Rental Observations & Changes for Renters in 2022

If you’re currently renting or looking to rent this year, we have detailed some information for you below in addition to the rental reform that was recently announced by the government, which your landlord could also benefit from knowing.

  • The government has issued new guidance to help stop the spread of Covid-19 in rented homes, as well as new rules making it easier to keep pets in rental homes
  • Other laws coming into force this year include changes to energy efficiency standards and tighter carbon monoxide safety rules
  • Renters are getting older with the proportion in their mid-50s to 60s having doubled, while high demand and dwindling supply means rents have hit a 13-year high

New anti-Covid-19 measures

The government has released new guidance to help limit the spread of Covid-19 in rented homes.

It advises renters to make sure your homes are well ventilated if people from outside of your household visit.

This includes landlords, letting agents and workmen.

The guidance suggested keeping windows or doors on opposite sides of a room open during a visit.

Renters should also ensure small vents or grilles at the top of windows are open and unblocked.

You cannot have repairs or safety inspections carried out if someone in your household has Covid-19 symptoms.

The only exception is if the repairs are to fix something that is a direct safety risk to you or the public.

You can find further details of the Covid-19 guidance here.

Six-month eviction notice rule extended in Wales

In Wales, laws meaning your landlord has to give you six months’ warning if they want to evict you have been extended.

The rule, which was introduced in July 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, had been due to expire on 31 December 2021.

But the Welsh Government has now extended it until 24 March 2022.

It applies to all types of evictions, except those involving domestic violence or anti-social behaviour.

Find out more here in this government statement. 

New energy efficiency rules are on the way

Renters in England and Wales can look forward to having more energy efficient homes.

The government is expected to press ahead with new energy efficiency rules this year.

The rules state that all rental properties must have an energy performance rating of C or above.

This might mean installing double-glazed windows, a more efficient boiler and additional insulation.

As a result of which, you’ll likely need to spend less on gas and electricity bills.

The only snag is, you might not see much change fast.

The government is expected to give landlords an extra year until 2026 for new rental agreements, and until 2028 for existing ones.

Although there are some exceptions if a home cannot be efficiently improved an exemption can be applied for giving up to 5 years before being reviewed again.

You can find further details about the changes here.

It’s easier to have a pet in your home

The government has changed its model tenancy agreement so that landlords can no longer issue blanket bans on pets.

This is good news for all pet-lovers in rental homes.

The change means landlords can only refuse to let you have well-behaved pets if there is a valid reason, such as a lack of space.

It’s important to note that you still need to ask your landlord if you can have a pet.

You can find further details here.

Carbon monoxide safety rules are getting stricter

Following a consultation, the government is introducing new carbon monoxide safety rules for rented homes with gas boilers or gas fires.

Landlords must install carbon monoxide detectors. This applies to existing appliances and when new ones are installed.

The detectors must also be fixed or replaced if they are faulty.

The aim is to end accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Hopefully it will also help renters to feel safer at home.

Further details can be found here.

Renters are getting older

The proportion of people aged between 55 and 64 years old who are renting in the private sector has doubled during the past decade.

There has also been a significant increase in the number of renters aged between 45 and 54, according to the latest English Housing Survey.

The rise in older renters is likely to be due to high property prices making it harder to buy homes, and people divorcing later in life.

Increased competition for rental homes in cities

The number of people looking for rental homes in cities is increasing.

But there has been a fall in new properties coming on to the market.

Research found demand is currently 43% higher than the five-year average, but the number of homes available is 43% lower.

The mismatch has led to rent increases hitting a 13-year high.

The typical cost of renting a home across the UK, excluding London, now stands at £809 per month.

Rents outside of London are expected to continue to rise during 2022, to end the year 4.5% higher than they started it.