Renters Reform White Paper – Full details published

Renters Reform White Paper – Full details published

11:37 AM, 16th June 2022, About 3 months ago 83

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The fairer private rented sector white paper has been published today (16 June 2022). Click Here

Section 21 evictions will be outlawed. The Government’s claim is that more than a fifth of private renters who moved in 2019 and 2020 did not end their tenancy by choice, including 8% who were asked to leave by their landlord.

Measures published today also include:

  • Outlawing blanket bans on renting to families with children or those in receipt of benefits
  • Ending the use of arbitrary rent review clauses, restricting tribunals from hiking up rent and enabling tenants to be repaid rent for non-decent homes. This will make sure tenants can take their landlord to court to seek repayment of rent if their homes are of an unacceptable standard
  • Making it easier for tenants to have much-loved pets in their homes by giving all tenants the right to request a pet in their house, which the landlord must consider and cannot unreasonably refuse
  • All tenants to be moved onto a single system of periodic tenancies, meaning they can leave poor quality housing without remaining liable for the rent or move more easily when their circumstances change. A tenancy will only end if a tenant ends or a landlord has a valid reason, defined in law
  • Doubling notice periods for rent increases and giving tenants stronger powers to challenge them if they are unjustified
  • Giving councils stronger powers to tackle the worst offenders, backed by enforcement pilots, and increasing fines for serious offences

In addition, private landlords will have greater clarity and support through the following measures:

  • 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
  • Ensuring responsible landlords can gain possession of their properties efficiently from anti-social tenants and can sell their properties when they need to
  • Introducing a new property portal that will provide a single front door to help landlords to understand, and comply with, their responsibilities as well as giving councils and tenants the information they need to tackle rogue operators

Levelling Up and Housing Secretary Michael Gove said: “For too long many private renters have been at the mercy of unscrupulous landlords who fail to repair homes and let families live in damp, unsafe and cold properties, with the threat of unfair ‘no fault’ evictions orders hanging over them.

“Our New Deal for renters will help to end this injustice by improving the rights and conditions for millions of renters as we level up across the country and deliver on the people’s priorities.”

Alongside the white paper the following documents will be published:

  • Response to 2019 consultation on abolishing section 21
  • Response to 2018 call for evidence on the case for a housing court
  • Response to 2019 call for evidence on tenancy deposit reform


Comments

Whiteskifreak Surrey

19:53 PM, 4th July 2022, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Darren Peters at 28/06/2022 - 15:32
Indeed that is our experience too.
The so praised by Shelter and tenants German model would not be acceptable here.
Fitting own kitchen, some bathroom stuff and the whole maintenance (including painting and reparations) fall on tenants.
I imagine that would cause a huge uproar here.
The grass is not always greener on the other side, as Shelter and Co seem to think

Whiteskifreak Surrey

20:06 PM, 4th July 2022, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jo Hunter at 28/06/2022 - 12:18
We specialise in students too, in the last 12 years or so.
I have read that the one year tenancy (very common with us, as this is what students want) will still be allowed for the cronies, but not for the private landlords.
Is that the leveling down or up?
How the parliament will be able to approve such an inequality?

Peter G View Profile

20:24 PM, 4th July 2022, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Whiteskifreak Surrey at 04/07/2022 - 19:53Would there really be an "uproar" in the UK with German and French Rental approach if the rent was much lower because the Landlord only had to provide the 4 walls, not the kitchen, boiler, etc? Landlords would have continuous tenant income and low costs, and the tenants would have the freedom to stay a long time and make their home exactly how they would like it. It's very different to current UK expectations but with benefits for both Tenant AND Landlord it might work. Key to this is a FAST eviction for non payment of rent or anti-social behaviour - which both France and Germany have.

