Section: Private Sector Housing

Proposals aim to end unfair Section 21 evictions in the private rental sector

Posted 15.04.19
GOV.WALES: Further reading

The government will shortly launch a new consultation on proposals to remove the ability of landlords to use 'no fault' evictions under Section 21 of the 1988 Housing Act.

Seen as the biggest change to the private rental sector in England for a generation, the proposals will bring an end to private landlords uprooting tenants from their homes with as little as 8 weeks' notice after the fixed-term contract has come to an end.

It will effectively create open-ended tenancies, bringing greater peace of mind to millions of families who live in rented accommodation.

Many tenants live with the worry of being evicted at short notice or continue to live in poor accommodation for fear they will be asked to leave if they complain about problems with their home.

It will give them the reassurance that they will not be suddenly turfed out of their home and reduces the risk of being faced with having nowhere else to go.

Evidence shows that the end of tenancies through the Section 21 process is one of the biggest causes of family homelessness.

Under the proposals, landlords will have to provide a concrete, evidenced reason already specified in law for bringing tenancies to an end.


Law to ban letting fees in Wales to come into force 1st September

Posted 11.04.19
GOV.WALES: Further reading

A new law to ban unnecessary letting fees in Wales will come into force on 1st September 2019, if it receives Royal Assent.

The Act makes it an offence to charge a tenant any payment that is not specified as a 'permitted payment' by the legislation. This means tenants cannot be charged for such things as an accompanied viewing, receiving an inventory, signing a contract or renewing a tenancy.

Letting agents and landlords will only be permitted to require a payment for rent, security deposits, holding deposits, a payment in default (when a tenant breaches a contract) - and payments in respect of council tax, utilities, a television licence, or communication services.

The Bill will cap holding deposits paid to reserve a property before the signing of a rental contract to the equivalent of a week's rent and create provisions to ensure their prompt repayment.

It will also give the Welsh Government the power, should it wish to use it in the future, to limit the level of security deposits.


Housing Minister unveils new guidance for local authorities to crack down on rogue landlords

Posted 10.04.19
GOV.UK: Further reading

Local authorities across the country are to receive a new package of online support, aimed at giving greater protection to tenants and reform the private rented sector for the better.

The publication of 2 new guidance documents - one for local authority enforcement practitioners and another for tenants and landlords - signals the latest step in the cracking down on the small minority of criminal landlords who exploit tenants for their own gains.

The new guidance ensures those responsible for protecting tenants - such as local authority enforcement officers - can use the powers available to them to maximum effect.

The guide for tenants and landlords brings together the rights and responsibilities of each, provides links to in depth guidance on legislation and complements previous steps to support those in the private rented sector.


Regulate short-term lets or risk displacing long-term residents - new CIH study

Posted 04.04.19
Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH): Further reading

The rapid growth of short-term lets, such as Airbnb, has been a boon to tourists and landlords, yet it could lead to the loss of private rented homes to the short-term lets market and displacement of long-term residents from their communities if left unregulated, new analysis from the CIH has revealed.

Just published, the UK Housing Review 2019 suggests that Airbnb alone has over 77,000 lets in Greater London, 55.4% of which are entire homes. The bulk of the lets are heavily concentrated in Westminster (8,328), Tower Hamlets (7,513), and Hackney (5,907) boroughs.

The review points to cause for concern if these properties have moved from the private rented sector to the short-term lettings sector for part of each year, and even greater cause for concern if they were now permanent short-term lets, unavailable to locals.

It makes several recommendations, including consideration of a modest local tourism tax to assist local authorities in the monitoring and regulation of the short-term lettings sector.

It also suggests introducing caps through the planning system on the number of short-term rentals in particular high-pressure areas.


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Reporting on April 2019

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