With millions of people renting their homes from private landlords, it is of paramount importance to ensure that there is fairness, stability and security within the private rented sector (PRS).
On 16th June 2022, the government published the ‘A Fairer Private Rented Sector’ white paper, outlining its long-term goals to reform the private rental sector with the aim of providing better quality homes and reducing the threat of evictions increasing flexibility and security for tenants.
Who will the proposals apply to?
The proposals apply to all landlords who rent out private residential properties in England.
What are the proposals?
- Abolishment of ‘no fault’ section 21 notices.
- Instead of Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions, it will transition all tenancies to periodic. This will now cause all landlords to provide their tenant with a legitimate reason to why they would like to end their tenancy.
- Tenants will be able to decide to end their tenancy whenever they decide.
- Replacing the current structure of assured shorthold tenancies with a system of periodic tenancies.
- Under the new system tenants will be able to end a tenancy by providing two months’ notice.
- Landlords will only be able to end the tenancy in reasonable circumstances.
- Changes to the statutory grounds for possession (section 8 notices).
- New ground for mandatory possession for repeated rent arrears where a tenant who has been at least two months rent arrears three times in the last three years.
- New grounds for landlords wishing to sell the property or move into the property.
- Changes to rent increases
- Rent increases will be limited to once a year.
- Rent review clauses will be banned.
- Tenants will be able to challenge excessive rent increases through the first Tier Tribunal.
- Illegal for landlords to impose blanket bans on renting to families with children or those in receipt of benefits.
- Improvement in the quality of properties through the ‘Decent Homes Standard’.
- Introducing a new single ombudsman that all private landlords must join – this proposal aims to reduce housing disputes in courts and allow disputes to be resolved more efficiently.
- Establishment of a new digital property portal
- This will allow tenants, landlords and local councils the platform to have access to all information and allow local councils to monitor and enforce compliance
- It will be compulsory for landlords to register their properties on the portal.
- Through the platform tenants, will have access to details about their landlord’s compliance history and this will also be easier for the local council to have access on more data to be able to “crack-down” landlords with criminal behaviours.
The exact details of the proposals are yet to be finalised and will need to be incorporated into the Renters Reform Bill and passed through Parliament.
The Fairer Private Rented Sector white paper represents a significant step toward creating a more equitable and stable private rental market in the UK, making it more fairer and more accessible for all tenants with the aim of providing an improved rental experience whilst recognising the needs of responsible landlords.
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