Landlords will no longer be able to kick renters out of their homes for no reason under new plans announced by the Government.
Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions, under which renters have to vacate a property after a notice period even if they’ve done nothing wrong, will be abolished as part of a number of reforms included in the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper.
Other improvements include ensuring all homes in the private rented sector meet a minimum standard for the first time ever, and halving the number of poor-quality rental homes across the country.
The Government also plans to explore introducing a landlords register, pledging to crack down on rogue landlords.
Using fines and bans, it wants to stop repeat offenders leaving renters living in unacceptable conditions.
Why is this happening?
The measures are part of the government’s Levelling Up White Paper, which aims to shift government focus and resources to communities that have lagged behind the rest of the country in terms of prosperity.
The paper sets out 12 Missions to Level Up the UK by 2030, ranging from increasing employment and productivity, to improving public transport and 5G access while offering skills training.
One of these missions is to ensure renters have a secure path to homeownership, and to improve their accommodation in the meantime.
Who does it affect?
The white paper is good news for renters in both the private and social housing sectors.
Under the Decent Homes Standard, which currently only applies to social housing, private rented homes will have to be in a reasonable state of repair, have reasonably modern kitchens and bathrooms, and have effective insulation and heating.
Meanwhile, the government has also committed to building more genuinely affordable social homes.
In addition, it will deliver on the commitments it made following the Grenfell fire tragedy in 2017, such as ensuring homes are safe, complaints are dealt with promptly and that renters’ voices are heard, through a new Social Housing Regulation Bill.
But it is important to note that beyond setting the broad target to meet the 12 missions by 2030, no timeline has been announced for the individual measures included in the white paper.
What else is happening?
The white paper also included other measures that will impact housing.
A new £1.5 billion Levelling Up Home Building Fund will be launched to provide loans to small and medium-sized developers.
The Government also said much of its £1.8 billion brownfield funding will be diverted away from building homes in London and the South East to transforming brownfield sites in the North and Midlands.
Homes England will also spearhead efforts to regenerate 20 town and city centres into 'beautiful communities'.