The government has announced their intention to fundamentally reform the private rented sector marking the biggest shake up of the private rented sector in 30 years. These measures are set to include a ban on section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions and placing a legislative duty for landlords in the private sector to meet the Decent Homes Standard to the private sector by 2030.
Other measures announced to help tenants include:
- Helping the most vulnerable by outlawing blanket bans on renting to families with children or those in receipt of benefits.
- For the first time, ending the use of arbitrary rent review clauses, restricting tribunals from unduly increasing rent and enabling tenants to be repaid rent for non-decent homes. This will make sure tenants can take their landlord to court to seek repayment of rent if their homes are of unacceptable standard.
- Making it easier for tenants to have much-loved pets in their homes by 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 inferior 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.
There will also be changes designed to benefit landlords including the introduction of a new Private Renters’ Ombudsman to enable disputes between private renters and landlords to be settled quickly, at low cost, and without going to court. There will also be measures to help tackle anti-social tenants a new property portal to help landlords to understand and comply with their responsibilities.
It is hoped that these reforms will help to ease the cost-of-living pressures renters are facing, saving families from unnecessarily moving from one privately rented home to another and thereby saving hundreds of pounds in moving costs.