Big Changes for Private Rented Sector

17th June 2022
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The government has finally published its much-anticipated White Paper on renting reform. The legislation, based on the proposals in the paper, is not expected before next Spring.


Housing minister Eddie Hughes introduced the bill in parliament, but it was prefaced by his boss, Secretary of State for Justice Michael Gove. The bill is intended to be a game-changer for renters. It also recognizes that not all landlords are rogue or irresponsible, and that most offer good accommodation and take their responsibilities seriously.

“We want to change the UK’s reputation as a place to both rent and own a home,” Hughes told MPs last week. “And we want renters to have the same peace of mind that owning your home gives.”


Gove says: “This document builds on the vision of the Levelling Up White Paper and sets out our plans to fundamentally reform the Private Rented Sector and level up housing quality.”


12 Point Plan

The White Paper proposes a 12-point plan of action. This white paper marks a significant shift in government policy, which will redress the balance between landlords and 4.4 million private rented tenants.

- The quality of homes will be improved by 2030 in the private rented sector to ensure that every tenant has access to a safe, secure and decent home. This will give renters safer, better value homes and remove the blight of poor quality homes in local communities.

- To improve the quality of homes in the UK, pilot schemes will be run with a selection of local councils, exploring different ways of enforcing standards and encouraging landlords to speed up their adoption of the Decent Homes Standard.

- The Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions is aimed to be abolished with a simpler and more secure tenancy structure. Tenants will only lose their home if they do not pay their rent or carry out anti-social behavior, empowering them to challenge poor practice and reducing costs associated with unexpected moves.

- The landlords’ ability to evict those who disrupt neighbourhoods through antisocial behaviour, and introduce new grounds for persistent arrears and sale of the property will be speed up.

- The rent increase will be allowed once per year, end the use of rent review clauses, and improve tenants’ ability to challenge excessive rent increases through the First Tier Tribunal to support people to manage their costs and to remain in their homes.

- Tenants will be supported in getting better redress against unscrupulous landlords. There will be increase fairness and speed, reduce cost and complexity, and improve outcomes by introducing a single Ombudsman for all private landlords. This will be backed up by making it easier for tenants to be repaid rent for properties that fail basic standards of health and safety.

- They will work with the Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) to target the areas where there are unacceptable delays in court proceedings. The mediation will be strengthened and alternative dispute resolution to enable landlords and tenants to work together to reduce the risk of issues escalating.

- A new property portal will be introduced to make sure that tenants, landlords and local councils have the information they need. The portal will provide a single ‘front door’ for landlords to understand their responsibilities, tenants will be able to access information about their landlord’s compliance, and local councils will have access to better data to crack down on criminal landlords. The portal will be mandatory for all landlords and will include information about all rogue landlord offences committed within the past five years. Subject to consultation with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), we also intend to incorporate some of the functionality of the Database of Rogue Landlords, mandating the entry of all eligible landlord offences and making them publicly visible.

- Local councils will strengthen the enforcement powers of their officers, as well as be given greater ability to enforce existing laws against criminal landlords.

- There will be a legislation to make it illegal for landlords or estate agents to have blanket bans on renting apartments to families with children or individuals receiving certain benefits, and explore whether similar action is needed for other vulnerable groups, such as ex-offenders. The government will also improve support for landlords who let to benefit recipients, which will reduce barriers for those on the lowest incomes.

- Tenants will be able to request a pet in their property, provided the landlord has no reasonable grounds for refusal.

- The development of innovative market-led solutions to deposit requirements will be monitored, in order to encourage the provision of affordable rented accommodation. This will help tenants who struggle to raise a second deposit to move around the PRS more easily, and support tenants to save for ownership.

Bluestone Properties is a letting agency and estate agency based in south London. Call us on 0208 355 3405 if you need our help finding a place in south London and surrounding areas.

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