Big Shake-Up of The Rental Market Coming: How Will It Affect Tenants & Landlords

The housing market is evolving all the time, with some of the biggest changes being seen in the UK rental market. There is just as much, if not more, demand for rented accommodation than ever, so it is important that regardless of whether you are a tenant or landlord, you understand what these changes mean for you. These changes are mostly driven by legislative reforms and economic factors and fall into these key areas.

#1 Legislative changes – know the new rules and their implications

The big news here is that the Renter’s (Reform) Bill will bring major changes to anyone who is a landlord or tenant in England. The headline is that section 21 is being repealed, and this will abolish ‘no fault’ evictions. The aim is to align the rights and responsibilities of both tenants and landlords, allowing more stability for renters and giving landlords more opportunity to reclaim their properties when they need to.

Improved living conditions

With so many rental properties being less than substandard across the UK, the Bill has imposed how crucial it is to be able to offer decent living conditions for all tenants and applies the Decent Homes Standard to the private sector. This should target those landlords that are slack to perform the necessary repairs to make their properties liveable while providing tenants with the ability to be able to expect better and safer homes to live in.

Provide fairer opportunities – families with children or pets

Another major effect of the Bill is that it will make blanket bans illegal, meaning that if you are a landlord, you cannot discriminate against those who have children or are on benefits of one type or another. Tenants who might have been excluded from rental properties previously due to having pets will now have to have their requests considered. While no reasonable request can be refused, landlords can claim against the tenant’s pet insurance if any damage is done during their tenancy.

Dealing with anti-social tenants or non-payers

Landlords will also be pleased to find that they can now recover or repossess property faster if a tenant is a non-payer or persists with anti-social behaviour and damage to their property. This has always been a complicated area, but there is now a private rented property portal where landlords can go to understand what their legal obligations are and what they can do. This also provides tenants with the information they need to better understand their obligations according to their tenancy agreement.

#2 Economic trends – their effect on demand

This legislation has caused concerns among landlords about rising costs, with some considering selling up. This also means that getting into the buy-to-let market is more problematic than before and can result in a reduction in the number of available rental properties.

Despite this, there is a higher demand than ever, especially in the short period since the pandemic. This means that there is still the market to invest in property for rental purposes, although the number of people it remains a viable option for may well have decreased. The driving force behind this looks to be the available mortgage deals, and a more settled economy is likely to bring more stability there and increase the number of deals you see available.

#3 Rental prices – will they continue to rise?

This combination of high demand and limited supply will increase the potential for rents to increase in the near future. However, as the mortgage market becomes more settled, you might reasonably expect the recent large rises in rental costs to slow down by 2026 in line with less financial pressure being placed on landlords.

Another factor to consider is also the rise in energy costs and the knock-on effect that has on both tenants and landlords who rent properties where utilities are included, such as some HMOs. In addition, the plans to increase energy efficient standards will mean a reduction in these, but at the same time, will incur further costs to upgrade areas like insulation, doors, and windows.

A few final thoughts

In the ever-changing rental market, there have been fewer seismic events than the Renter’s (Reform) Bill. This has provided a major shake-up, which has made it harder for landlords to provide substandard properties and evict tenants without fault. It also allows them to gain control of properties when the tenant is at fault, costing them money either through non-payment or damaging their property. This will have repercussions with some landlords choosing to leave the rental sector entirely, which can cause fewer properties to become available and rents to rise as a result.