In June, 7 new rules are due to come into place which will affect everyone from renters and buyers, to owners and sellers.
1. Lifetime Deposits
One of the biggest frustrations when renting is having to wait for your current landlord to give back your deposit so that you can use it as the deposit for your new landlord. But because you’re reliant on receiving the money before you can pay the money, if the timelines aren’t exactly as required, you can be left in a tricky situation, perhaps having to take out a short-term emergency loan.
But now, the government is introducing Lifetime Deposits as part of a so-called tenant passport. It means that deposits can be sent electronically from one landlord to another, but it also means this money can be sent to the new landlord before the existing landlord gets around to freeing the money up.
2. Ground Rent Ban
Ground rent is money paid by leasehold property owners to the freehold owner to maintain the right to have a home on their land. Historically, the amount of ground rent that a freeholder owner can charge has been legally allowed to go up rapidly and significantly from one month to the next.
From June, however, a new ground rent ban means that new-build freeholders can only charge a basic ‘peppercorn’ amount for ground rent and no more, thus protecting buyers from rapidly increasing expenses.
3. Eviction Notice Drops To 4 Months
During Covid-19 and its related lockdowns, evictions have been largely banned across the UK except for the most egregious of cases. Furthermore, any attempts to evict tenants had to come with a 6-month notice period. From 1st June, this will drop to 4 months and, if all goes to plan regarding the elimination of Covid entirely, by October this year, eviction notices will be back down to their pre-pandemic norm.
4. Bailiffs Coming Back
Bailiff evictions have been semi-banned during the Covid-19 pandemic, but from June landlords will once again have every right to use hire bailiffs to help with an enforced eviction.
5. End of Help To Buy
Help To Buy customers who are on the 2013-2021 programme were offered an extension to 31st May for their applications deadline. The Mirror has reported confirmation that this date will not be pushed back any further. If this deadline is hard for you to meet, you’ll need to apply to move onto the new programme.
However, the new programme has tighter rules than its previous incarnation and is only available to first-time buyers.
6. Increased Rights For Pet Owners
Pets have long been a sore point for tenants and landlords, with most landlords refusing to allow furry friends into their properties. But this is all set to change as the government puts increased pressure on private landlords to allow pet owners to rent their properties.
As reported in the Mirror, “under the new Model Tenancy Agreement, landlords will no longer be able to issue blanket bans on pets. Instead, consent for pets will be the default position and landlords will have to object in writing within 28 days of a written pet request from a tenant and provide a good reason.”
7. Stronger Health & Safety Measures For Tenants
Finally, the laws are tightening for rogue landlords who allow their tenants to live in unsafe homes.
New laws which were introduced last month mean that all existing rental homes in England must have an electrical safety inspection every five years.
Commonly called an EICR, or electrical installation condition report, the inspection will highlight any “urgent work needed to ensure the property is safe”.
Failure to comply will result in fines of up to £30,000 for landlords.