Campaigners have expressed their happiness that the Government has “listened to the voice of renters” in its provisions for widespread reform of the private rental sector.
On 10 May, the Queen’s Speech confirmed that a radical re-shaping of the rental sector in England is being roll-out and that the Government will shortly be publishing a White Paper ahead of the Renters Reform Bill (the Bill) that will recommit to scrapping Section 21 notices.
Scrapping Section 21 notices and other new laws coming into effect in the rental sector
The Bill will abolish what the Government has referred to as ‘no fault’ evictions – Section 21 evictions – and will give “…renters better rights when they are told to leave despite complying with the terms of their tenancy.”
Landlords terminating tenancies without giving any reason will be outlawed so renters can remain in their homes and communities, and continue supporting the local economy. 22% of tenants who moved out of their properties in the past year did not end their tenancies by choice.
The Bill will also strengthen landlords’ rights of possession and will seek to provide a “fair and effective market” for both tenants and landlords.
Strengthening landlords’ right of possession will help tackle repeated rent arrears and/or anti-social behaviour among tenants.
Finally, a new Ombudsman for private rented landlords will ensure disputes can be easily resolved without having to take matters through the Courts.
New deal for private renters
There are 4.4 million households in the private rented sector and the Decent Homes Standard will place a legal obligation on the small number of landlords renting out homes that are of such low quality that they are endangering the health of their tenants to quickly improve them.
Chief Executive of campaigning charity Shelter, Polly Neate, commented:
“Today’s Queen’s Speech shows the Government has listened to the voice of the renters, who have been fighting for a long time to be heard. For years private renters have said they need more security so they don’t have to live in constant fear of a no-fault eviction.”
The Bill also introduces a new property portal in order for people to check their landlord is reputable and to give tenants performance information to hold their landlord to account. It also aims to help landlords understand their obligations.
Leader of Generation Rent pressure group commented:
“We can’t level up without dramatic improvements to the quality of rented homes. Reforming tenancies and raising standards in the private rented sector are essential first steps towards this so the Government’s recommitment to a Renters Reform Bill is hugely important. Renters have been waiting three years for the Government to abolish these insidious Section 21 evictions. Finally, the legislation looks to be on its way, but we can’t rest until the changes are passed into law.”
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