UK Renters Reform Bill rights for pet owners and end to ‘no fault’ evictions

House rentals - Image cc Nigel Chadwick

Following in the footsteps of Wales, the UK government is set to ban ‘no-fault evictions’ and to provide pet owners with the right to rent with pets as it presents the Renters Reform Bill.

The Renters Reform Bill announced in the Queen’s speech and introduced this week, will bring major changes for landlords with many describing it as the end of the private rental market in the UK.

If legislated the bill would include an end to blanket bans on benefit claimants or families with children, doubling notice periods for rent increases and giving tenants stronger powers to challenge unjustified hikes.

It will also mean that landlords are obliged to consider requests to allow pets, which cannot be unreasonably refused. But perhaps the most important and biggest change is the removal of the threat of a ‘no-fault eviction’.

Levelling Up and Housing Secretary Michael Gove said: “For too long many private renters have been at the mercy of unscrupulous landlords who fail to repair homes and let families live in damp, unsafe and cold properties, with the threat of unfair ‘no fault’ evictions orders hanging over them.”

Although many landlords, especially the unscrupulous ones, believe the bill is bad for the industry, the opposite view is held by housing associations and those charities involved in helping people to find homes.

Shelter chief executive Polly Neate told the Standard: “The Renters Reform Bill is a game-changer for England’s 11 million private renters.

“Gone will be the days of families being uprooted and children forced to move school after being slapped with a Section 21 no-fault eviction for no good reason.”

The Renters Reform Bill?

The Renters Reform Bill, a white paper that proposes extensive changes to the relationship between landlord and tenant, is expected to come into force in 2023.

The bill, if approved, will see an end to many of the practices used by landlords to evict tenants, to push through unjustified rent increases and to demand payment when the property if not fit to live in.

It will also outlaw the practices that involve a blanket ban on certain types of tenants, including benefit claimants, families with children etc… It will also give tenants the right to own a pet, unless there is good reason to.

The Decent Homes Standard will also apply to the private rental market for the first time, the standard stating that homes must be free from serious health and safety hazards.

Eviction notices

Currently tenants can be evicted by issuing a Section 21 or Section 8 notice, the former being referred to as the “no-fault eviction”. Landlords who don’t have a reason to evict a tenant other than they want them out, can use a Section 21 notice which provides the tenant with two months to move out or be removed by the court.

A Section 8 notice on the other hand can be issued if a landlord already has a reason to evict a tenant, such as rent arrears, damage to the property or if there have been neighbour complaints.

Section 21 notices have been fiddled with some time but this will be the first time they are banned for good, a move that it widely welcomed by tenants and campaigners.

What do landlords say?

The Renters Reform Bill bill will bring about the greatest changes for more than 30 years, which London Estate Agent and former RICS Residential Chairman Jeremy Leaf told the Standard: “The removal of landlords’ ability to end tenancies by way of section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions is no surprise as has been mooted for several years.

“It can’t be right for long-term, well-behaved tenants to be asked to leave.

“However, it’s not reasonable either for landlords having to spend thousands evicting a tenant not paying their rent or exhibiting anti-social behaviour. Therefore, the alternative Section 8 eviction route must allow landlords to regain possession of their properties if required for their own use or required for future tenants. Otherwise, overall supply will fall and rents will rise.”

Nathan Emerson, CEO of lettings agents’ group Propertymark said: “If Ministers really do want to create a ‘fairer private rented sector’, they must work with the sector to ensure these reforms are carefully balanced and any interventions to achieve short-term objectives do not constrain the market in the longer term.

“The private rental market is already under huge strain with renters outstripping available properties. This increased demand comes as more owners of homes for rent are choosing to sell them.

“Many of the rental properties sold over the past four years have not returned to the rental market.

It remains to be seen whether the UK Renters Reform Bill will affect the industry in the way the industry is suggesting, with the rights being afforded tenants no different to those in force elsewhere in Europe.


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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

Comments


    • Saya Sendiri

      18 June 2022 • 21:15

      Idiotic proposal that will increase rents and limit the number of private rental properties.
      There are many, many good landlords and there are also plenty of tenants who will take advantage of these proposals.

      Reply
    • disgruntled private renter

      27 June 2022 • 14:39

      Brilliant! This has been needed ever since Thatcher sold off the council houses and created the private housing boom. Imagine that you are a hard working, thrifty person and struggle to find a place to live. Maybe you/your family doesn’t earn enough for a mortgage or you’re disabled etc. Perhaps your family would love to have a dog or cat, but that isn’t ever going to be allowed. Maybe your landlord isn’t fixing repairs etc but has still put the rent up… Either pay or he will evict you, you have 2 months to find a new place to live and there are no affordable rents in your area. So kids have to move school, your commute is 2 hours now, you aren’t close to family who can provide childcare. Yeah, I hope the private rental market burns and social housing becomes the default option for people who aren’t able to own their own home. Private landlords are scum who are milking the system.

      Reply

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