The Government yesterday published its full response to a recent private rented sector consultation for England titled: “Overcoming the barriers to longer tenancies in the Private Rented Sector”.
This report says it sets out the Government’s commitment to modernising the PRS and to introduce a “new, fairer deal for tenants and landlords.” The Government says it will:
- End ‘no-fault’ evictions by repealing section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 so that a tenant cannot be evicted from their home without a good reason.
- Strengthen the Section 8 possession process, so property owners can regain their home should they wish to sell it or move into it.
- Reform the court process for housing cases, so that landlords are able to swiftly and smoothly regain their property where they have a legitimate reason.
For tenants, the government says, it will improve security, so they can put down roots and plan for the future with confidence. For landlords it plans to provide a “robust legal framework, with straightforward and swift possession processes.”
The Government also claims that the combination of these reforms will deliver a more stable sector in which to invest, but removing no-fault evictions is likely to pose a significant challenge for private landlords.
A consultation is now to follow on how a better system can be brought about that will “work for both landlords and tenants.”
James Brokenshire MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government
“The private rented sector has changed dramatically over the last 30 years.
The proportion of households has doubled. Half of them are families with children, and older people, looking for a long-term home.
And yet one striking characteristic persists. The majority of tenants are on short term contracts – unsure if they can afford the next rent rise, or whether they might be asked to leave if they make a complaint.
This instability and lack of power is bad enough, but an unfortunate few also bear the cost of unplanned and unwanted moves.
What’s more, many landlords would also benefit from longer agreements – free from the fees and hassle of unnecessary renewals. A minority already see this. And the measures announced in the Housing White Paper mean most tenants in the build to rent sector are now being offered a minimum of three years.
The answer lies in good design. Models of the past have failed where they have regulated rents, which history tells us doesn’t work, or restricted a landlord’s right to repossess their property, risking a loss of vital supply.
That’s why I am seeking views on a new model – one that balances tenants’ need for protection, with landlords’ needs to regain their property when their circumstances change.
A model that gives tenants certainty over rents, and retains the flexibility that many desire.
I think this is a model that could work across the market, but I am keen to hear your views.
Together we can achieve a market that delivers the protection and security that all tenants deserve.”
Response to the consultation: “Overcoming the barriers to longer tenancies in the Private Rented Sector” available here