The government has today published a white paper to set out its plans for changes to the private rented sector. This includes plans to:

  • abolish Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions and introduce a simpler tenancy structure
  • apply the Decent Homes Standard to the PRS for the first time
  • introduce a new Property Portal to help landlords understand their obligations
  • introduce a housing ombudsman covering all PRS landlords and providing redress for tenants

Another area of change grabbing many headlines is the government’s reference to making it “easier for tenants to share their homes with much-loved pets”.

The white paper can be found at: A fairer private rented sector - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

There is a good summary of the proposals at: New deal for private renters published today - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) – which also has the government’s responses to various consultations in this sector. Of particular interest may be the government's view that there is no need for a separate Housing Court to deal with residential tenancy matters and its intention to improve the possession process - initially trialing a new system in the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to streamline how specialist property cases are dealt with.

The paper published today is part of the lead-up to the Renters Reform Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech – due to be introduced during this parliamentary session. (See Queen’s Speech – How the Government intends to strike a balance in the Private Rented Sector, Samuel Lear (charlesrussellspeechlys.com).) There are indications that the government is aiming to publish the draft Bill before March next year and we shall obviously post further news as we receive it and/or feel free to keep an eye via our Essential Residential Hub.

In a major reset of power between tenants and landlords, residents will be able to demand information and rate their landlord as part of new satisfaction measures. Taken together with today’s renters reform white paper, the Bill will form a key part of the government’s mission to level up across the country and deliver on the people’s priorities.