It wasn’t that long ago that every man and his dog was a landlord. Buy to let mortgages were straightforward to get, the associated costs – such as the mortgage! – were tax deductible and people were steadily growing a property portfolio.

As a Guildford mortgage broker, we saw this all change when George Osborne introduced a series of legislation that suddenly made becoming a landlord less appealing. Since then, the buy to let mortgage market hasn’t quite been the same (although interest in limited company buy to let mortgages has certainly exploded over recent years).

Cue the Renters Reform Bill, which was introduced on 17 May and is arguably the most significant piece of legislation to impact the buy to let market for some time.

Don’t get us wrong, it’s not going to make getting a Surrey buy to let mortgage any easier – far from it, in fact. But if you’re thinking of becoming a landlord – or even if you’re already a landlord – this is worth knowing.

What is the Renters Reform Bill?

The bill is a move by government to reform the private rented sector.

Penned as ‘the biggest shakeup’ in 30 years’, the aim is to offer better levels of security to renters and help encourage more responsible landlords into the space (whilst making it more difficult for those who aren’t).

Renters reform key points

The headline change is perhaps the plan to abolish Section 21, which currently allows landlords to evict their tenants for no particular reason. If the bill is passed, landlords will only be able to evict a tenant under reasonable circumstances.

Under the new bill, even evicting a tenant in order to sell the property can only be done after the tenant has been in-situ for six months – and with two months’ notice.

Tenants will no longer be locked into a rental period via fixed term tenancies. Should they wish to leave the contract, they will be able to do so with two months’ notice.

The bill also includes provision for pets, too. Currently, landlords can just say ‘no’ to pets. Under the proposed changes, pets can’t be given blanket refusal.

Equally important is that fact that only one rent increase will be permitted a year and blanket refusal to benefits claimants will be disallowed.

Is it still worth being a landlord?

Of course it is! We might be a team of mortgage brokers in Guildford, but we’re also good people, too. And in our view, the Renters Reform Bill is doing good by providing greater support for tenants through a rigorous framework that isn’t rigged against them.

From the perspective of the landlord, if you’re a good person then you’ll hopefully be a good quality landlord that approaches private rental in a fair and respectful way. And we’re all for that.

There are, however, pros and cons of being a landlord. And, if you call the Complete Mortgages team, one of us will be more than happy to go through those with you in detail. 

Thinking of applying for a buy to let mortgage? Contact our team of Surrey mortgage brokers on 01483 238280 or by e-mailing info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.