyond.

Here, we look at some potential law changes the Government may bring into effect in 2022 and how they will impact the PRS if they are to be implemented.

Right to Rent checks

Since their introduction in 2016, Right to Rent checks have been a controversial topic, and Brexit and the pandemic further escalated this controversy.

In March 2020, the Government relaxed the checks’ rules, meaning they could be conducted over video call rather than in person. Initially, this was a temporary measure set to end after the pandemic.

In April 2021, the Government announced an official end date of May 2021. However, this has since been extended three times and is now due to end on April 5th 2022.

Given the positive feedback from the private rented sector (PRS), some believe they may become a permanent feature rather than ending in April. Still, either way, there should be a final, permanent resolution for Right to Rent checks in 2022.

Rental Reform

Another long-disputed rule change that may come to fruition in 2022 is the abolition of Section 21 evictions.

Despite significant disapproval from both letting agents and landlords, the plans to scrap Section 21 and modify Section 8s to make them more usable still seem to be in place. We will probably see this outlined in the rental reform, which has been long-planned and postponed but should finally occur in 2022.

To protect landlords and their cash flow, Rent on Time™ ensures that they are paid the rent on time, every time, even if the tenant fails to pay.

The rental reform, which, if introduced in 2022, could be one of the most significant changes to the PRS in some time, may also include a landlord registry and lifetime deposits for tenants to help ease their burden when moving from one rented property to another.

Sustainability laws

Improving the country’s sustainability has become a high priority for the Government in 2021, and its importance will only increase in the future.

In 2021, the Government announced that the minimum EPC rating will rise in 2025, meaning landlords will need to improve their properties in the next three years to get it up to an EPC rating of C.

It remains to be seen whether any new eco-friendly policies affecting the PRS will be announced in 2022.

Holiday Lets Restrictions

The popularity of  ‘staycations’  rose massively during 2021 as a welcome alternative to holidaying abroad during travel restrictions. To cash in on this, some private landlords began listing their properties as short-term lets (STL) and holiday lets, which created a decrease in the supply of long-term private rented properties.

This has contributed to the current state of the PRS, with demand outweighing supply, leaving many feeling that there aren’t enough homes to go around.

There have been plenty of calls for greater restrictions to be put in place for STLs and holiday lets due to this, especially in popular destinations such as big cities and seaside towns.

The Government may opt to create a new policy at a national level or allow local councils to govern it in their area, but it seems that something should happen if the issue continues to worsen next year.

Rent Controls

Probably much less likely to happen in 2022, but long-debated, are rent controls.

With rental prices continually rising across the UK and London Mayor Sadiq Khan calling for them in May 2021, the discussion is sure to crop up again at some point in the next 12 months.




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