The U.K. government passed the Renters (Reform) Bill, a piece of legislation that will lead to the introduction of a new private rented sector database to support the future digital Privately Rented Property Portal service.
The legislation means that all landlords will be legally required to register themselves and their properties on the new online portal and could be fined if they market or let out a property without registering it and providing the required information. They will have to pay to do so, though the government says it “will work to ensure that the fee is proportionate and good value.”
If landlords don’t register or meet the requirements they can be fined.
The Property Portal will be a single place for landlords to access relevant guidance and help them understand their obligations and illustrate their compliance. It will also be used for communicating changes to requirements and to ensure landlords have access to the latest information about their responsibilities.
For tenants the Property Portal provides transparency and all relevant information before they decide to rent and once they are tenants. It will allow them to take action to enforce their rights and know when they can escalate issues to their local council.
It will provide local councils with more data about private sector properties to enable them to identify poor quality or non-compliant properties and who owns them. It will provide a source to be able to remove unnecessary administration, allowing council staff to focus on enforcement against criminal landlords.
The Property Portal will be launched as soon as possible after the Bill has received Royal Assent and the government said, “we will ensure we have tested it well and that it’s working well for all parties before it is introduced.”