Renters (Reform) Bill Stops No Fault Evictions
Published / Last Updated on 17/05/2023
Housing Secretary, Michael Gove MP has today unveiled landmark changes to protect both landlords and tenants in the Renters’ (Reform) Bill 2023, which should become law later this year when it passes through the House of Commons and Lords for its various readings, amendment, and approval. The Government quoted this as “Once-in-a-generation reforms will deliver safer, fairer and higher quality homes” given that 11 million tenants in England will benefit from safer, better-quality housing but also protection for 2 million landlords to easily evict unruly tenants.
What’s New in the Renters’ (Reform) Bill?
Protection for Tenants
- A new Decent Homes Standard.
- Bans on landlords not accepting tenants in receipt of benefits or with children.
- Local authorities given greater powers to secure Banning Orders or prosecute poor landlords.
- Abolish Section 21 “no fault” evictions to encourage tenants to tackle poor landlords on poor accommodation or lack of repairs without the fear of a Section 21 notice.
- Protection from excessive deposit requirements.
- New Ombudsman to independently rule on disputes that cannot be resolved between parties and order apologies, remedial repairs, and compensation payments.
- New digital property portal to help both landlords and tenants better understand each other’s rights and obligations.
- Legal right for a tenant to request a pet be allowed and that request cannot unreasonably be denied or withheld. Pet damage insurance and higher rents may be required from the tenant due to the potential for additional damage or accelerated wear and tear.
Protection for Landlords
- Shorter notice periods to be allowed, provided it is in the rental agreement, to take possession of their property if landlord’s wish to sell their property or move in close family members e.g., elderly parents or vulnerable relatives.
- Anti-social tenants to be evicted with shorter notice periods and a widening of the definition on anti-social behaviour.
- Tenants that do not pay their rent to be evicted with shorter notice periods.
We welcome any changes that protect and are fair to both responsible landlords and responsible tenants alike, these changes are long overdue. Equally, it is brilliant news that tenants can complain or report poor landlords or poor property maintenance without any fear of eviction via a Section 21 but also making it easier for landlords to regain control of their properties where tenants are anti-social or not paying their rent.
That said, just watch how many social housing companies now sell off their poor standard properties as many have been able to get away with it for so long. A child dying from complications of living in a mould ridden property is criminal and those responsible should be prosecuted.