Published: 05/07/2022 By Allan Fuller
The Government has now released the long-awaited White Paper entitled, A Fairer Private Rented Sector.
The main measures are outlawing no Section 21, this allows a landlord to give notice to a tenant to vacate the property, with the only justification being if the landlord requires it for their own or their families use. No blanket ban for pets and children, no arbitrary rent reviews, ban on refusing tenants on benefits, and a new Renters Ombudsman who will settle disputes between landlords and tenants.
Nearly every flat lease does not allow animals. Barking dogs in a building can be a nightmare for neighbours, not all properties are suitable or safe for pets, and generally dogs are needing access to a garden which is why houses or ground floor flats with gardens are far better for them. Some landlords do not allow children, but this seems set to change.
Of course, tenants must be fairly treated and so must landlords. What is required, is to have sufficient powers to easily deal with rough landlords and rogue tenants. A new private renters ombudsman to settle disputes between landlords and tenants already sounds like an organisation biased toward tenants. A Landlords and Tenants Ombudsman would sound as if it would be an unbiased organisation. The catch here though is where will the people needed to run this system be recruited from? The UK legal system is already stretched to breaking point.
In the UK, their concept has always been of the wicked landlord, and the poor downtrodden lovely tenant. The truth is that the vast majority of both are fair and respect each other.
The risk is that if letting property becomes unworthwhile for landlords they will sell up, and what has been a fluid, and in the main part extremely successful, sector of housing will virtually disappear. That will benefit nobody, it is vital to have a PRS in any successful economy, especially fluidity of labour and those coming into the country to work for short periods.
For rents to be fair there needs to be a large supply of good rental property, but this will not happen if legislation is also fair for both the landlord and the tenant.
Cures are needed, but not major surgery that kills the patient!