10:27 am 27 June 2022

12:42 27 June 2022

The government has recently published a new white paper which it says will make the private rental sector (PRS) fairer.

The document included the case for change, as well as details of the Tenant Reform Bill and a 12-point action plan covering everything from housing standards to banning “blanket” bans on tenants. owners who can rent.

Secretary of State for Levels, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove
– Credit: PA

Secretary of State for Upgrading, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, said: “Everyone has the right to decent housing. No one should be condemned to live in insufficiently heated, dangerous or unsanitary properties.

“Yet more than 2.8 million of our fellow citizens are paying to live in homes that are not fit for the 21st century. Tackling this problem is essential to our mission to level the country.”

So what could the metrics mean for you?

Woman looking at damage after water pipe leak in rented house in UK

For the first time, the government will introduce a legally binding Decent Housing Standard (DHS) for the private rental sector, which means landlords will have to provide a ‘decent’ standard of accommodation
– Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Better quality homes

The government says everyone deserves to live in safe and decent housing and hopes, for the first time, to introduce a legally binding Decent Housing Standard (DHS).

To be “decent,” the regulations will require homes to be free from the most serious health and safety hazards, such as trip hazards and fire or carbon monoxide poisoning, and that homeowners must ensure that rented houses do not fall into disrepair.

Kitchens and bathrooms must also be adequate, located correctly and require decent sound insulation so that tenants have clean, suitable and usable facilities, and homes must also be warm and dry.

Stressed young woman holding paper document feeling upset about eviction notice

Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions will be banned under reforms
– Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

No more “no-fault” evictions

Under the plans, the government will ban “no-fault” evictions from Section 21, meaning a tenancy will only end if the tenant ends it or the landlord has valid grounds for possession.

It is hoped that this will allow tenants to challenge poor practices and reduce the costs associated with unplanned moves. More than a fifth (22%) of private tenants who moved in 2019-2020 did not end their tenancy by choice.

The government also hopes to create a simpler rental model, with assured rentals or assured short-term rentals being replaced by a single system of periodic rentals.

Under the new system, tenants will have to provide two months’ notice when leaving a tenancy, and landlords will only be able to evict tenants on reasonable grounds, which will be set out in law.

Two wooden houses and a positive trend green well on easel.  Increase in real estate value.  Price up

The new rules will also limit rent increases to only one per year
– Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Fewer rent increases

The new rules will only allow rents to increase once a year, and the minimum notice landlords must provide for any rent change will be extended to two months.

The government will also end the use of rent review clauses, which will prevent tenants from being locked into vague or unmarket-reflective automatic rent increases.

A new one-stop mediator will also be set up to help build tenants’ ability to hold their landlord to account and resolve disputes out of court.

Full length portrait of a happy family with two children unpacking boxes together during a move,

Under the new plans, it will become illegal for landlords or agents to generally ban rentals for families with children or those receiving benefits.
– Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

More general prohibitions

The government says everyone should have access to safe and secure housing, whether they are receiving benefits or have children.

Under the new plans, it will become illegal for landlords or agents to generally ban rentals for families with children or those receiving benefits.

The reforms should also make life easier for pet owners. Landlords will no longer be able to “unreasonably” deny a tenant’s request to have a pet in their unit, and in cases where they do, tenants will be able to challenge the decision.

As part of the plans, the government will also introduce a new property portal, which will provide a ‘front door’ for landlords to understand their responsibilities and for tenants to access information about their landlord’s compliance.

In 2020-21, the private rental sector accounted for 4.4 million – around 19% – of all households. Mr Gove says he hopes the reforms will ‘help ease the financial burden on tenants, reduce moving costs and emergency repair bills’ and restore the tenant-landlord relationship by ensuring tenants Complaints are handled and resolved quickly.


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