Government says it will ‘end injustice’ with new deal Renters Reform Bill

Government says it will ‘end injustice’ with new deal Renters Reform Bill

7:58 AM, 11th May 2022, About 2 weeks ago 33

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Michael Gove, and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, have followed up on the Queen’s speech with exactly what their intentions are for the Renters Reform Bill.

Apparently, 21% of private renters live in homes of an unacceptable standard and 22% did not end their tenancy by choice (ignoring the fact this could be for rent arrears or anti-social behaviour etc.).

The official government press release is below:

The government will deliver the biggest change to renters law in a generation, improving the lives of millions of renters by driving up standards in the private and socially rented sector, delivering on the government’s mission to level up the country.

A “new deal” will be put in place for the 4.4 million households privately renting across England by extending the Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector for the first time. These reforms will build on the progress the government has already made in this area, and ensure all renters have access to secure, quality homes, levelling up opportunities for the 21% of private rented who currently live in homes of an unacceptable standard.

New measures will also protect tenants, delivering on a manifesto commitment. So-called ‘no fault’ Section 21 evictions – that allow rogue landlords to terminate 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 those who moved in the past year did not end their tenancy by choice.

Together these reforms will help to ease the cost of living pressures renters are facing, saving families moving from one privately rented home to another an estimated £1,400 in moving costs.

The Bill will also strengthen landlords’ grounds for repossession making it easier for them to evict tenants who are wilfully not paying rent, or who are repeatedly engaging in anti-social behaviour, bringing down neighbourhoods.

Tenants in social housing will also benefit from major reforms to the sector. The Social Housing Regulation Bill will make all registered social housing providers subject to a tough new regulatory regime, with failing social landlords facing unlimited fines if they fail to meet the standards expected of them.

Levelling Up and Housing Secretary Michael Gove said: “Too many renters are living in damp, unsafe and cold homes, powerless to put it right, and under the threat of sudden eviction.

“The New Deal for renters announced today will help to end this injustice, improving conditions and rights for millions of renters.

“This is all part of our plan to level up communities and improve the life chances of people from all corners of the country.”

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 they are endangering the health of their tenants to quickly improve them.

Today’s reforms will prevent private landlords from benefiting from taxpayer money for renting out low-quality homes, slashing the £3 billion a year in housing benefit that is estimated to go to landlords renting out non-decent homes. It will also save the NHS anywhere up to the £340 million a year it is spending on the ill health that low quality privately rented homes create.

Currently, areas in the North have the highest proportion of non-decent private rented homes. The measures announced in the Queen’s Speech will ensure every private renter in the country can enjoy a good standard of living, spreading access and opportunity across the country.

The Renters Reform Bill will also end the injustice that sees renters unable to put down roots in their communities as a result of Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions.

A new Private Renters’ Ombudsman will be created to enable disputes between private renters and landlords to be settled quickly, at low cost, and without going to court. The ombudsman will cover all private landlords letting properties and make sure that when residents make a complaint, landlords take action to put things right.

The Bill will also introduce a new property portal to help landlords understand their obligations, give tenants performance information to hold their landlords to account, and help councils crack down on poor practice.

The government will shortly publish a White Paper setting out more detail on our proposals for landmark reform in the private rented sector and will continue to work with the sector to develop the Renters Reform Bill.

Social renters

The Social Housing Regulation Bill will continue to deliver on the government’s reforms in response to the Grenfell Tower fire as we reach the 5th anniversary of the tragedy. It follows on from the Building Safety Act and last year’s Fire Safety Act. The Social Housing Regulation Bill will create a robust regulatory framework that will drive up the standards of social housing accommodation and help tenants and the Regulator hold social housing landlords to account.

It will:

  • Create new, tough regulations for better social housing – helping tenants to hold shoddy landlords to account.
  • Give the Regulator stronger powers to enforce action if they see failings by social housing landlords.
  • Place an expectation on social landlords to place tenants’ concerns at the heart of all they do, with effective resident engagement in place, so no one has to live in sub-standard social housing.
  • Provide greater transparency for tenants on how their landlord is performing, how their homes are managed and who is responsible for compliance with health and safety requirements.
  • Strengthen the economic regulation of the social housing sector, increasing protections for tenants’ homes and supporting continued investment in the new supply of social housing.

The government also today introduced the landmark Levelling Up and Regeneration bill, which will spread opportunity and prosperity and transform towns and communities across the United Kingdom. This includes a significant package of measures to revive high streets, regenerate town centres and deliver the high-quality homes that communities need. It will put the legal foundations in place to deliver the government’s wide-reaching proposals to spread opportunity, drive productivity and boost local pride.

Further information

  • A fifth of renters paying over a third of their income to live in a low-quality home.
  • The NAO published a report on Private Rented Sector regulation in December 2021, which estimated that £9.1 billion in housing support was paid to private renters or directly to private landlords in 2020-21. 29% of renters in receipt of welfare live in a non-decent homes, giving around £3 billion of housing benefit spent on poor quality homes.
  • The reforms will be of particular benefit to those in the North of England, with data from the English Housing Survey showing that the proportion of non-decent homes is high in the North than other areas of the country.

