Government to offer ‘new contract’ to tenants
- The Tenants’ Reform Bill will bring the biggest change to tenants’ law in a generation – improving the conditions and rights of millions of people in the private and social sector
- The legislation will improve quality for private tenants, extending the Decent Homes standard to the sector for the first time and giving all tenants the legal right to safe and caring accommodation
- It will ban ‘no-fault’ Section 21 evictions, protecting tenants from unscrupulous landlords, while strengthening landlords’ legitimate grounds for repossessing their property
- Government introduces new legislation for social tenants, with tough regular inspections and stronger powers to address failings by social housing landlords
The government will make the biggest change to tenants law in a generation, improving the lives of millions of tenants by raising standards in the private and social rental sector, fulfilling the government’s mission to level the country.
A ‘new deal’ will be put in place for the 4.4million households that rent privately across England by extending the Decent Homes standard to the private rental sector for the first time. These reforms will build on the progress the government has already made in this area and ensure that all tenants have access to safe and quality housing, improving opportunities for the 21% of private tenants who currently live in housing. to an unacceptable level.
New measures will also protect tenants, respecting a clear commitment. So-called “no-fault” Section 21 evictions – which allow rogue landlords to terminate leases without giving a reason – will be banned, so tenants can stay in their homes and communities and continue to support the local economy. 22% of those who moved in the past year did not end their tenancy by choice.
Together, these reforms will help ease the cost of living pressures tenants face, allowing families to move from one private home to another with around £1,400 in moving costs.
The bill will also strengthen landlords’ grounds for repossession, making it easier for them to evict tenants who deliberately don’t pay rent or who repeatedly engage in anti-social, neighborhood-destroying behavior.
Social housing tenants will also benefit from major reforms in the sector. The Social Housing Regulation Bill will subject all registered social housing providers to a tough new regulatory regime, with defaulting landlords facing unlimited fines if they fail to meet the standards expected of them.
Upgrading and Housing Secretary Michael Gove said:
Too many tenants live in damp, unsafe and cold homes, powerless to help and under threat of sudden eviction.
The New Deal for Tenants announced today will help end this injustice, improving the conditions and rights of millions of tenants.
It’s all part of our plan to improve communities and improve life chances for people in every corner of the country.
New offer for private renters
There are 4.4 million households in the private rental sector and the Decent Homes Standard will impose a legal obligation on the small number of landlords who rent accommodation of such poor quality that they endanger the health of their tenants to improve it. rapidly.
Today’s reforms will prevent private landlords from benefiting from taxpayers’ money for letting poor quality homes, cutting the £3bn a year in housing benefit that should go to landlords who let non-decent houses. It will also save the NHS up to £340m a year that it spends on the poor health poor quality private rental homes create.
Currently, the northern regions have the highest proportion of non-decent private rental housing. The measures announced in the Queen’s Speech will ensure that every private tenant in the country can enjoy a good standard of living, expanding access and opportunity across the country.
The tenant reform bill will also end the injustice that prevents tenants from taking root in their communities following “no-fault” Section 21 evictions.
A new ombudsman for private tenants will be created to enable disputes between private tenants and landlords to be settled quickly, inexpensively and without recourse to the courts. The ombudsman will cover all private landlords who rent out properties and ensure that when residents lodge a complaint, landlords take steps to put things right.
The bill will also introduce a new property portal to help landlords understand their obligations, give tenants performance information to hold their landlord accountable and help councils crack down on bad practice.
The government will soon publish a white paper outlining more details of our landmark reform proposals in the private rental sector and will continue to work with the sector to develop the Tenant Reform Bill.
The Social Housing Regulation Bill will continue to implement the Government’s reforms in response to the Grenfell Tower fire as we reach the 5th anniversary of the tragedy. It follows last year’s Building Safety Act and Fire Safety Act. The Social Housing Regulation Bill will create a strong regulatory framework that will strengthen social housing standards and help tenants and the regulator hold social housing landlords to account.
It will be:
- Create tough new regulations for better social housing – help tenants hold shoddy landlords to account.
- Give the regulator stronger powers to impose measures if it finds failures on the part of social housing owners.
- Expect social landlords to put tenant concerns at the heart of everything they do, with effective resident engagement in place, so no one has to live in substandard social housing.
- Provide greater transparency to tenants on how their landlord is performing, managing their unit, and who is responsible for meeting health and safety requirements.
- Strengthen the economic regulation of the social housing sector, increasing protections for tenant housing and supporting continued investment in new social housing supply.
The Government also today introduced the landmark Upgrading and Regeneration Bill, which will expand opportunity and prosperity and transform cities and communities across the UK. This includes an important set of measures to revive main streets, regenerate town centers and provide the high-quality housing that communities need. It will put in place the legal foundations to implement the government’s far-reaching proposals to expand opportunities, boost productivity and build local pride.
- A fifth of renters pay more than a third of their income to live in poor quality housing.
- The NAO published a report on the regulation of the private rental sector in December 2021, which estimated that £9.1bn of housing assistance was paid to private tenants or directly to private landlords in 2020-21. 29% of tenants on social assistance live in non-decent accommodation, which is around £3billion in housing benefit spent on poor quality accommodation.
- The reforms will particularly benefit people in the north of England, with data from the England Housing Survey showing that the proportion of non-decent housing is higher in the north than in other parts of the country.