A new deal for private renters has been published by the government with the aim of providing improved rights and conditions for millions of renters in the private rented sector. This is the largest change to the rented sector in 30 years!
The “fairer private rented sector white paper” (the white paper), which was released on 16 June 2022, will aim to guarantee that millions of families benefit from living in quality, well-cared-for houses.
Private renter’s white paper
The white paper represents a generational change that is hoped will restore the equilibrium between the 4.4 million renters in private rental housing and landlords. In addition to measures that will combat arbitrary and unreasonable rent hikes, it offers increased support for cost-of-living pressures with protections for the most disadvantaged. This is a part of a larger reform programme that aims to level the playing field for all citizens by increasing housing supply and tenant and homeowner safeguards.
Most tenants have safe and secure housing options, but this “New Deal” will finally bring the Decent Homes Standard to the private sector, levelling the playing field for the 21 per cent of private renters and households who currently reside in inadequate housing. For tenants to have clean, suitable, and usable facilities, residences must be free from major health and safety dangers and landlords must maintain homes in a good state of repair.
Additional measures to help private renters
- Preventing broad restrictions against renting to families with children or those receiving aid will assist the most vulnerable
- For the first time, prohibiting unjustly imposed rent review terms, limiting tribunals’ ability to raise the rent, and allowing tenants to be reimbursed for rent paid for subpar housing. This will ensure that if a tenant’s residence is of an undesirable level, they can sue their landlord in court to recover their rent
- Giving all tenants the option to request a pet in their home, which the landlord must consider and cannot unjustly deny.
- All renters will transition to a single system of periodic leases, allowing them to move more readily when their circumstances change or abandon subpar housing without being responsible for the rent.
- A tenancy will only end if the tenant vacates the premises, or the landlord has a legally permissible reason.
- Offering renters stronger rights to contest rent increases if they are unwarranted and doubling the notice time for rent increases.
- Boosting fines for significant offences and giving councils greater authority to deal with the worst offenders while supporting these efforts through enforcement pilot projects.
Additionally, the following initiatives will provide more information and assistance to the estimated 2.3 million private landlords:
- To assist the swift, cheap, and out-of-court resolution of disputes between private tenants and landlords, a new Private Renters’ Ombudsman will be established
- Enabling respectable landlords to quickly reclaim their homes from undesirable renters and sell the properties when necessary
- Launching a new property platform that will serve as a single-entry point for renters and councils to access the information they need to deal with rogue operators, and landlords to understand and comply with their obligations.
These changes would relieve renters’ financial strains and prevent families from needlessly paying the hundreds of pounds in moving expenses associated with relocating from one privately rented house to another.
This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.