The government has announced their intention to radically overhaul the rights of tenants. The changes announced include:
- Helping the most vulnerable by outlawing blanket bans on renting to families with children or those in receipt of benefits.
- For the first time, ending the use of arbitrary rent review clauses, restricting tribunals from hiking up rent and enabling tenants to be repaid rent for non-decent homes. This will make sure tenants can take their landlord to court to seek repayment of rent if their homes are of unacceptable standard.
- Making it easier for tenants to have much-loved pets in their homes by giving all tenants the right to request a pet in their house, which the landlord must consider and cannot unreasonably refuse.
- All tenants to be moved onto a single system of periodic tenancies, meaning they can leave inferior quality housing without remaining liable for the rent or move more easily when their circumstances change. A tenancy will only end if a tenant ends it or a landlord has a valid reason, defined in law.
- Doubling notice periods for rent increases and giving tenants stronger powers to challenge them if they are unjustified.
- Giving councils stronger powers to tackle the worst offenders, backed by enforcement pilots, and increasing fines for serious offences.
- A new Private Renters’ Ombudsman will be created to enable disputes between private renters and landlords to be settled quickly, at low cost, and without going to court.
- Ensuring responsible landlords can gain possession of their properties efficiently from anti-social tenants and can sell their properties when they need to.
- Introducing a new property portal that will provide a single front door to help landlords to understand, and comply with, their responsibilities as well as giving councils and tenants the information they need to tackle rogue operators.
According to government sources these reforms will help to ease the cost-of-living pressures renters are facing, saving families from unnecessarily moving from one privately rented home to another and thereby saving hundreds of pounds in moving costs.