Last week, the government published the long-awaited private renting White Paper. The Paper sets out what will be included in the Renters’ Reform Bill, and the government’s broader vision for the private rented sector.
Key changes which will benefit tenants are:
- The ending of ‘no fault’ section 21 evictions.
- Outlawing blanket bans on renting to families with children or those in receipt of benefits.
- Ending the use of rent review clauses and only allowing rent to increase once per year, restricting tribunals from hiking up rent, and enabling tenants to be repaid rent for non-decent homes.
- Giving all tenants the right to request a pet in their house, which the landlord must consider and cannot unreasonably refuse.
- All tenants to be moved onto a single system of periodic tenancies, meaning they can leave poor quality housing without remaining liable for the rent or move more easily when their circumstances change. A tenancy will only end if a tenant ends or a landlord has a valid reason, defined in law.
- Doubling notice periods for rent increases and giving tenants stronger powers to challenge them if they are unjustified.
- Giving councils stronger powers to tackle the worst offenders, backed by enforcement pilots, and increasing fines for serious offences.
Key changes which will benefit landlords are:
- A new Private Renters’ Ombudsman will be created to enable disputes between private renters and landlords to be settled quickly, at low cost and without going to Court.
- Ensuring landlords can gain possession of their properties efficiently from anti-social tenants and can sell their properties when they need to.
- Introducing a new property portal that will provide a single front door to help landlords to understand and comply with their responsibilities. It will also give Councils and tenants the information they need to tackle rogue operators.
These proposals are the biggest changes to the private rented sector in more than 30 years. If enacted they will fundamentally change renting in England.
Dame Clare Moriarty, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:
“Today’s announcement is what private renters have been waiting for. For years, they’ve faced enormous problems with landlords holding all the cards because of Section 21 – so-called no fault evictions. Finally putting an end to Section 21 will give renters more security when standing up for their rights.”
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Pinney Talfourd are experts in commercial and residential property litigation and can advise you on changes to the law so you are given up to date advice. Please do not hesitate to contact either Stephen Eccles or Oliver-James Topping should you wish to discuss anything further.
The above is meant to be only advice and is correct as of the time of posting. This article was written by Oliver-James Topping, Associate in the Property Litigation team at Pinney Talfourd LLP Solicitors. The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as of June 2022