Tenants in Redditch and the Villages will benefit from safer, fairer and higher quality homes thanks to a once-in-a-generation overhaul of housing laws, Rachel has said.
As Housing Minister, Rachel introduced the Renters’ (Reform) Bill to Parliament today (May 17th), which delivers the Government’s 2019 manifesto commitment to abolish section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions which will empower renters to challenge poor landlords without fear of losing their home.
The new Bill also protects over two million landlords, making it easier for them to recover properties when they need to – so they can sell their property if they want to, move in a close family member, or when tenants wilfully do not pay rent. Notice periods will also be reduced where tenants have been irresponsible – for example breaching their tenancy agreement or causing damage to the property.
This builds on the strong progress this Government has already made over the last decade to increase protections for tenants, including giving councils stronger powers to drive criminal landlords out of the market by introducing Banning Orders through the Housing and Planning Act 2016; and shielding tenants from excessive deposits and fees through the Tenant Fees Act 2019.
The reforms will strengthen powers to evict anti-social tenants, broadening the disruptive and harmful activities that can lead to eviction and making it quicker to evict a tenant acting anti-socially.
To ensure the new tenancy systems works for landlords and tenants, it will be introduced alongside a reformed courts process. For the minority of evictions that do end up in the courts, more of the process will be digitised – reducing delays.
A new Ombudsman will provide quicker and cheaper resolutions to disputes, while a new digital Property Portal will enable landlords to understand their obligations and help tenants make better decisions when signing a new tenancy agreement. This will give confidence to good landlords, while driving the criminal minority out of business.
“Thousands of people in Redditch live in privately rented homes, and these landmark reforms will deliver safer, fairer and higher quality homes for my constituents.
“These new laws will also support the vast majority of responsible landlords who provide quality homes to their tenants, while delivering our manifesto commitment to abolish Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions.
“This Government is ensuring that everyone can live somewhere which is decent, safe and secure.”
Tenants will also be given the legal right to request a pet in their home, which the landlord must consider and cannot unreasonably refuse. Landlords will be able to require pet insurance to cover any damage to their property.
The Government will also bring forward legislation as part of the Bill to:
- Apply the Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector for the first time, giving renters safer, higher quality homes and remove the blight of poor-quality homes in local communities. This will help deliver the government’s Levelling Up mission to halve the number of non-decent rented homes by 2030.
- Make it illegal for landlords and agents to have blanket bans on renting to tenants in receipt of benefits or with children – ensuring no family is unjustly discriminated against when looking for a place to live.
- Strengthen councils’ enforcement powers and introduce a new requirement for councils to report on enforcement activity – to help target criminal landlords.