Tenants that have long been living in fear of no-fault evictions, residing in sub-standard properties, or terrified of sudden or unfair rent increases will be celebrating the reforms outlined in the government’s new white paper, published today.
If the Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper lives up to its name, it will positively impact up to 4.4 million households across England (accounting for almost 19% of households), giving their occupants greater security, more rights, better living conditions, and greater control of their homes, finances, lives and future.
Just some of the benefits outlined in the white paper – which the government says is “part of the biggest shake-up of the private rented sector in 30 years” include:
- A ban on Section 21 “no-fault” evictions
- A doubling of the notice period for any rent increases, with tenants having greater powers to challenge poor practice
- It will be illegal for landlords to have blanket bans on renting to tenants with children
- It will be illegal for landlords to have blanket bans on tenants that are on benefits
- Tenants can leave housing of non-decent standards without remaining liable for the rent as the Decent Homes Standard has now been extended to the private sector
- Landlords cannot reasonably refuse the right of tenants to keep pets in their homes.
Paul Morton, Group CEO of G2M, a company specialising in acquiring and regenerating family homes to rent, says, “This long-anticipated outcome is good news for renters and comes at a time when the cost of living is already a huge challenge. The reforms will reassure residents that they have a safe and secure home and help plan their finances and future.”
He goes on to say: “The changes announced today are a further step towards professionalising the rental sector. G2M provides pet-friendly accommodation and welcomes children and social security residents. Furthermore, providing longer-term rental options and decent standard accommodation aligns with our investment ethos, so it is good to see the law moving towards our rental model.”
Safe as houses
That security means tenants with children and pets now have a greater choice of properties to live in and can remain there knowing they can’t suddenly be evicted at short notice or for an unfair reason, disrupting their lives, jobs and schooling.
It also means they will have the reassurance of living in homes that in a good and decent state, with a stronger voice where this is not the case.
Levelling Up and Housing Secretary Michael Gove says: “The New Deal will help by improving the rights and conditions for millions of renters as we level up across the country and deliver on the people’s priorities.”
The flip side: in support of landlords
But the bill also intends to support private landlords – estimated at around 2.3 million. More clarity, guidelines and support will be extended to private landlords regarding understanding their responsibilities and rights, settling disputes, and recovering properties efficiently from antisocial tenants.
“The white paper is a positive response by the government to reflect the needs of today’s society – taking into account the priorities of both the residents and the majority of responsible private landlords,” Says G2M’s Group CEO, Paul Morton. “We welcome the industry advancing in line with these latest reforms, and we are looking ahead to how we can keep making positive changes in managing our growing portfolio of properties.”
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