Renters Reform Bill White paper released – The Future of the Private Rental Sector
The white paper sets out the elements that will be covered in the eventual legislation. Not in enough detail to establish the finer detail of the plans or logistically how it will all work but it certainly gives a reading of the intent of government and what will eventually be included. The main elements have support from all sides and so subject to certain inevitable alterations, should go through parliament without too much objection. Following the white paper release, we would expect the bill to be drawn up later this year which starts the process of becoming an Act of Parliament.
This is going to be the biggest shake up to the rental market since the Housing Act 1988
> A ban on unreasonable refusal by landlords to keep pets in a rental property
> Housing standards requirements that landlord will need to meet
> A legislative ban on landlords refusing to let to families with children or that are in receipt of housing benefits solely for that reason
> Doubling the notice period required for landlords to increase the rent
> A new ombudsman scheme to deal with disputes between landlords and tenants without needing to go to court
> Incorporating grounds for landlords to recover possession if they are looking to sell the property even where the tenant is not in breach
> Introducing a new property portal that will help landlords to understand their responsibilities as well as giving councils and tenants the information they need to enforce against the worst offenders
Housing standards has been recently legislated for in the Homes (Fitness of Human Habitation) Act. In recent cases involving the charity Shelter, the courts have determined landlords or managing agent policies with a blanket ban on tenants on benefits are already unlawful and discriminatory. Tenants are able try to oppose unreasonable refusal to keep pets using The Consumer Rights Act 2015 or the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. However if these problems are persisting despite the pre-existing authority above then it may be useful to re-iterate, clarify or toughen up the obligations.
It will be interesting when the bill is eventually released in full to see how the new protections differ, if at all, to those already in existence.
It is going to be important not to jump to conclusions on this before we see the actual bill and eventual final legislation.
When giving comment and advice on a non-specific basis, Boyes Turner cannot assume legal responsibility for the accuracy of any particular statement. In the case of specific problems it is recommended that professional advice be sought.
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