Simon Slade

5:00 AM, 5th July 2022, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Peter G at 04/07/2022 - 20:24
Yes there would be uproar if tenants had to rent on the basis of the German, French or Dutch or Swiss systems. Yes they have long term open ended security of tenure (provided they pay the rent!) but pay up to 3 months deposit, need to buy and fit a new kitchen or buy it off the previous tenant and to thoroughly clean and redecorate (no wear and tear allowance) before they get their deposit back. The financial checks made prior to being accepted are also very strenuous.

Simon Slade

5:09 AM, 5th July 2022, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Whiteskifreak Surrey at 04/07/2022 - 20:06I’m hoping, perhaps unrealistically, that someone with some sense is going to realise that the current proposals just will not work. I don’t have a problem with getting rid of section 21 and all tenants having both better homes and better security of tenure but getting rid of all fixed term contracts just doesn’t make sense. In all the countries in Europe that I am familiar with, periodic contracts are the norm but there are also a lot of fixed term - usually when they are furnished eg France being one year

Ian Narbeth View Profile

11:35 AM, 5th July 2022, About 3 months ago

If tenants can sign up for 12 months but leave on 2 months' notice, landlords will be concerned if they are paying 10% plus VAT or 12 1/2% plus VAT of the first year's rent to their letting agent if the tenant does indeed give notice to leave before the 12 months are up.

Freda Blogs

13:46 PM, 5th July 2022, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Peter G at 04/07/2022 - 20:24
I cant see that suggestion being workable at all.

If the tenant had to fit the kitchen and boiler etc, how on earth are safety requirements to be enforced?. As it is, Govt and Councils don't police these things but are insisting that landlords have liability - it couldn't work if a tenant was to provide them. I cant imagine relying on some of my tenants doing any works or repairs - many are clueless.

Besides, most tenants have a different mindset to property owners so wouldn't want/couldn't afford the expenditure. I'd bet that 90% of tenant -provided kitchens would be bodge jobs.

Darren Peters

14:46 PM, 5th July 2022, About 3 months ago

It's actually simpler than we have in the UK. In essence you just move the point of responsibility from the 'things' to the utility supply point. Ie the sockets and water outlets. You often get a standard spur for hot and cold water that your tap will fit and be removed from easily.
If the tenant pays for and fits a kitchen, they're more likely to look after it - but if they don't it's not the landlords problem. We aren't (at the moment!!!) responsible if a tenant doesn't have the latest TV or if they abuse their TV and break it. Why should the landlord be responsible for any other things bought by the tenant?
It also takes away a lot of the ambiguity over who is responsible for things. If the oven catches fire, there's no question of whether it's fair wear and tear, or whether the tenant burned things in it. Or whether the landlord PAT tested it, it's the tenant's item and problem.

After all an owner is responsible for their own safety, why not a permanent tenant?

The boiler in Germany is usually a communal one living in the basement. Each flat is metered for hot water and heating; often down to the individual radiator.
It's common sense really and not a great cultural shift.
Even a kitchen fit out is simple if you follow the Ikea model (other suppliers available). Eg lots of free-standing items on glorified tables. Or, modular units where you can itemise right down to the shelf. If you break a bit you can get that bit and replace it yourself and know the price. No opaque pricing.

Whiteskifreak Surrey

15:00 PM, 5th July 2022, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Darren Peters at 05/07/2022 - 14:46
Indeed mightcaeem to be a common sense in Germany, but here a complete tenants' mindset change would be required.
Some would love it, some will have a sense of entitlement to everything and could not be bothered.
For students and casial labour market the fully furnished house is still ideal, though.
The upcoming inflexibility of the UK rental market, especially the student one, will get us to sell and most likely to emigrate to a more normal environment...

Peter G View Profile

16:14 PM, 5th July 2022, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Simon Slade at 05/07/2022 - 05:00What you describe fits in well with what Gove is targetting, long term "homes" for renters, which many people would like. I agree that initially buying a kitchen, bathroom, etc would have a relatively high initial cost so some transition process might be needed, or perhaps the 1st tenants in the new scheme buy the kitchen installed by the Landlord and then take this with them to their next rental. Many landlords would welcome the German/French approach, for many reasons and benefits.

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