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Hot Topic Highlight – A Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper

Updated: Oct 29, 2023

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What is today's blog about?

In this week’s blog, we take a look at the Government’s recent White Paper, a Fairer Private Rented Sector.

This is essential reading for any RICS APC or AssocRICS candidates involved in the residential private rented sector (PRS) or pursuing the Leasing/Letting, Landlord & Tenant or Property Management competencies, amongst others.

You can read the full White Paper here.

When was the White Paper published?

June 2022.

What is the aim of the White Paper?

The aim of the White Paper is to ‘to fundamentally reform the private rented sector and level up housing quality in this country’.

This will be through ensuring that:

  • All tenants have access to a good quality, safe and secure home

  • All tenants can treat their house as their home and are empowered to challenge poor practice

  • All landlords have information on how to comply with their responsibilities and can repossess their properties when necessary. Landlords and tenants should be supported by a system that enables effective resolution of issues.

  • Local councils have strong and effective enforcement tools to crack down on poor practice.

What is the context of the White Paper?

The White Paper follows on from the Levelling Up White Paper published earlier in 2022, which aims to achieve a 50% reduction in the number of poor-quality homes by 2030. It also builds on the Renters Reform Bill and application of the Decent Homes Standard to the PRS.

Other key legislation preceding the White Paper includes:

  • Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018

  • Tenant Fees Act 2019

  • Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020

  • Coronavirus Act 2020 and subsequent amendments

What plans does the White Paper set out?

The White Paper sets out a 12 point plan of action to drive improvements in the PRS, for both landlords and tenants. These are as follows:

  • Delivering a 50% reduction in the number of non-decent rented homes by 2030 and requiring private rented housing to meet the Decent Homes Standard.

  • Delivering housing improvements in the poorest quality areas through pilot schemes and enforcing adoption of the Decent Homes Standard.

  • Abolishing Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions and making tenancy agreements simpler and more secure for tenants.

  • Reforming possession grounds to enable landlords to repossess their properties where needed.

  • Limiting rental uplifts to once per year, stopping the use of rent review clauses and promoting the use of the First Tier Tribunal for tenants to challenge excessive rental increases.

  • Introducing a new single Ombudsman which all private landlords must join, facilitating low cost, streamlined dispute resolution.

  • Working to reduce delays in court proceedings and promoting the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), such as mediation.

  • Setting up a new Property Portal to provide information to landlords, tenants and local authorities.

  • Giving local authorities additional enforcement powers for landlords who commit serious offences relating to housing quality and tenant management.

  • Pursuing legislation to make it illegal for a landlord or their agent to refuse to rent to a family with children or to those in receipt of benefits.

  • Giving tenants the right to rent with a pet, with landlords having to consider the request and not being able to unreasonably refuse it.

  • Developing an innovative passport deposit system to reduce the onerous requirement on tenants to raise significant deposits (or dual deposits when moving house).

How can we help?

Stay tuned for our next blog post to help build a better you.

N.b. Nothing in this article constitutes legal, professional or financial advice.


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