We welcome the announcement that the UK Government will include the Renters Reform Bill as part of its legislative programme for 2022/23. The announcement was made as part of the Queen’s Speech on 10 May.
The Bill will include provisions requiring all landlords in England to register with a new private rented property portal, bringing together information about properties in one place. The portal will help landlords understand their rights and responsibilities, support effective enforcement by local authorities and empower prospective tenants to make informed choices about renting.
CIEH has been actively campaigning for a national register of all landlords and their properties since 2019, alongside better resourcing for local authority housing enforcement teams. Similar landlord registers already operate in all the other nations of the UK.
The Renter’s Reform Bill will also include:
- The application of the Decent Homes Standard to the PRS, meaning that all rented homes must be free of serious hazards and repairs must be made to ensure properties are in a reasonable condition
- Abolishment of Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions to give renters more confidence in challenging poor practise, without fear of eviction
- The introduction of a new PRS Ombudsman covering all PRS landlords who rent out property in England, giving private rented sector tenants full access to redress
CIEH is also a member of the Renters Reform Coalition, which is made up of 20 leading organisations that represent private renters. The coalition recently published its policy blueprint, which also included a call for a national register of landlords.
Tamara Sandoul, Policy and Campaigns Manager at CIEH said:
“We have long called for the introduction of a national landlord register to provide transparency to the private rented sector for tenants as well as regulators. We also know that where local areas have licensing schemes in place, which gather landlord information in one place, communication between local authorities and landlords often improves as a result.
Whilst this is a major step forward to better regulation of the private rented sector, the new property portal will need to be accompanied by support for local authorities and environmental health teams working hard to ensure housing standards are maintained. Better funding, tools and guidance from central government will be key to ensuring the portal is a success and achieves its full potential.
We also welcome the introduction of one overarching standard to bring all rented property up to the same decent standard. However, there is still significant work to do to ensure that the new Decent Homes Standard is enforceable in the private rented sector. We look forward to working with the Government in the coming months to ensure the detail is right.”