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Rental Reform White Paper - full details here

The government has released the full details of what it calls the Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper.

This is to form the basis of a Bill to out its reforms into law.

It will ban Section 21 evictions and extend the Decent Homes Standard to the sector.


It will also end what it calls “arbitrary rent review clauses, give tenants stronger powers to challenge poor practice, unjustified rent increases and enable them to be repaid rent for non-decent homes.”

It will be illegal for landlords or agents to have blanket bans on renting to families with children or those in receipt of benefits.

And it will make it easier for tenants to have pets, a right which the landlord must consider and cannot unreasonably refuse.

All tenants are to be moved onto a single system of periodic tenancies, which in the government’s words mean “they can leave poor quality housing without remaining liable for the rent or move more easily when their circumstances change.”

A tenancy will only end if a tenant ends or a landlord has a valid reason, defined in law.

There will be a doubling of notice periods for rent increases and tenants will have stronger powers to challenge them if they are unjustified.

The government says it is also “giving councils stronger powers to tackle the worst offenders, backed by enforcement pilots, and increasing fines for serious offences.”

There will also be a new Private Renters’ Ombudsman to enable disputes between private renters and landlords to be settled quickly, at low cost, and without going to court.

What the government calls “responsible landlords” will be able to gain possession of their properties efficiently from anti-social tenants “and can sell their properties when they need to.”

There will be a new property portal that will “provide a single front door to help landlords to understand, and comply with, their responsibilities as well as giving councils and tenants the information they need to tackle rogue operators.”

The government says: “These reforms will help to ease the cost of living pressures renters are facing, saving families from unnecessarily moving from one privately rented home to another hundreds of pounds in moving costs. 

“We have already taken significant action over the past decade to improve private renting, including reducing the proportion of non-decent private rented homes from 37 to 21 per cent, capping tenancy deposits and banning tenancy fees for tenancy agreements signed after 1 June 2019, and introducing pandemic emergency measures to ban bailiff evictions.

“While the majority of private rented homes are of good quality, offering safe, comfortable accommodation for families, the conditions of more than half a million properties – or 12 per cent of households - pose an imminent risk to tenants’ health and safety, meaning around 1.6 million people are living in dangerously low-quality homes, driving up costs for our health service. 

“The sector offers the most expensive, least secure, and lowest quality housing to millions of renters, including 1.3 million households with children and 382,000 households over 65. Rents are also rising at their fastest level for five years. This can damage life chances and hold back some of the most deprived parts of the country.”

And Housing Secretary Michael Gove says: “For too long many private renters have been at the mercy of unscrupulous landlords who fail to repair homes and let families live in damp, unsafe and cold properties, with the threat of unfair ‘no fault’ evictions orders hanging over them.

“Our New Deal for renters will help to end this injustice by improving the rights and conditions for millions of renters as we level up across the country and deliver on the people’s priorities.”

  • James Scollard

    We need a white paper, on why a white paper doesn’t work. It feels like it was given to a secretary at 4pm on a Friday to type something up.

    James Scollard

    Eg a missed opportunity to bring in longer fixed terms 24 or 36 months where tenants have secure tenure & fixed rent. Instead, this white paper suggests the opposite with periodic tenancies. Increase rent at any time (with notice), evict at any time (with valid reason).
    Students take an 11 month fixed term , good for tenant & landlord, but now it will be periodic & the landlord evicts after 2 months. The students will be homeless.
    How strong is the eviction process going to be, when tenants are anti-social behaviour, rude& aggressive to neighbours say, who give up phoning the police

    The main issue is many pro-tenant policies end up being anti-tenant as the market shifts to these changes

  • icon

    What a complete misrepresentation of the situation. Sounds like the idiot was too busy doing his jobs on the side and delegated it to Shelter. If there is mould in any of the 100's of properties I manage every single one is down to the tenants lifestyle. Sounds like they have been given the green light to hold back their rent for any reason they want. The most rogue and incompetent group of people are the politicians who have mishandled every aspect of our lives. What a mess.

