Thank you for contacting me about reforming the private rented sector.
I am conscious of concerns about the impact of the leadership election on possible policy developments in this issue. At present, Government policy remains as set out below. I will be monitoring these questions carefully.
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. I am aware that the Government intends to introduce a legally binding Decent Homes Standard in the private rented sector for the first time.
In addition, Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions will be abolished and a more secure and simple tenancy structure will be brought in. Under the new system, a tenancy will only end if the tenant chooses to leave or if the landlord has a valid ground for possession. Not only will this improve security for tenants and protect them from having to move unexpectedly at short notice, but it will also empower tenants to challenge poor practice without the fear of retaliatory action. Repossession grounds will be strengthened to make sure that landlords with a valid cause can regain possession of their property.
To further support tenants, the Government will only allow increases to rent once per year and will increase the minimum notice period for rent increases to two months. The use of rent review clauses will also come to an end.
The creation of a single Ombudsman that all private landlords must join will strengthen tenants’ ability to hold their landlord to account. A new digital Property Portal will be established which will help landlords understand their obligations and support local authorities to crack down on poor practice.
These are important steps in ensuring that renters can benefit from more secure and higher quality homes. I understand that these measures will be translated into law through the Renters Reform Bill, which will be brought forward in this parliamentary session.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP