Renters’ Reform Bill: Could rent increases be limited to once a year?

24 August 2022

Daniel Greatrix, Principal Associate in the Higgs LLP Property Disputes team, offers a final insight into the Renters’ Reform Bill, including proposals to restrict rent increases.

Tenants and landlords alike will have been interested to read about the Government’s plans to radically reform the Private Rented Sector (PRS).

White paper proposals announced recently suggest changes in law around a number of topics, including no-fault evictions, grounds for possession and housing conditions, as well as the introduction of a PRS ombudsman.

Today we look at four more significant changes which could form part of the Renters’ Reform Bill.

Restricting rent increases

Rent increases will only be allowed to take place once a year and the notice period will be increased to two months. Tenants will continue to be able to challenge rent increases in the Tribunal, but the Tribunal will not be allowed to increase rent beyond the amount the landlord initially sought. The Government is also considering introducing a power limiting how much rent landlords can ask for in advance.

Blanket bans on letting to tenants with families and to those on benefits to be made illegal

Blanket bans on renting to people on benefits, also known as ‘No DSS,’ have already been declared unlawful and in breach of the Equality Act.  This is intended to formalise and support that.

Giving tenants the legal right to keep pets

It is proposed that a landlord cannot unreasonably withhold consent when a tenant requests a pet. To allay landlord concerns, landlords will be able to require tenants to obtain pet insurance to cover pet damage and the Tenant Fees Act will be amended to make this a permitted payment.

Lifetime deposits

Lifetime deposits, or “passporting deposits”, is an initiative designed to improve affordability and mobility.

The idea of passporting deposits between tenancies has been around for a while and the Government’s current proposal is to monitor the development of market-led solutions in this area. It is unlikely any immediate steps to reform deposits will be approved, rather this will be kept under review.


There is plenty to absorb from the Government’s white paper and working out how to implement the proposals, consider the knock-on effect on other legislation and to transition to a new tenancy regime will not be straightforward. 

Perhaps the disappointing element is the lack of real plans to address how long it takes to obtain possession, in circumstances of genuinely bad tenants and the increase in the initial notice periods, based upon significant rent arrears.

But tenants will be pleased by many of the proposals, which seek to offer greater security.

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