  • Billy the Fish

    The only question I have is whether this white paper will become law before this party exits or of it will be dragged out or forgotten like so many others.

    • C S
    • 16 June 2022 09:45 AM

    I live in hope that much like the laughable "Right To Buy" housing association proposal, this will be left to fizzle out and die as the current administration exits no 10

  • Ben Hollis

    Any chance of a link to the white paper please? Hard to locate via google etc. Thank you

    Kristjan Byfield

    It's not been released yet- later today

  • icon

    The only thing they are now
    Missing is a land registry form where we can transfer the property ownership to the tenant or government !

  • icon

    So many landlords will now sell up.
    No fixed term tenancies.
    No Section 21.
    Must let to benefit tenants who cannot afford the rent.
    Must let to tenants with pets.
    Must repay rent to tenants who refuse to ventilate and cause condensation mould.

    Polly Bleat is ecstatic so this must be bad for landlords. Sell now to avoid the rush.

    Kristjan Byfield

    Only Landlords who panic will sell up. Over 80% of tenancies are ended by tenants- this will not change. Tenants don't want to leave after a few weeks (and most couldn't afford to). S21 is mainly used by Landlords for protected reasons- as long as S8 grounds are strengthened there will be little difference here. You won't be allowed to auto-decline benefit- but if they don't have the resources to pay the required rent (Many councils only offering 30% below market rate) then you have a legitimate reason to decline. Let's with pets has good and and sides to it- but any comprehensive tenancy agreement will cover the risks associated with this. Time to start adopting sensors within properties monitoring moisture- this can flag issues caused by leaks, damp and poor ventilation- an alert can trigger an inspection to document conditions. As with all of this, the reality will be in the details and how these policies take shape over the next 6-9 months.


    No, Kristjan, yet again you are simply wrong.

    I am not panicking, I am simply fed up with seeing all the power put into tenants hands and away from landlords. My properties are in excellent condition and do not have damp problems, except when tenants do not ventilate.

    There will be, in the next two years, three less properties available for tenants. How many more will be sold before you stop accusing landlords of panicking?


    See my comment below as to how I believe landlords should deal with mould issues. Heating a property to 22 degrees to counter-mould is not cost-effective. Ditch your single glazed windows, and provide double glazing with vent holes, simple. You can't expect renters to open their windows in -2,. It's idiotic, and an excuse that landlords have leant on for way too long. Don't like it? install new windows, raise your rental price and act like a "proper" businessman. Your whinging is transparent in that you have dealt with all of these issues. Get a good lawyer, or move out of the property sector, it's obviously too much for you.


    @ pet owning renter

    I hate to disappoint you, actually no I don't, I enjoy disappointing you. All bar one of my properties are double glazed and have good heating. The one that isn't is listed and cannot have doube glazed windows,

    Whingers like you are the reason landlords are selling at a good profit. All bar one of my tenants in over twenty years have left to either buy property or relocate. Only one had a S21 and I just feel sorry for you and your pets. Just to upset you further, where it has been permitted, I have allowed pets since I have pets myself.

    Now go away and rant somewhere else.

    Keep on ranting POR. you are just proving my point. You are talking rap with a silent C as usual. Just FYI a recent tenant was on benfits and had a dog, So sorry to spoil yourn preconceived rantings about landlords.


    The only whinging I see, are you mitigating responsibilities through greed. It speaks volumes. Why do you not like renting to someone who is on benefits? What are your preconceived views of someone who has had to go on benefits through no fault of their own and have to find and struggle to find a property (and no I am not on benefits!) What temperature do you see as sufficient to heat your home to? And fortunately for you, I don't rise to middle-aged, prehistoric, derogatory, old-world thinking.

    Kristjan Byfield

    There won't be 3 fewer properties to rent- there will be 3 fewer properties to rent from you. With rents on an upward trajectory, and likely to be driven higher by this, the wise will stay put and reap the rewards. Ever climbing yields.