 



Comments

by Ashleigh

8:27 AM, 11th May 2022, About 2 weeks ago

Oh I didn’t realise section 21 was only for rogue landlords wanting to evict a tenant!! I thought it was also for the hardworking, law abiding and good apple landlords, who just so happened to want/need to sell their property. Going by this new legislation then, I no longer have the choice of selling ‘my’ house if I desire to? As if the rental housing situation isn’t bad enough, many more landlords will now sell up leaving an even further shortage of stock. Mr Gove seems to think this is going to reduce rents! Idiot!!

by Ray Doyle

8:29 AM, 11th May 2022, About 2 weeks ago

I welcome the news on low quality housing being targeted a sensible way to get value for money. I am confused about how the non fault eviction process will work? so if I want to retire and sell my property can I? Or if I have a Tenant who doesn't look after my property or I want to raise money for new purchases etc. As usual its the private sector getting it, anyone else been watching the TV lately with the programs where council Tenants living in virtual slums with mould damage etc and the councils doing nothing? Its about time the government put there own house in order and clarified legislation add this to the additional requirements in line for EPC to grade C and you soon wont have a rental sector. Would love to hear about other peoples examples of the councils lack of following Place an expectation on social landlords to place tenants’ concerns at the heart of all they do, with effective resident engagement in place, so no one has to live in sub-standard social housing."

by Dilep

8:33 AM, 11th May 2022, About 2 weeks ago

Hello, NRLA, what the F@@k are you guys doing about all this????
Are you happy just sitting on your hands and accepting our paid subscription while giving soppy statements stating 'this is not good enough'
YOUR STATEMENT IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH
Fight for our rights, shout about us being good landlords instead of listening to that bile coming from Polly Neate
FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT

by rhian bebb

8:46 AM, 11th May 2022, About 2 weeks ago

👍👍👍👍Dilep!

by Anne Nixon

9:05 AM, 11th May 2022, About 2 weeks ago

"Apparently, 21% of private renters live in homes of an unacceptable standard and 22% did not end their tenancy by choice", oh really?
I wonder what percentage of the homes of an unacceptable standard are PRS and how many are HA and the like?
All the landlords I know are conscientious and law abiding people who own smart, safe homes and struggle to follow the rules to the letter frightened of making a mistake due to the ever shifting regulations.
Clearly there are SOME bad landlords out there but 21%??
The figures they quote always seem questionable to me and don't represent my experience but how DO we question them?
Perhaps it's just me happening to live in a 'high quality rental property' bubble?

by Paul Feeney

9:47 AM, 11th May 2022, About 2 weeks ago

Every piece of regulation serves to diminish the number of rental units to let. I have 3 rooms in HMO's empty because they are now deemed 'too small' to let. 3 cheap rooms which I would love to let in nice houses and 3 single people out there looking for somewhere to live.
Regulation has its function but each new one that comes out contracts the housing availability.
99% of private landlords keep the property in great condition and don't need more rules. If new rules come in to stop me getting a house back when I need it, I will have to sell some....fast.
Council house stock are appalling from what I have seen and very badly managed. Who has responsibility for these? If anything goes wrong, the employee leaves the job...and probably gets another doing the same thing somewhere else....prosecuted??? No way.
What are the landlord's associations doing about this?? There is more than one association out there representing thousands of private landlords who should unite and force a sensible solution to the lack of rental private accommodations and consequent rising rents.

by Coastal

10:58 AM, 11th May 2022, About 2 weeks ago

Can't help but think something else is going on here around government policy targeting the PRS!
Policies that will further reduce the number of PRS properties available as more landlords exit the business, whilst at the same time causing even higher rents. Their figures such as the 21% below acceptable standards don't add up, along with the majority of statements relating to the private rental sector, a sector that originally stepped in to provide much needed homes due to selling off of social housing. Its like there's a hidden agenda at play!

by Ros poldermans

11:45 AM, 11th May 2022, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Dilep at 11/05/2022 - 08:33
Are they in bed with SHELTER

by Chris Byways

12:09 PM, 11th May 2022, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Anne Nixon at 11/05/2022 - 09:05
Me too! Could ask DLUH&C.
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/prs_housing_data_re_2122_unaccep
A concise list of landlord’s reasonable concerns with abolition of s21 on p118 might help?

by Old Mrs Landlord

12:18 PM, 11th May 2022, About 2 weeks ago

I would like to see spelt out just what are the differences between the Decent Homes Standard we are being obliged to bring our homes up to and the Homes fit for Human Habitation requirements we already have to comply with. If 21% of PRS homes are fit for human habitation but not of a decent standard, presumably there are a few key differences making them 'indecent'. Who makes this distinction?

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