A new bill that will bolster renters’ rights will be tabled in Parliament today after being delayed multiple times.
The Renters’ Reform Bill will abolish “no-fault” evictions, which allow landlords to end tenancies without having to establish fault on the part of the tenant.
The bill will also expand the Decent Homes Standard – which sets the minimum health and safety standards for social housing – to the private sector.
It will also make it illegal to block people from renting properties because they rely on government benefits.
The legislation also paves the way for a new Ombudsman that will work faster and more efficiently in resolving disputes between tenants and landlords.
The reforms also contain legislation that aims to support the landlords. They’ll have more powers to kick out “anti-social” tenants – a move that has been criticised by several domestic violence charities and campaigners. Notice periods will also be reduced in cases where tenants have breached their tenancy agreements or caused damage to the property.
Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove labelled the reforms a “new deal” for the private rented sector. He said the new laws will tackle the injustices suffered by renters “living in damp, unsafe, cold homes, powerless to put things right, and with the threat of sudden eviction hanging over them”.
He was, however, also quick to note how the Bill also supports “the vast majority of responsible landlords who provide quality homes to their tenants”The Bill has been defined a “war on landlords” by some of Gove more unsympathetic colleagues on the backbenches – some of which are landlords themselves.
Dan Wilson Craw from campaign group Generation Rent welcomed the bill saying he was confident the reforms will improve “communication and trust” between tenants and landlords.
The National Residential Landlords Association also welcomed the steps to make it easier to recover property from anti-social tenants, but complained that the bill still lacked important details on the changes to the new eviction rules.