    Wrong again as usual, Kristjan. They will be sold to owner occupiers so no, they will not be available to rent.

    Wait till rent caps come in, then see who is wise.

    UPDATE FOR Kristjan - what is it like being the font of all wisdom.

    If you read my posts, you will see, but obviously not understand - comprehension of a viewpoint contrary to yours being impossible, I am fed up with the attacks by Shelter, government and people like you who imply you are the wise ones. I am now very fed up with this latest attack on decent landlords. Enjoy your view from your ivory tower.

    Kristjan Byfield

    Every country with rent controls has seen rents increase so, again, the landlords that hold will be the ones that are the happiest. If you hate it so much and are so fed up why keep doing it? Life's too short to do something you hate. I couldn't have my life revolve around something I took an eternally negative view of.

  • icon

    I do wonder if any of the 'consultants' and 'experts' have ever worked in agency or been a PRS Landlord?

    It like management software developers never been in agency or on the 'front line' attempting to use it!!

    Good grief!!!

  • Matthew Payne

    Twaddle. It will give tenants even less choice, and make it even more expensive, and the ones that will be marginalised the most will be the ones in the greatest need. It is immensely frustrating that so many people do not understand the dynamics of how the prs works on the streets, not a scooby.

    (Mr Gove feel free to DM me and I would be happy to book some education sessions)

    Kristjan Byfield

    Agree, that many of these policies will negatively impact the very demographic they are supposed to help. Have a borderline tenancy application? Decline without the safety net of S21. Tenants want LL to repaint, supply a new sofa, etc....with no minimum term for a 'return' on this investment these will be viewed increasingly negatively.

    Matthew Payne

    Exactly, but it wont just be borderline cases, landlords will want to take their time to cherrypick from the very best tenants in the marketplace to reduce the long term risk that legislation has created, get me 10 offers so I can choose who I want, will become a standard instruction. The alpha tenants, the ones with no pets, no kids, credit scores of 750+, industries that are unlikely to be affected by a resurgence in covid, salaries of £X, the Ivan Drago of tenants. This will benefit the top 25% of tenants, and harshly marginalise everyone else.

  • icon

    Ever since the tenant fees act came in I’ve been saying that it was the first step towards government using the PRS as the solution to their own social housing crisis, and here it is in its first form. I fully appreciate, support, and understand the need for landlords to be more open minded but I don’t feel that this is the right way forward.

    What do they not understand about supply and demand? Rents are rising, in (large) part, due to lack of supply. Incentivising landlords to exit the market by removing freedom of choice will only have one effect - rents will continue to rise. I have a number of landlord clients watching this ready and waiting to exit the market. What will they then do next? Rent controls? Government have said no at this stage but that holds no water for the future.

    So it looks as though I’ll be getting lots of instructions from landlords to issue s21’s over the next 12 months. It seems we will likely have a higher number “no-fault eviction’s”, but at the hands of a government that want to stop it!

    And with smaller portfolios for agents to manage, what impact will that have on our fees I wonder, and the resulting impact on rents?

    Worrying times for the PRS, but more so for tenants who face an ever decreasing supply of quality property.

    • C S
    • 16 June 2022 09:42 AM

    Exactly this.
    Under the guise of "helping" tenants this will just drive up rents yet again by shortening supply.
    They simply cannot persist in treating the PRS as if it is social housing stock. It fixes nothing and continues to demonise PRS landlords which is a handy distraction from the massive failings of social housing (or lack thereof).

    Kristjan Byfield

    Unless councils are given vast resources to offer market-rate rental benefits payments I cant see that this is going to actually make any difference.

