Renters (Reform) Bill will fail without cash help for councils

Renters (Reform) Bill will fail without cash help for councils

9:42 AM, 13th December 2023, About 5 months ago 4

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The government’s Renters (Reform) Bill will fail without proper financial support of local authorities to deliver it, MPs have warned.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Private Rented Sector has published a report on the Bill which will see a new decent homes standard for the private rented sector (PRS) being introduced and the abolition of section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions.

The report also highlights that steps must be taken to deal with criminal landlords in the PRS.

Vital that the Bill gives confidence to responsible landlords

The chair of the APPG for the Private Rented Sector, Andrew Lewer, said: “It is vital that the Bill provides security to tenants, gives confidence to responsible landlords and roots out rogue and criminal landlords providing sub-standard housing.

“However, none of this will be possible without robust enforcement of the powers being proposed.

“The Government needs to provide substantial multi-year funding to ensure councils have the resources they need to enforce the planned decent homes standard and ensure all rented homes are safe and secure.”

He added: “Likewise, tenants and landlords need to be confident that they will be able to enforce their rights in court in a timely and effective way when section 21 ends.

“It is simply unacceptable that ministers have provided scant detail about what improvements to the justice system will look like and when they will happen.”

‘Help local authorities to crack down on criminal behaviour’

Shelter’s chief executive Polly Neate told the MPs of a need to ‘help local authorities to crack down on criminal behaviour’.

Ben Beadle, the chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association warned that ‘the Government must prioritise enforcement of regulations to stamp out illegal activity’.

And the Centre for Social Justice has called for investment in enforcement capacity.

However, the MPs and peers are concerned that local authorities will struggle to enforce the Bill’s planned changes without a significant boost to their resources.

One in five local authorities expect to serve a section 114 notice

This follows a warning from the Local Government Association which explains that almost one in five local authorities expect to serve a section 114 notice in the next year – which means they are effectively bankrupt.

In its evidence to the Renters (Reform) Public Bill Committee, the Chartered Institute for Environmental Health warned that the number of environmental health officers (EHOs) are ‘not sufficient to deal with the existing numbers of tenant complaints’.

It cited data showing that for every 10,000 private rented homes there were fewer than three EHOs.


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Comments

Ian Narbeth

12:41 PM, 13th December 2023, About 5 months ago

Instead of encouraging Councils to come down harder on landlords, Ben Beadle should ask for resources to deal with rogue tenants who:
• fail to look after property in a tenant-like manner,
• deny access for gas and electrical safety checks,
• fail to heat and ventilate properly causing damp and mould, (pace Michael Gove, tenant conduct can lead to damp and mould problems!
• fail to report problems with a building thereby exacerbating them and increasing the cost of rectifying them;
• later complain about the landlord not remedying those very same problems
• falsely allege misconduct by their landlord to avoid eviction
• unlawfully sublet at a profit
• keep pets which cause damage without permission
• etc., etc., etc..

If the Government thinks the way to improve things is simply to punish landlords, the Renters Reform Bill will fail to help tenants across the board.

DPT

18:03 PM, 13th December 2023, About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 13/12/2023 - 12:41
I would agree with your list Ian. The RRB is a missed opportunity to deal with anomalies that cause some landlords immense problems. I would add:
- the death of the tenant
- a tenant going to prison for a long stretch
- a tenant abandoning a property
- a tenant who has the gas disconnected by the supplier, (the landlord still needs a GSC but its impossible to perform one).

Easy rider

19:01 PM, 13th December 2023, About 5 months ago

Most landlords do not need an EHO.

How many EHOs are there for social rented homes or for owner occupied homes? None I guess.

Michael Booth

7:58 AM, 14th December 2023, About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 13/12/2023 - 12:41
Good luck with that we are the low hanging fruit easy target to fine small landlords l am out after 20+ years.

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