The latest briefing notes from the government reveal that the proposed ‘lifetime deposit’ scheme initially discussed by Ministers is off the table for the time being, while a national landlord register scheme for England also appears to have been put on hold too.

Instead of a national landlord register, the Government is to publish a list of all PRS properties in England including the name of the ‘superior’ landlord, where all information about the property will be held on a single ‘portal’ – so a sort of landlord register through the back door.

In its latest commentary following the Queen’s Speech, and also via industry briefings, the key elements of the White Paper due next month which will eventually turn into the Renters Reform Bill are to include:

  • Abolishing so-called ‘no fault’ evictions by removing Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, providing security for tenants in the private rented sector and empowering them to challenge poor practice and unfair rent increases without fear of retaliatory eviction.
  • Reforming possession grounds for landlords, introducing new and stronger grounds for repeated incidences of rent arrears and reducing notice periods for anti-social behaviour, ensuring that they can regain their property efficiently when needed.
  • Applying the legally binding Decent Homes Standard in the Private Rented Sector for the first time ever, giving tenants safer, better quality and better value homes.
  • Introduce a new Ombudsman for private landlords so that disputes can easily be resolved without the need to go to court, which is often costly and lengthy, and ensure that when residents make a complaint, landlords take action to put things right.
  • Introducing a new property portal to help landlords understand their obligations, give tenants performance information to hold their landlord to account as well as aiding local authorities.

Rent arrears

Ben Beadle (pictured), Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said: “We welcome the Government’s acceptance that reforms to the rented sector need to strengthen the ability of landlords to tackle anti-social tenants and those with repeated rent arrears.

“We will continue to work to ensure that these and other grounds for possession are fair and workable.

“Whilst we support proposals for an Ombudsman to cut the number of possession cases needing to go the court, this cannot be a substitute for proper court reform as well.

“At present it can take almost a year for a private landlord to repossess a property through the courts where they have a legitimate reason to do so. This is simply not good enough.”

Long awaited

Paul Wootton (pictured), Director of The Landlord Works, says: “Delivering the Government’s commitment to abolish section 21 is a long-awaited and positive step forward.

“To successfully deliver change, the abolition must be supported by reform of the section 8 evictions process – giving a clear list of reasons why a tenant can be evicted and court reform to ensure cases can be dealt with quickly when serious problems do arise.

“The introduction of a ‘property portal’ with landlord and property details could have positive benefits for the sector including allowing mortgage lenders to identify unregistered properties and supporting local authorities prioritise their enforcement activity.

“The private rented sector has to work effectively for the mutual good of landlords and tenants if it is to deliver good quality, safe and secure homes and these reforms are a welcome step towards that goal.”

Dramatic

“We can’t level up without dramatic improvements to the quality of rented homes,” says Alicia Kennedy of Generation Rent (pictured).

“Reforming tenancies and raising standards in the private rented sector are essential first steps towards this so the government’s recommitment to a Renters Reform Bill is hugely important.

“Renters have been waiting three years for the government to abolish these insidious Section 21 evictions. Finally, legislation looks to be on its way.

“But we can’t rest until the changes are passed into law. Now it’s the details that matter.

“It is essential that any new tenancy regime reduces the number of unwanted moves and gives renters the confidence to challenge poor practice by landlords.

“The plans also appear to address the desperate lack of regulation of private landlords, with a new ombudsman, a property portal and a requirement to meet the Decent Homes Standard. We need more detail on each, but they are essential measures if private renters are to exercise their rights effectively.”

21 COMMENTS

  1. All of the proposed legislation conveniently forgets whose property it is and the reason why people become landlords- I would guess that the general direction of travel is a rental sector that’s dominated by much larger corporations who will have larger built to rent portfolios. The small 1-4 property landlord will be a tiny minority within 10-15 years. When the big corporations take over then tenants will be far to frightened to complain or moan for fear of losing their home- corporate communism.

    • ahh yes the old, “its my house i can do what i want even if i’m being an ass”.
      this rental reform is great news for tenants that have had the piss taken out of them by landlords and letting agents.
      i dont see why you think tenants would be afraid to make complaints to a corporation landlord, they’d be more likely to do what is needed and wouldn’t have a personal vendetta, ie serve retaliatory s21 like small landlords currently do.

      • Damned right it is our property to do with as we wish.

        Tenants have a tenancy at the gift of the LL.

        As soon as the LL wants the property back then any tenant should understand this.

        The tenant only has a tenancy because the LL chooses to offer one.

        No tenant has the right to determine how long a LL should let to them.

        The LL decides.

        If the tenant is NOT prepared to accept this state of affairs they can buy their own property like the LL did.

        S21 has been mostly used to remove feckless rent defaulting tenants who I would remind you cause LL losses of £9 billion a year mostly rent default.

        Very few retalitory evictions ever occur or have occurred.

        It is the LL that has the issue with feckless wrongun tenants.

        As you might be aware LL are leaving the PRS.

        LL DON’T need to be LL but tenants desperately need LL to be LL.

  2. For every 1 bad landlord there would be 1,000 bad tenants, yet this is all about how the landlord is increasingly on the hook.

