UK Government introduces rental amendments to ban ‘no DSS’ and ‘no children’ policies
The UK Government has introduced amendments to the Renters (Reform) Bill to ban discriminatory ‘no DSS’ and ‘no children’ policies by private landlords and agents, aiming to ensure fairer access to rental housing for families and benefit recipients.
These changes will apply throughout England and Wales, with further extensions planned for Scotland.
Despite the prohibition on blanket bans, landlords will maintain the authority to conduct affordability checks to ensure tenancies are sustainable.
The integration of the Decent Homes Standard (DHS) into the private rented sector marks another significant stride, mandating a safe, warm, and acceptable quality of living for all tenants. Following further consultations, the DHS will be finalised, targeting a 50% reduction in non-decent rental homes by 2030.
Housing Secretary Michael Gove has stressed the importance of providing safe and decent homes for everyone, and this move is a critical step towards that goal.
The new measures will empower local authorities with stronger enforcement tools, such as imposing fines or banning orders on landlords who fail to meet standards. Tenants will also gain the ability to claim back up to two years of rent in cases of severe non-compliance.
Having been laid before Parliament, the amendments will now be scrutinised during the Committee stage of the Bill, indicating a move towards a more equitable housing system. The Renters (Reform) Bill promises extensive protections for tenants, including the elimination of ‘no fault’ evictions, rights to pet ownership, and a newly established Ombudsman for efficient dispute resolution.
These reforms are part of a broader housing agenda, which includes expediting the planning system to meet the housing demands and preferences of communities across the UK.
Guy Gittins,Foxtons CEO:
“The vast majority of landlords provide high quality rental accommodation and so for those already operating above board it remains business as usual.
“However, it’s promising to see the Government’s intent to crack down on rogue landlords. This will not only ensure that everyone has the same chance to secure a rental home, but that when they do, the home they are provided with is fit for purpose.
“We need the Government to continue to progress the Renter Reform Bill so that we can move past this period of uncertainty and protect tenants’ access to decent homes while avoiding pushing private landlords out of the rental market, in the face of London’s critical need for supply.”
Sam Reynolds, CEO of Zero Deposit:
“Today’s news will be viewed as a step in the right direction for tenants and landlords alike. It’s good to see the Government has finally heard our calls to improve standards within the rental sector.
“Not only does this mean tenants will benefit from an improved standard of living, but legitimate landlords who do work tirelessly to provide quality rental accommodation will no longer have to compete against those who cut corners in order to maximise their profit margins. This has to be good for the industry.
“But this falls considerably short in creating remedy’s to core issues within the market; such as a lack of available lettings stock which is driving up average rents and providing stimulus for landlords to invest in growing the PRS.”
Marc von Grundherr,director of Benham and Reeves:
“Any move to improve rental market standards is, of course, very welcome indeed.
“However, it does seem a tad ironic that the Government believes they are waging war on rogue landlords, given they are arguably the cause of the issue to begin with.
“Having battered buy-to-let profitability in recent years through numerous legislative changes, the Government has caused many legitimate landlords to exit the sector. This has inevitably led to a reduction in the level of high quality rental accommodation available to tenants, leaving the door open for rogue landlords to capitalise on their desperation to find a property.”