  • icon

    The goverment is overturning the Assured Shorthold tenancies that Margaret Thatcher brought in which gave landlords security against “sitting tenants”. Before Mrs Thatcher’s new regulations, there were very few private rental properties available because they could be lost to “sitting tenants” never able to get possession of their property, losing it ! Their value gone being sold with “sitting tenant”

    Kristjan Byfield

    Annual (justified/reasonable) rent reviews will still be permitted. Termination under re=occupation or sale will be protected. S8 strengthened. So, no, we are unlikely to see this happen.

  • Roger  Mellie

    This is why we NEED a decent industrywide referencing system that can account for problem tenants who want to cause trouble. The standard referencing is simply not enough.

    Kristjan Byfield

    Apart from tenants handled through a legal manner (i.e. courts) this won't work. Agents & LLs want bad tenants out and will not risk being stuck with a poor one by giving a totally candid review. Also, dangerous ground of allowing 'someone' to decide what constitutes a good or bad tenant. A quality reference service, combined with some social media research and in person meetings should give you a good chance to weed out the bad apples. I know some LLs & Agents that insist on visiting the tenants current home (if relatively local) before granting a tenancy. Not something I'd do- but I do get it.

  • Matthew Payne

    The detail has just been published. ww.gov.uk/government/publications/a-fairer-private-rented-sector/a-fairer-private-rented-sector

  • Andrew Stanton PROPTECH-PR A Consultancy for Proptech Founders

    As Gove will no longer be in his present levelling up position by November, maybe his succesor will legislate for 'rogue' landlords to have a one way flight to Rwanda, that seems to bea popular fix at present.


    Now that is an idea, but tenants in arrears go to Rwanda.

  • Andrew Stanton PROPTECH-PR A Consultancy for Proptech Founders

    And yes agree with comment above - Gove does seem to have cribbed the Shelter handbook - as they say, very little original thought under the sun. And even less with the present Housing secretary.

  • icon

    As far as I can tell from having read the preliminary released guidance, is that renters, will simply need to provide insurance to cover any potential damages. As a pet owner, this is something I am prepared to do. However, what I am not prepared to do, is to bend over backwards to provide security for the landlord, whilst simultaneously providing a 6 months deposit. If landlords decide to sell up, they will be selling a depreciated market, in the latter half of 2022. All the fool them! 😂 As far as people on benefits go, they receive a fixed income every month to pay for their rent, so I haven't ever understood why their situation offends landlords so much, and it is total and utter discrimination. As for all the landlords up in here saying that mould and damp issues are down to tenant issues, I urge you ALL to rethink single-glazed windows in properties and provide a subsidy when a tenant has to heat a cold, drafty house with sash windows. I have heard many landlords say they manage their property well. I guess that's why our downstairs window is held together with gaffa tape, and the landlord said this is "sufficient" then, is it? Utter cod wash. more power to the renter. Don't like it? Sell up for cheap and get out the market.

    Kristjan Byfield

    You cant be asked for more than a 5-week deposit. MEES will address much of what you outline- but double-glazing is not the quick fix you think. We have lots of modern, well-insulated properties but mould can still be caused by tenant conduct. Your gaffa tape example is bad- but don't make the mistake of thinking that's all landlords- far from it. The aversion to benefits falls into a handful of categories- below market rent offered, rent paid in 28 day lump sums in arrears rather than calendar month in advance, council wont rehouse a tenant without eviction & if a tenant is found to have falsely (intentionally or not) claimed benefits- the landlord must refund the council and pursue the rent from the tenant through the courts. Classing it simply as discrimination is far too easy and, whilst true in some cases, is not the rationale driving 90%+ of landlords.

  • Andrew Stanton PROPTECH-PR A Consultancy for Proptech Founders

    Maybe the tenants get to fly the planes to Rwanda and the landlords get a one way ticket - as tenants of the future are going to have to be very rich to be tenants, as landlords take advantage of a diminishing amount of housing stock in the PRS and rents go ever skyward. The idea institutional landlords do it better than the average landlord with 1.7 properties in their portfolio is madness, just look at the poor housing stock in the housing associations.


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