On the 16th of June, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities revealed its plans to improve housing and change the private rented sector in a white paper titled “A Fairer Private Rented Sector.” A white paper is an informative document that sets out the Government’s plans for future legislation.
The paper is part of the government’s levelling up agenda. The levelling up agenda seeks to help disadvantaged communities and reduce inequalities across the country.
The key proposed changes set out in the paper are:
- Abolishing ‘no fault’ section 21 evictions.
- Restricting landlord’s to only be able to increase rent once a year and ensuring that where a landlord wants to increase rent, that they give a minimum of two months’ notice to their tenant.
- Ending the use of clauses in rent reviews
- The introduction of two reformed grounds for possession:
- Discretionary possession, where a landlord wants to either move into a property, have a family member move into the property or sell it.
- Mandatory possession. This is where the tenant, in the last three years been in arrears three times.
- A new Ombudsman that private landlords must register and join.
- The introduction of a digital portal that ensures that both landlords and tenants have access to up to date information.
- Landlords cannot refuse to rent to individuals who are claiming benefits.
- Landlords cannot unreasonably refuse tenants who have pets.
- The prohibition of “no DSS” practices.
- The introduction of passport deposits. A passport deposit means that where a tenant moves house, they won’t need to pay a new deposit each time they move.
This white paper will make up part of the Renter’s Reform Bill and will have a significant impact on landlords and tenants alike and the rental sector as a whole. The government has been said to introduce the bill in Parliament soon where we will learn the full details of the white paper.
If you are a landlord or tenant in need of legal support, email William.firstname.lastname@example.org, or call him on 01206 239764.