The UK Government has published a White Paper to create a ‘fairer’ Private Rented Sector (PRS), in what is the biggest shake-up of rental policy in a generation.
The White Paper sets out the Minister’s plans to:
- increase security and stability for tenants and make sure landlords can gain possession of their property when they have good reason through the abolition of section 21 evictions and the reform of possession grounds (The CLA has secured the promise of specific grounds that will help the efficient functioning of rural businesses.)
- improve dispute resolution, providing support to both landlords and tenants through the introduction of a PRS Ombudsman to help resolve issues and avoid the cost and time of going to court
- ensure better compliance and robust enforcement through the introduction of a new Property Portal and stronger powers for local authorities
- ensure tenants have access to safe and decent homes through the application of the Decent Homes Standard to the PRS
The CLA has been working closely with Ministers and officials to ensure its members’ voices are heard, specifically lobbying to ensuring that the grounds for possession will be fit for purpose in a rural context (once section 21 i.e, the “notice only” route to repossession is abolished).
As a result, the CLA has secured changes to ensure agricultural landlords will be able to evict a PRS tenant if the property is needed for an incoming worker. Additionally, the UK Government has committed to strengthening the ground for possession - by making it mandatory - where an employee has been housed, once that employment has ceased.
Further analysis of the White Paper will be published in due course, and the CLA team will continue to meet Government officials to represent members’ interests ahead of the publication of the forthcoming legislation.