Sweeping Rental Market Changes Proposed – Affecting Pets, Rent Increases & ‘No-Fault’ Evictions | Politics News

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Plans to ban ‘no-fault’ evictions and make it easier for tenants to keep pets will be unveiled as part of the government’s new contract for private tenants.

The Department of Upgrading, Housing and Communities is set to release its fairer white paper on the private rental sector, which it describes as “the biggest upheaval in the private rental sector in 30 years”.

Among the proposals to be unveiled on Thursday is a pledge to ban “no-fault” Section 21 evictions that allow landlords to terminate leases without giving a reason.

More than a fifth of private tenants who moved in 2019 and 2020 did not end their tenancy by choice, the figures suggest, including 8% who were asked to leave by their landlord.

These types of eviction notices are controversial and the government promised to ban them three years ago.

The department also promised to change rules to make it easier to own a pet in rented accommodation, with the white paper saying landlords ‘must consider and cannot unreasonably deny’ requests from all tenants to keep an animal in their home.

The new agreement will also extend the decent homes standard to the private sector for the first time, which means homes must be free from serious health and safety risks, and landlords must keep homes in good condition so that tenants have clean, suitable and usable accommodation. facilities.

The government says the new master plan for tenant reform will “restore the balance” between landlords and the estimated 4.4million private tenants in England.

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Other measures include:

• A commitment to end arbitrary rent review clauses, give tenants stronger powers to challenge bad practices, unwarranted rent increases and allow them to recover rent for substandard housing
• Notice periods for rent increases will be doubled and tenants will have more power to challenge increases if they are unjustified
• It will become illegal for landlords or agents to have blanket bans on renting to families with children or those receiving benefits
• All tenants will be moved to a single system of periodic tenancies, meaning they can move out of poor quality housing without remaining indebted for rent or move more easily when their circumstances change

The government adds that the estimated 2.3 million private owners in England will benefit from “more clarity and support” thanks to new proposals, including:

• The creation of a mediator for private tenants to enable disputes between private tenants and landlords to be settled quickly, at a lower cost and without recourse to the courts.
• A promise to ensure that responsible landlords can take possession of their properties effectively from anti-social tenants and can sell their properties when they need to
• Introducing a property portal that will help landlords understand and meet their responsibilities while giving councils and tenants the information they need to tackle rogue operators

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The unfair reality of no-fault evictions

Michael Gove, the upgrade secretary, said the reforms will help ease Cost of life pressures faced by tenants.

Before the white paper was published, Mr Gove said: ‘For too long many private tenants have been at the mercy of unscrupulous landlords who fail to repair homes and leave families to live in damp, unsafe and cold properties. , with the threat of “no-fault eviction orders hanging over them.

“Our New Deal for Tenants will help end this injustice by improving the rights and conditions of millions of tenants as we move forward across the country and address people’s priorities.”

The government has said conditions at more than half a million properties – or 12% of households – pose an imminent risk to the health and safety of tenants, meaning around 1.6million people are living in dangerously poor quality homes.

The proposals show ministers ‘taking serious action to halve the number of poor quality rental accommodation, both private and social, by 2030’ and meeting their leveling targets, he added.

The measures will form part of the Tenant Reform Bill, as announced in the Queen’s Speech, which will be introduced in this session of Parliament.

Last week the government introduced the Social Housing Regulation Bill, under which defaulting social housing owners could face unlimited fines and Ofsted-style inspections.

In April, an exclusive report by Sky News politics and people correspondent Nick Martin revealed that every seven minutes a private tenant in England receives an eviction notice despite having done nothing wrong.

Since 2019, almost 230,000 private tenants have been evicted without fail, giving them two months to leave the property.

It is feared that the rise Cost of life combined with an increase in evictions could render thousands of private tenants homeless and worsen the housing crisis.

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Responding to the proposals, the National Residential Landlords Association said “details to follow must retain the trust of responsible landlords”.

Ben Beadle, its chief executive, said: “We will carefully analyze the government’s plans to make sure they pass this test. Failure to do so will exacerbate the housing crisis at a time when tenants are struggling to find the housing they need.”

Alicia Kennedy, director of Generation Rent, said the white paper was “very welcome”, but added: “It has been more than three years since the government first committed to getting rid of evictions under section 21.

“Thousands of tenants lost their homes at the behest of their landlords at this time and many more will live in uncertainty until this legislation is passed.”

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