The Queen’s Speech in May 2022 shared new details on what the Renters’ Reform Bill White Paper may include, from a new Ombudsman to applying the Decent Homes Standards to the private rented sector. We’ve summarised what was covered below. We’ve also outlined some new updates around the changes to fire safety and carbon monoxide and smoke alarm regulations on the horizon – plus, the Chancellor has announced more cost of living financial support for households, which your tenants may be able to access.
The Queen’s Speech shares new details around the Renters’ Reform Bill
Although the Renters’ Reform Bill White Paper is yet to be published outline more details about the bill’s implementation, the Queen’s Speech 2022 released further details on what may be included. The removal of Section 21 and reforming possession grounds remain a key component. The Decent Homes Standard will also be applied to the Private Rented Sector, aiming to give tenants “safer, better quality and better value homes”. Finally, a new Ombudsman for private landlords – to help resolve disputes before they reach the courts – and a property portal – to give tenants property performance information and help landlords understand their obligations – will also be introduced. Lifetime deposits, however, were not included in the latest announcement.
Provisional date for new carbon monoxide and smoke alarm regulations
The extended regulations around carbon monoxide and smoke alarms have now been published in draft format, with a provisional deadline of 1 October 2022 for when they come into force in England. From that date, the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 will be amended to also apply to social housing, rather than simply the Private Rented Sector. A carbon monoxide alarm will be required in any lived-in room with a fixed combustion appliance, excluding gas cookers, and a smoke alarm will need to be installed on each storey of a domestic property with “living accommodation”. Alarms will also need to be replaced or repaired within a reasonable time period by the agent or landlord, once tenants let them know of an issue.
Fire Safety Act 2021 commencement announced
The government has also announced the commencement of the Fire Safety Act 2021, which amends the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO). This primarily clarifies where the FSO applies and what the new responsibilities of the “responsible person” are. In buildings containing more than one home, the “responsible person” will need to organise a risk assessment of the structure of the property, its external walls, and all doors between the domestic areas and the shared parts – if these checks haven’t already been carried out.
New cost of living crisis financial support
The government has revealed new financial support during the cost of living crisis, as Ofgem estimates that the next price cap increase in October 2022 will expand the average household’s bills by around £800 a year. The new support includes a one-off payment to all UK households of £400, as well as other one-off payments targeted at low-income and vulnerable groups: £650 for low-income households, £300 to top up the Winter Fuel Payment that eligible pensioner households receive, and £150 for those on disability benefits. This support can help if your tenants are struggling to pay their rent and bills in the coming months and into winter 2022.
All the best,
The Revive Property Team
All information posted on this website is merely for information purposes. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Should you decide to act upon any information on this website, you do so at your own risk