Thank you for writing to me about reforming the private rented sector.
The Government has set out plans to level up the private rented sector which will rebalance the relationship between tenants and landlords. This will provide tenants with more secure, higher-quality homes and give councils the tools they need to crack down on the minority of non-compliant landlords.
Standards in rented accommodation will be driven up, including by ensuring all tenants have a right to redress and warranting well-targeted, effective enforcement that drives out criminal landlords. It is unacceptable that some households that rent privately pay a large proportion of their income to live in poor conditions. To this end, the Government has said it intends to introduce a legally binding Decent Homes Standard in the private rented sector for the first time.
The Government is standing by its manifesto commitment to abolish Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions and strengthen landlords’ rights to repossession. Under plans set out in the 'A Fairer Private Rented Sector' White Paper, a tenancy would only end if the tenant chooses to leave or if the landlord has a valid ground for possession. Not only would this improve security for tenants and protect them from having to move unexpectedly at short notice, but it would also empower tenants to challenge poor practice without the fear of retaliatory action. Under the Government's proposals, repossession grounds would be strengthened to make sure that landlords with a valid cause can regain possession of their property.
Further proposals in the White Paper include increasing the minimum notice period for rent increases to two months and banning the use of rent review clauses. The Government has proposed creating a single Ombudsman that all private landlords would be required to join which would strengthen tenants’ ability to hold their landlord to account. There are also plans for a new digital Property Portal which would help landlords understand their obligations and support local authorities to crack down on poor practice.
I understand that the Government will set out its next steps following on from the White Paper in due course.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking