The Renters (Reform) Bill is being introduced to address poor housing standards and no-fault evictions in the private rental sector. In this article, Aico explores the implications of the bill and the role of IoT technology in enhancing property management for private landlords
The Renters Reform Bill was published by the British Government in May 2023 in response to their commitment to provide ‘a better deal for renters’. The Bill will apply to England and in some minor points to Wales.
Why is the Renters (Reform) Bill being introduced?
Privately rented homes are an ever-increasing sector of the housing market, there were just under 5 million privately rented dwellings in England in 2021 – Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities.
The Renters (Reform) Bill is being introduced to address the following issues in the private rental sector:
Poor housing standards: A small portion of privately rented homes are not fit for habitation. The bill seeks to improve standards by introducing a Decent Homes Standard for all privately rented homes.
No-fault evictions: No-fault evictions allow landlords to evict tenants without giving a reason. This can make it difficult for tenants to find a new home and can have a negative impact on their lives. The bill seeks to abolish no-fault evictions and introduce a fairer system for evictions.
What are the key changes the bill proposes?
- The abolishment of section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions, meaning landlords would have to provide a reason for eviction and the move to a simpler tenancy structure ensuring assured tenancies are periodic with no fixed end
- Introduction of more comprehensive possession grounds. Landlords would be able to recover properties they wish to move into or sell easier, it would also make it simpler to repossess from tenants who are at fault
- A private rented property portal will be created to help landlords keep up to date with relevant legislation and provide clearer guidance to tenants before entering rental agreements
- The implementation of a Private Rented Sector Ombudsman, that private landlords will have to join, where they will be provided with fair, impartial binding resolutions
- Tenants will have the right to request a pet in their rental property. Landlords will have to review these requests fairly and have a valid reason for refusal
What is the Decent Homes Standard?
The Government is committed to further reforms to improve the private rented sector for landlords and tenants. One of these will be the introduction of the Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector.
The Decent Homes Standard was introduced to England in 2000 to ensure a minimum standard for socially rented homes. To comply with the act, landlords must take the necessary measures to ensure that their properties are free of any hazards that would deem a property unfit for occupancy.
It covers a large variety of hazards, from environmental factors to fire safety. Every tenant deserves a safe comfortable environment to live in.
How can IoT technology help private landlords with the introduction of the Decent Homes Standard?
The Internet of Things (IoT) and connected home technologies are already transforming how we view indoor environment. Without the data these devices provide, we are effectively blind to the health of our homes.
With tightening legislation around requirements for landlords regarding the health and safety of their housing stock, and growing public concern surrounding disrepair, IoT is one of the few remaining options for landlords to turn to, in order to combat poor ventilation, high carbon dioxide levels, low energy efficiency, fuel poverty and damp & mould.
Aico’s HomeLINK Connected Home Solution enables landlords to gather data remotely from connected fire and carbon monoxide alarms and environmental sensors, with all the information available via an online portal segmented by high, medium and low risk.
What are the benefits of implementing the Connected Home Solution?
All in one protection
The HomeLINK Gateway extracts information from the fire and carbon monoxide alarms and sends it seamlessly to the HomeLINK Portal.
Allowing landlords to view properties’ fire and carbon monoxide alarm system performance, ensuring compliance with legislation whilst creating safer homes for tenants.
With easy access to this information, forecasting alarm replacement and maintenance is easier, with handy reporting tools which help landlords to stay compliant with the latest legislation.
The HomeLINK Portal provides data from all connected devices, including HomeLINK Environmental Sensors. The Ei1025 Environmental Sensor can be placed throughout a property to monitor temperature, humidity and Carbon Dioxide (CO2), providing actionable insights to enable the creation of healthier, safer homes.
Damp and Mould Risk Insight indicates the risk level of a room or property developing or already having visible mould.
Our sensors are the perfect alternative to impractical and outdated temperature and humidity data loggers, collecting all the data necessary for our algorithm to calculate if a property has the ideal conditions for mould to grow.
Proactive Preventative Care
From identifying an environmental risk – for example, high levels of CO2, a high risk of mould or bad ventilation – to knowing immediately if there are maintenance issues like an alarm head removal from the baseplate or low battery, our diverse insights and alerts have been built and optimised with landlords and their needs in mind.
The handy in-Portal Notes feature means there is no need to use different methods to keep track of what’s going on.
It is crucial to keep track of actions and to know if they’ve led to positive outcomes whilst avoiding unintended negatives along the way.
Housing Digital Stakeholder Aico are the European leader in home life safety, pioneering new technologies and offering high quality alarms, developed and manufactured in Ireland.
Image: one photo/Shutterstock
Find out more about our Connected Home Solution here.
Are you a social housing professional? Sign up for a FREE MEMBERSHIP to upload news stories, post job vacancies, and connect with colleagues on our secure social feed.