Gov’t to push forward on private rental reform following Queen’s speech

Today’s Queen’s Speech, delivered by Prince Charles, highlighted private rental reform as a priority for the next parliamentary year.

Prince Charles confirmed that the Government will introduce legislation to strengthen the rights of tenants and ensure better quality, safer homes.

The Renters’ Reform BillIt, which was one of the 38 Bills outlined during the State Opening of Parliament, will abolish “no fault” Section 21 evictions and strengthen landlords’ rights of possession,

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said: “We welcome the Government’s acceptance that reforms to the rented sector need to strengthen the ability of landlords to tackle anti-social tenants and those with repeated rent arrears.

“We will continue to work to ensure that these and other grounds for possession are fair and workable.

“Whilst we support proposals for an Ombudsman to cut the number of possession cases needing to go the court, this cannot be a substitute for proper court reform as well.

“At present it can take almost a year for a private landlord to repossess a property through the courts where they have a legitimate reason to do so. This is simply not good enough.”

Paul Wootton, director of The Landlord Works, added: “We believe the reforms announced in the Queen’s Speech today will help improve private renting and ensure that people living in rented properties have a home they feel they can call their own.

“Delivering the Government’s commitment to abolish section 21 is a long awaited and positive step forward.

“To successfully deliver change, the abolition must be supported by reform of the section 8 evictions process – giving a clear list of reasons why a tenant can be evicted and court reform to ensure cases can be dealt with quickly when serious problems do arise.

“The introduction of a ‘property portal’ with landlord and property details could have positive benefits for the sector including allowing mortgage lenders to identify unregistered properties and supporting local authorities prioritise their enforcement activity.

“The private rented sector has to work effectively for the mutual good of landlords and tenants if it is to deliver good quality, safe and secure homes and these reforms are a welcome step towards that goal.”

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