Pros and cons of the government's Rental Reform White Paper

Private sector provides around 4.4 million households with a place to live, so proposals have a big impact.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has published its much anticipated 'Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper' which will change the renting rules to ban 'no-fault' evictions (where a landlord does not have to give a reason for evicting tenants) and also make it easier for tenants with pets to rent a property.

Alicia Kennedy, Director of Generation Rent, said, “It is very welcome to finally have this White Paper."

“It has been more than three years since the government first committed to getting rid of Section 21 evictions. Thousands of tenants have lost their homes on their landlord’s say-so in that time and many more will live with uncertainty until this legislation is passed."

“The private renters we represent have been telling the government it is too easy to find themselves renting from unscrupulous landlords who fail to keep their homes in good condition. So it is positive that the measures include mandatory registration of landlords through a property portal and an Ombudsman to hold landlords to account – hopefully meaning there will be more ways to claim back rent on substandard properties."

“The government has also rightly recognised renters need flexibility, which periodic tenancies will provide. Making it illegal to have a blanket bans to protect families with children and people receiving benefits is also very welcome."

“However we’re disappointed with the detail around the new proposed ‘no fault’ grounds which allow landlords to evict tenants to sell or move family in."

“The government proposals still mean a renter could be evicted every 8 months due to no fault of their own."

“Renters, especially those with children in local schools, need longer than a few months to pack up and move out. And with every unwanted move costing around £1700 this is too much to pay without compensation when it’s not your choice to move."

“Without proper safeguards we could still see thousands of tenants facing the hardship of unwanted moves, and more staying quiet about disrepair out of fear of a retaliatory eviction."

“If the government can get the detail right and give tenants the confidence they need to request improvements and plan for the long term, this legislation has the potential to improve the lives of millions throughout England.”

Nathan Emerson, chief executive of Propertymark, said, “The private sector provides around 4.4 million households in England with a place to live."

"Property is a good long-term investment but the number of property owners choosing to withdraw from this area is growing. That’s the result of a decade of tax and regulatory burden that simply does not incentivise investment, especially for single property landlords who make up 43% of the market."

“The private rental market is already under huge strain with renters outstripping available properties and we need to be able to attract new investment."

“If Ministers really do want to create a ‘fairer private rented sector’, they must work with us to ensure these reforms are carefully balanced and any interventions to achieve short-term objectives do not constrain the market in the longer term.”

Ian Narbeth, consultant solicitor in the real estate team at city law firm DMH Stallard, says, “Tenant groups are cheering the proposed abolition of so-called 'no fault' evictions using section 21 of the Housing Act. They should be careful what they wish for."

"Until the introduction of assured shorthold tenancies, the residential rental market was stultified."

"Owners, fearful that they might never recover their property will be reluctant to let. If landlords serve s8 notices for rent arrears instead of the quicker s21, tenants will have county court judgments registered against them, wrecking their credit referencing and meaning that when they apply to the council for a home they will be considered to be 'intentionally homeless'."

"Behind most so-called 'no fault' evictions is a solid reason such as non-payment of rent or anti-social behaviour. Forcing landlords to air the tenants’ dirty linen in court will have repercussions."

"Families who let out their home while working abroad will be concerned that they may not get it back when they return without going through the uncertain court procedure. Being delayed by several months in recovering their home may mean staying in expensive B+Bs or taking on an expensive 12 month lease."

"Private landlords, having already faced seven years of anti-landlord legislation, may take their properties off the market, exacerbating the shortage of housing and pushing up rents.”