0370 270 6000

Update: White Paper – A Fairer Private Rented Sector published by government

20 June 2022

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities has published a White Paper – A Fairer Private Rented Sector – detailing the changes proposed under the Renters’ Reform Bill which set out to protect private tenants’ rights to a safe and secure rental home.

Some of the key proposed changes are:

  • A ban on ‘no-fault evictions’, preventing landlords from evicting tenants without providing a reason;
  • Prevention of blanket bans on tenants receiving benefits or families with children; and
  • A requirement for landlords to consider requests from tenants to allow pets in the rental home.

The ban on no-fault evictions, one of the most important proposals in the Renters’ Reform Bill, follows a similar ban in Scotland for tenancies starting after 1 December 2017. It comes as the number of no-fault evictions in England, known as Section 21 notices, reached 227,000 over the past three years.

Polly Neate, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, described the bill as a “game-changer” that will “level the playing field” for private renters.

Although the details of how the ban will be implemented are not yet confirmed, landlords will likely be required to provide one or more “grounds for eviction” before they serve notice on a tenant and end the tenancy. It is likely that different notice periods will apply depending on the grounds relied upon.

Speaking for private landlords, Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlord’s Association emphasised the importance of retaining the confidence of private landlords. Not doing so, he warns, could worsen the housing crisis. The White Paper seeks to address these concerns by proposing a private renters’ ombudsman to streamline the process of resolving disputes, an improved process for recovering properties in reasonable circumstances (such as when tenants are persistently in arrears or exhibit antisocial behaviour) and a property portal to aid landlords’ compliance with responsibilities.

Whether the government can strike a balance between tenants’ rights and landlord confidence will depend on how these commitments are implemented in practice. However, the proposals are expected to be a welcome change for over 11 million people housed in the Private Rented Sector.

Related opinions

Covid Rent Arrears: Cinema operators’ appeals dismissed

The Court of Appeal has dismissed two cases regarding rent arrears accrued during the Covid lockdowns. The cases are London Trocadero (2015) LLP v Picturehouse Cinemas Ltd and Bank of New York Mellon (International) Ltd v Cine-UK Ltd.

View blog

Proceed with caution – covenants in franchise agreements

In the recent case of Dwyer (UK Franchising) Limited v Fredbar Limited and ano’r [2022] EWCA Civ 889, the Court of Appeal considered the reasonableness of restrictive covenants in a franchise agreement.

View blog

Court of Appeal overturns “fire and re-hire” injunction

The Court of Appeal overturned the “fire and re-hire” injunction, finding that there was nothing in the express contractual provisions preventing Tesco from giving the notice to terminate employment in the usual way.

View blog

Homes England partners with local authorities to boost the levelling up agenda

Homes England, the government’s housing accelerator, has partnered with two local authorities, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Association of South Essex Local Authorities, in a new Strategic Place Partnership (SPP) which is designed to align with the government’s levelling up agenda by delivering new homes in the regions.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up