      • Dummy, of course I’m not using actual stats and I doubt anyone else actually imagined those were official figures. I’m just making a point that the proportion of bad tenants is far greater than bad landlords. It’s called hyperbole:

        Hyperbole, from a Greek word meaning ‘excess’, is a figure of speech that uses extreme exaggeration to make a point or show emphasis. It’s a type of figurative language. It’s a trick of exaggerating a situation, action or feeling by using extreme language to intensify the image created in the reader’s mind.

  3. You dont have to be a landlord if is get too difficult or not worth doing people will just leave -simple – as ,long as it’s worth doing landlords will stay – the jury is out … so I’ll wait and see ._ been a landlord fir 22 years now and slowly seeking to sell up … to whoever prbfurst tine buyers when tenant moves on – I’ve Never evicted anyone ever the average let is 7 years so after 7 years cheap rents free power from pv and every house epc c
    Govt gets nice tax bonus when I sell …
    But I’m a bad person it seems … really please get real gen rent etc. and stop making letting unpopular- that narrative does not help anyone .. especially renters

  4. You dont have to be a landlord if is get too difficult or not worth doing people will just leave -simple – as ,long as it’s worth doing landlords will stay – the jury is out … so I’ll wait and see ._ been a landlord fir 22 years now and slowly seeking to sell up … to whoever prbfurst tine buyers when tenant moves on – I’ve Never evicted anyone ever the average let is 7 years so after 7 years cheap rents free power from pv and every house epc c
    Govt gets nice tax bonus when I sell …
    But I’m a bad person Or so it seems … really please get real gen rent etc. and stop making letting unpopular- that narrative does not help anyone .. especially renters

  5. Has Alicia Kennedy ever thought of complimenting landlords who are providing good housing with good standards to tennants. Or supported landlords dealing with tenants that follow no standards, devastate a property, fail to pay the rent and cause endless condensation issues as they fail to open a window whilst drying endless amounts of washing and blame damp on the landlord as an issue
    Alot of this is aimed at Landlords as the government is failing the whole nation and this is a deflection of that…
    Along as the landlord is getting reformed, we don’t have to deal with the amount awaiting housing, sub standard council housing , failure to support the nation on EPC, hence make the landlord pay. With the landlord in the firing line and telling all how bad they are the nation fails to see the failings of the government…its all so they can say, we did this and we did that but cover our failings whilst doing it. Sounds familiar doesn’t it

  6. Just like social landlords then who should lead by example and should have all achieved ‘Decent Homes’ standards by 2010 – 11years ago!! Why don’t you take aim at social landlords? i.e. virtually all local authorities some of which provide some of the worst maintained properties – in many instances of danger to human habitation.

  7. It’s my opinion that Polly Neate needs to justify Shelters wage bill as shelter seems to manufacture statistics to justify its existence as a charity. Where does shelter get their survey figures when the pandemic has stopped all evictions for a significant period remains a mystery. Recent TV programs have identified that the social housing sector that should have put its houses in order 12 years ago have some of the worst housing, much more than the private sector. But where is Shelters drive to combat the social housing sectors problems….it seems it doesn’t pay the wages to clean up that sector! Shelter should take a refreshing look at its stale landlord bashing opinions and look to encouraging increasing the rental housing stock by working with landlords…because of shelters constant bombarding the government to deal with the private landlord sector they are the only housing charity that’s actions have helped to reduce available housing as disgruntled landlords sell their stock therefore putting more tenants back onto the stressed social sector. Shelter please note your actions to help sort the problems are actually helping to create them.

  8. To those who are anti-landlord do bear in mind that the small private landlords have done a great community service for the country by investing their hard earned cash in properties to accommodate tenants who would have otherwise been homeless. Those in power do not appreciate either. Yet these are the tenants who have let down the landlords by not paying their rents. There are others who claim universal benefit and rents but do not pass these on to the landlords. I can just see that in the years to come this country will be littered with millions of homeless people. There are thousands of landlords out there including myself who are fed up with losing money from rental non-payments and who are trying to sell their property portfolios to get away from the hassles of the letting market. It is high time the government got their act together. and do something for the small landlords.

    • Totally agree.
      I entered the housing letting market as this became my only source of income.
      Due to health issue I cannot work for someone else so instead of claiming benefits and letting someone else take care of me I choose to help myself and this is my business.
      I now help others by supplying a good home good standards and good support.
      If we all leave our jobs as landlords, what help would there be out there for us?
      What support would we get?
      And where will our tenants go?
      Hmmmmm
      Lay off landlords.
      Or we will lay off renting, for good

  9. Damned right it is our property to do with as we wish.

    Tenants have a tenancy at the gift of the LL.

    As soon as the LL wants the property back then any tenant should understand this.

    The tenant only has a tenancy because the LL chooses to offer one.

    No tenant has the right to determine how long a LL should let to them.

    The LL decides.

    If the tenant is NOT prepared to accept this state of affairs they can buy their own property like the LL did.

    S21 has been mostly used to remove feckless rent defaulting tenants who I would remind you cause LL losses of £9 billion a year mostly rent default.

