Thank you for contacting me about reforming the private rented sector.
It is vital that we help create a fairer rental market in England and the Renters (Reform) Bill is a positive step which will help to achieve this. The legislation will see tenants protected from revenge evictions and rogue landlords, and landlords given greater powers to evict anti-social tenants.
The Bill will abolish Section 21 'no fault' evictions, which I recognise can deter tenants from challenging poor practice or unfair rent increases in fear they will be forced out of their home. To do this, the legislation will create a fairer tenancy structure where all assured tenancies will become periodic. I believe that this will create more security for tenants, without compromising the flexibility which attracts many to the private rented sector.
It is also vital that the Renters (Reform) Bill works for responsible landlords as well as tenants, who must be able to take back possession of rental properties swiftly if they have good cause. The reforms therefore will make it easier to repossess properties where tenants are at fault, for example in cases of anti-social behaviour and repeat rent arrears.
The Bill will also introduce more comprehensive possession grounds so landlords can still recover their property, including where they wish to sell their property or move in close family.
These changes come in addition to new powers to create a Privately Rented Sector Ombudsman which will provide fair, impartial and binding resolutions to many issues in the sector. I recognise that this will provide a quicker and cheaper alternative to the court system. The Government will also set up a Private Rented Property Portal. The portal will help landlords understand their legal obligations and demonstrate regulatory compliance, providing assurance to responsible landlords and helping them to attract prospective tenants. The portal will also help councils to target enforcement activity where it is needed most.
I believe that these reforms will benefit both tenants and landlords, and I look forward to discussing this legislation in more detail as it makes its way through Parliament.
Sally-Ann Hart MP