June 2022 was a big month in the world of UK lettings. On 16th June the Renters’ Reform Bill white paper was published and, according to gov.uk, it is the biggest shake-up of the private rented sector in 30 years. 

The white paper is proposing the following:

  • All tenants will be moved onto a periodic tenancy. This means that tenants will need to give two months' notice to end their tenancy. 

  • The Decent Homes Standard has been extended to the private rental sector for the first time. It requires that landlords ensure that their properties are well maintained so that their tenants have clean, usable homes. 

  • Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions are to be banned, levelling “the playing field between landlord and tenant, empowering tenants to challenge poor practice and unjustified rent increases, as well as incentivising landlords to engage and resolve issues."

  • Section 8 is also being reformed in order to strike a fair balance between tenants’ security and their landlord’s right to manage their property. Eviction will now become mandatory when a tenant has had rent arrears of at least two months, three times within the last three years. 

  • The Renters’ Reform Bill white paper reveals landlords will no longer be allowed to use rent review clauses "preventing tenants being locked into automatic rent increases that are vague or may not reflect changes in the market price."

  • Legislation will be put in place to make sure that landlords do not unreasonably withhold permission for a tenant to have a pet in their home. 

  • It will be made illegal for letting agents or landlords to refuse to rent to families or those who are in receipt of benefits.

This has raised nearly as many questions as it has answered but, as a white paper, this doesn’t mean anything is enshrined in law. It does, however, suggest what the future of lettings may well look like.

Let’s now take a brief look at the local rental market.

Across North Oxfordshire and South Northamptonshire, there are 1,725 rental properties currently available. There were 316 new rental properties available over the last 14 days. 

There are some differences between the areas. In North Oxfordshire, the average rental price is £2,207 pcm, compared to £949 pcm in South Northants. In North Oxfordshire, the are 192 properties available in the £500 - £1000 pcm bracket, with 265 available in South Northants. In the £1000 - £2000 pcm price band, there are 386 available in North Oxfordshire and 107 in South Northants.

In North Oxfordshire, there are 239 properties available that have 2 bedrooms. They achieve an average rent of £1,661 pcm. There are 155 available with 3 bedrooms, achieving an average rent of £2,202 pcm.

In South Northants, there are 118 two-bedroom properties available. They receive an average rent of £883 pcm. There are 99 three-bedroom properties available, achieving an average rent of £1,091 pcm.

If you are looking to sell or purchase to expand your property empire, and have it sorted by Christmas, you need to be getting on with it now. There are national delays happening in the legal sector that deals with housing. Often called conveyancers, or solicitors, these are the people that deal with all the paperwork after you’ve made or accepted an offer before the key handover, known as ‘completion’.

In 2019, the time between offer and handover was 100 days. Even that is over 3 months, just for the legal part of the transaction to take place. This has now increased by a third. Add to that the time it takes to get property ready to go on the market, perfect the marketing, show people around, and negotiate an offer, and you can see why you need to get on with it now to be sorted by Christmas.

If you’re looking for further information about the North Oxfordshire or South Northamptonshire property market, please feel free to contact us. If you’re thinking of 

letting or renting property in this area, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can call 01869 337346 or email ask@cherry-lets.co.uk.