Renters' Reform Coalition response to the Private Rented Sector White PaperSubmitted by Livi on Thu, 16/06/2022 - 15:27
We welcome the publication of the government’s Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper and look forward to examining these proposals in more detail.
Private renters deserve safe, secure, and affordable homes, but too often this is not the case. We urge the government to bring forward the Renters’ Reform Bill as a priority.
We’ve set six tests that the White Paper must meet to improve the situation for private renters, and have analysed the White Paper with these tests in mind.
SIX TESTS FOR PRIVATE RENTING REFORM:
Do the measures in the white paper end no-fault evictions?
We welcome the end of Section 21 but need clarity on the process and evidence needed for a landlord to evict on the grounds of selling or moving into the property. Further detail is needed on on plans to better enable renters to challenge unreasonable rent rises.
Do the measures in the white paper reduce the harm of evictions in cases where they still take place?
We support the move to protect renters from eviction if they have rent arrears caused by benefits delays. However, only six months’ protection from landlords using ‘no-fault’ grounds and two-month notice periods as standard will undermine renters’ security.
Do the measures in the white paper provide renters with security, and the flexibility to move if needed?
A welcome new system of periodic tenancies will give greater flexibility for renters, but landlords can still end a tenancy for a number of ‘no-fault’ reasons.
Do the measures in the white paper improve the safety and quality of homes in the private rented sector?
The measures set out will significantly improve the quality of privately rented homes, providing the details are right and local authorities have the expertise and resource to enforce standards.
Do the measures in the white paper improve access to justice for renters threatened with an unfair eviction or living in poor conditions?
A new, mandatory Private Rented Sector Ombudsman could play a positive role in improving housing quality and the service renters receive. Expediting court processes for evictions risks removing safeguards for tenants who need access to justice.
Do the measures in the white paper support renters with the rising cost of living?
Under the new repeated arrears ground, renters who accrue rent arrears because of the rising cost of living will be more quickly and easily evicted from their homes.