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Government Publishes Rent Reform White Paper

Yesterday the Government published its long awaited plans for ‘a fairer private rented sector’.

The plans spanning 12 points promise to reform the private rented sector:

  1. Requirements for all privately rented homes to meet the Decent Homes Standard by 2030.
  2. Running pilot schemes with local authorities to give greater powers to enforce housing standards and speed up adoption of the Decent Homes Standard.
  3. To abolish Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions and change all tenancies to a form of periodic tenancy.
  4. Reform of the grounds for possession so that landlords have effective means to gain possession of their property with disruptive or anti-social tenants. Including new grounds for persistent rent arrears and for the sale of the property.
  5. Rent increases limited to once per year and the abolishment of rent review clauses. Improved abilities for tenants to challenge rent increases at the First Tier Tribunal.
  6. Introduction of a new single Ombudsman that all private landlords must join to allow tenants to hold their landlords to account.
  7. Targeting the areas where there are unacceptable delays in court
  8. A new Property Portal to make sure that tenants, landlords and local councils have the information they need.
  9. Strengthen local authorities enforcement powers and ability to prosecute criminal landlords.
  10. To make it illegal for landlords or agents to have blanket bans on renting to families with children or those in receipt of benefits and explore if similar action is needed for other vulnerable groups.
  11. Give tenants the right to request a pet in their property, which the landlord must consider and cannot unreasonably refuse. To amend the Tenant Fees Act so that landlords can request that their tenants buy pet insurance.
  12. To develop solutions to passport deposits to future tenancies.

The full details of how the Government intends to implement these ambitious plans remains to be seen. It is important to remember that these plans are not yet enshrined in law. Implementation will not happen overnight, Landlord and Agents should be given ample notice to ensure they are compliant. There is no need for a knee-jerk reaction from worried landlords to immediately seek possession of their properties now before the plans are implemented.

Landlords and agents that feel strongly about the potential impact of the proposed legislation may consider contacting their local Councillors or Member of Parliament.

We will be publishing a series of blogs with further analysis of the upcoming changes over the coming weeks, ensure you are subscribed to keep up to date.

Published 17 June 2022

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