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Almost no agent ready for revised tenancy arrangements

A snap poll of letting agents has revealed that only a tiny percentage have taken steps to prepare for the shift to periodic tenancies,.

It was a small survey by Goodlord but the PropTech company says this highlights the confusion that surrounds the ever-changing Renters Reform Bill and the lack of clarity around the actions agents need to make. 

With the long-awaited legislation set to move the market to a system of periodic tenancies - that is, rolling tenancies with no fixed end date - a range of operational changes will be required from agents. This will include everything from contract updates to the introduction of new procedures around rent reviews. 


However, a survey of 129 agents by Goodlord has found that few feel ready for what’s to come, with only 2% of agencies having already started making changes to their tenancy structures to prepare for the new rules. 

More have started to shape up their plans, with 30% saying they’ve started to think through what changes will need to be made, but have yet to take action.  

However, over half of agents - 57% - have taken no action nor made any plans to get ready for the change. 

Goodlord suggests that this lack of action highlights a critical information gap and underscores industry confusion about the detail of how the legislative updates will apply in specific situations. 

Oli Sherlock, managing director of insurance at Goodlord, comments: “It is not surprising that the majority of letting agents don't feel equipped for rental reform. Despite the bill taking so long to reach this stage it still somehow feels rushed and, in certain areas, fails to meet the original purpose it set out to achieve. 

“With little certainty on timings of both the commencement date and subsequent timings for provisions thereafter, letting agents will continue to be in somewhat of a limbo. What is clear is that the impending changes are not simple and landlords will require the professionalism of letting now more than ever before.” 

The agents were polled as part of a Goodlord webinar looking at the latest changes to the Bill. 

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    The major issue here is that Labour has pledged to end Section 21 evictions on their first day in office. They have made no reference to commencement date etc, and are likely to tighten up provisions in the Renters Reform legislation.

    There is therefore confusion about how, for example, agreements to students would operate. Before the new Section 8 ground for possession could operate you would need to have given students a notice at the outset of the tenancy saying that you intend to invoke it at the appropriate time of the year. Obviously if students have a shorthold assured tenancy you wouldn't have given that notice- and, that Section 8 ground doesn't currently exist either!

    Labour really needs to clarify exactly what they intend to do regarding the private rental sector because the current situation is dreadful. Laws should be made according to established rules and processes, and ministers of the state should not exceed their powers.

  • Patrick Sullivan

    There is no clear definition yet on what we to do. With labour threatening S21 gone day 1 what are we to do. Waist time and effort on something we aren’t clear on ?
    Sounds more like a click bait article.

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    You can't really get ready until until we know the Lord's amendments and there will be a few! We are poised to press 'the button'.

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    This is why it is contrary to the rule of the law to apply legislation retrospectively. Legal certainty is also an important principle of our constitution and that simply isn't possible at the moment.

  • Roger  Mellie

    Yup, no point thinking about it until we know what needs to be done, but my best guess is that nothing will really change. Yearly rent reviews instead of contract renewals.

  • David Fulcher

    Pointless article, the legislation is so far in the long grass when we're so close to an election. And how many agents write their own contracts rather than sub that out?

  • Kristjan Byfield

    There are far too many unknowns as the Bill gets refined (and still may not become law) to make any substantial preparations. Whatever is announced, there will be a run-in/grace period allowing time for these changes to be implemented. All agents have a duty to right now, is following and understanding the proposals and how that may impact their business.

  • Matthew Payne

    Its not confusion at all, just why prepare for something thats already in its 5th year of being "about" to become law, the content of which changes like the weather. There will be a plenty of lead time and the changes to TAs and processes are not significant enough to warrant any more attention than the industry have given the Bill up to now. Goodlord should be a little more concerned that their interpretation of the survey results is so far wide of the mark.


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