    Very few retalitory evictions ever occur or have occurred.

    It is the LL that has the issue with feckless wrongun tenants.

    As you might be aware LL are leaving the PRS.

    LL DON’T need to be LL but tenants desperately need LL to be LL.

  10. I have had three rented properties since the mid 1990’s. I purchased them at auction in a totally uninhabitable state and spent tens of thousands renovating them.

    Initially I rented the properties predominantly to people on benefits and at a rental that was below the lowest found locally for similar properties and ensured that the properties were continually maintained with the view that if the rent was at a lower level than could be obtained elsewhere and if the property was well decorated and well maintained the tenants would respect the property and also pay the rent on time as they were actually receiving more in rent benefit than I was charging.

    Theoretically I would not have to continually have moving tenants every six or twelve months and would have less voids and less redecorating.

    Theory didn’t work totally, in one 18 month period over two of the properties I lost about £17,000 due to non payment of rent and severe damage to the properties. On tenant used the lounge as a kennel for her two bull terriers and threw the feaces and urine coated downstairs carpets into the garden, there was feaces in every room except her bedroom. She had a small baby and worked as a kitchen assistant in an old peoples home. It took over 6 months to get her out. On the positive side she did appear to spend substantial amounts of money on her clothes and grooming.

    Another single mother took to inviting large numbers of teenagers into the house for parties, much to the annoyance of neighbours, in one month alone the police were called to the property on thirty occasions, the house was in fact vandalised by neighbours, windows broken and paint thrown over the front of the house. She locked herself out of the house by leaving her keys with a friend who lived 25 miles away and phoned me late at night insisting I drive the 10 miles to the property to let her in. I advised her to return to her friends house and collect her keys. She then contacted a local emergency locksmith to open the door and told him to send the invoice to me.

    The police eventually suggested I install security cameras to protect her as the neighbours were becoming more aggressive towards her and the police were concerned for her safety.

    Substantial amounts of damage and another 7 months of unpaid rent.

    I was forced to stop accepting people without the ability of a guarantor to counter sign the tenancies.
    The tenancies I now have are long term tenants, one elderly couple moved took their tenancy in 2005, their monthly rent was increased to cover unpaid months during their second year and and has remained the same since then. They couldn’t afford to move to a similar property, or even to a smaller one bedroomed flat. The other tenants are also now long term and are on a substantial discount against similar houses in the area and also would not be able to move out witrhout a massive increase in rent.

    They are all nice people and I was not intending to increase rents, but with the need to spend tens of thousands to bring the properties from a D to C and at my age of 75 I am now in the position of having to reconsider the rents I charge as based on the current rents received I am unlikely to see any nett income from the properties within my expected remaining years. If I sell any new landlord would certainly not allow the current rents to remain.

    The properties do have double glazing, they are very well maintained and have gas central heating with boilers that are relatively new. Unfortunately they are victorian terraced properties with solid brick walls, the floors are solid cement, the roof insulation is above the required current specification, but installing wall insulation and the other recommendations based on the EPC’s would cost somewhere in the region of £12,000 – £15,000 per property, with estimated savings on £300.00 per annum from the yearly energy cost of £1,100.00 (That was based on last year, when the EPC’s were redone)

    Also can some one advise me where the tenants are supposed to live, and who pays for them if they have to move out and where do they move to whilst the floors are dug up to install the required insulation and the internal / external wall insulation (front and rear walls could be externally insulated side walls would need to be internally (do internal walls on terraced property need internal insulation ?)

    • Given your circumstances I would sell up.
      You clearly are not a proper LL.

      You are behaving like a Social LL.

      Nothing wrong with that of course.
      You are to be commended for using your capital and sweat equity to provide what is subsidised accommodation.

      A proper LL is in the game for PROFIT.

      YOU could if you chose easily manage your properties to generate proper profits.

      You choose NOT to and of course that is SOMETHING you are entitled to do.

      You clearly have a philanthropic bent to the way you conduct your affairs but a letting business ISN’T what you are operating.

      Based on the way you choose to operate and impending onerous and penal costs I suggest you get out of the PRS

      You are not prepared to manage properly from a business perspective.

      You will struggle to continue your quaisi social housing offer.

      What is the point!?

      Perhaps convert to FHL etc.
      But definitely move away from AST letting.

  11. Hi R Guest.
    Sorry to hear of your horrendous experience and like me and others you are drowning in the EPC law that may come in.
    As far as I know , it’s external areas of all living areas only. Exclude the kitchen and bathroom.
    Also every EPC person I have met so far gives me different information from the last…
    It’s gobsmakingly uncomprehendable.
    Maybe have an EPC done with a very experienced person who can talk sense and tell you the answers you need.
    I also believe if the tenant refuses to have the work done you can fill in a form and reapply 5 years later.
    Only what I have read.
    Keep researching like me.
    Good luck

  12. Also just to add I have found that if you have an epc even two years old and it’s redone, even if you have done upgrades, it will drop a level.
    Be prepared and get as shocked as me
    Goal posts are changing every day

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