As another year draws to a close, Klippa Relocation looks forward to 2022 and flags up the salient lettings changes that may lie ahead. Of course, ‘may’ is the operative word as many new rules and regulations that we expected to see in 2021 never materialised.
With the wider global outlook still at the mercy of Covid, we underline that our thoughts are merely educated predictions and relocators should always check in with our experts to get the latest on the private rental sector.
1. Section 21 evictions will probably be banned: Klippa, like many other property specialists, expects the Renters Reform Bill White Paper to be published in 2022, having been delayed from 2021. The biggest change expected is the abolishment of Section 21 evictions – also referred to as ‘no fault’ evictions.
The abolishment of Section 21 evictions is designed to give tenants on assured shorthold tenancies more security in their rented property. When the ban takes effect, landlords will need a good reason to ask a tenant to leave before the tenancy end date; if they have broken the law, behaved irresponsibly or defaulted on the rent, for instance. Currently, landlords can start the eviction process without giving a reason.
2. The ‘lifetime’ deposit may be introduced
While it’s almost certain that Section 21 evictions will be consigned to history, the introduction of lifetime deposits is still a work in progress. The Government understands that down-paying a new deposit every time a rental is agreed proves troublesome, especially when tenants are still waiting for a prior deposit to be returned.
A lifetime deposit – also known as ‘deposit passporting’ or ‘transferable rental deposits’ – means tenants only ever have to put one deposit down and that deposit simply follows them from rental property to rental property.
The letting industry’s leading professional body – ARLA Propertymark – is one of a growing band of rental experts concerned over the deductions aspect of lifetime deposits, so this is a ‘one to watch’ in 2022 rather than a dead cert.
3. A ‘rogues’ database may be published
Also in the White Paper is the intention to publicly publish a database of rogue landlords and lettings agents. This will allow members of the public – and HR professionals – to look up anyone who they may be hoping to rent from or manage a tenancy, leading to greater transparency and more informed choices.
Other commentators think the Bill may detail the requirement for an independent lettings regulator or a national landlord database but in whatever form, the disclosure of lettings reputations should assist those working to place professionals in rental accommodation
4. Rents will likely rise
In many areas, there is a long-term undersupply of quality property to rent coupled with strong tenant demand. We agree with Zoopla’s forecast that rents will rise in 2022, especially if international travel corridors remain open.
The property portal says the biggest rises in rent will be seen in areas that are currently the most affordable, with growth of around 4% outside of the south of England and 3.5% in London. These figures could be revised upwards if more landlords choose to exit the buy-to-let market and the availability of rental stock falls further.
If your plans in 2022 include finding the right rental accommodation in the UK or on a global basis, contact Klippa Relocation. We will be up-to-date on the latest rules and regulations for the year ahead.