On Monday 24th January 2022, Eddie Hughes MP, a junior minister in the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities replied to a Written Parliamentary Question by Labour’s Dan Carden asking when the government planned to bring forward its Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper, to which the minister replied that it would be released ‘later this year’.
On Thursday 16th June 2022 details of what the White Paper will contain were shared with the industry and the press, ahead of a scheduled Written Statement to the House of Commons due on the same day. It’s a move that is likely to anger Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle who continues the tradition of Speakers admonishing the government for making announcements to the press before making statements to Parliament.
But what does the White Paper say?
The Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper covers:
- Changes to rules to make it easier for tenants to keep pets
- Outlawing of Section 21 “No Fault” evictions by expanding the number of grounds available under Section 8
- Ending of arbitrary rent reviews
- New challenge mechanisms to tackle repairs and maintenance issues
- increased notice periods for rent increases
- An end to blanket bans on tenants with children or on benefits
- Creation of an ombudsman
- A promise of mechanisms to make it easy for landlords to gain possession of their properties from anti-social tenants
- A new property portal online
What is a White Paper?
A ‘White Paper’ is a document that the UK Government publishes to set out its thinking on how it plans to change the law, or to introduce new laws. They can sometimes contain a draft version of the Bill the government is thinking of introducing. Members of the public, parliamentarians and stakeholders are able to respond to a White Paper via a consultation process. The government then makes changes to its proposals based on the consultation.
Our reaction to the White Paper
Aled Evans, Principal Solicitor at LandlordSolicitors.com said:
“The changes outlined in the Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper provide greater clarity to both landlords and tenants, but landlords should be aware that they will be required to evidence and support their claims when progressing an eviction under Section 8, and they will need to adhere to the conditions that will be put in place when using certain grounds such as not marketing a property as available for rent after they’ve told a court they need to evict a tenant so they can sell their property.”
“Whilst the law looks set to be rebalanced, it will remain a complex instrument leading to additional costs to landlords if they get it wrong.”
How can LandlordSolicitors.com Help?
If you are a landlord and you want to know what the white paper will mean for you, why not contact us today for a quick bespoke overview from a member of our team based on your specific circumstances.