The head of the Property Redress Scheme, Sean Hooker, will lead a free webinar tomorrow to discuss the “A fairer private rented sector” White Paper and its impact on tenants’ rights.
The White Paper sets out the government’s long-term vision to “deliver a better deal for tenants”. Proposals include increasing notice periods for rent increases, outlawing bans on renting to families with children or those on benefits, and giving tenants the right to keep pets.
Hooker said: “Letting agents and landlords are still waiting for further details on these proposals laid out in the white paper, with those we’ll be discussing in the webinar being prime examples. The continued lack of clarity around each of the proposals in the Renters’ Reform Bill and the lack of a set timeline for their proposal is only creating uncertainty for the sector. The Government must provide more guidance soon, or risk more landlords leaving the private rented sector.”
Hooker and Sherlock will discuss the full spectrum of White Paper, including the government’s plans to end the use of rent review clauses, making “No DDS” illegal, and potential action being taken to support other vulnerable groups that may struggle to access PRS accommodation, such as prison leavers.
The webinar will also look into the government’s intention to ensure landlords do not unreasonably withhold consent when a tenant requests to have a pet in their home, and the government’s amendment to the Tenant Fees Act 2019 to include pet insurance as a permitted payment.
In Goodlord and Vouch’s recent State of the Lettings Industry Report, 40% of agents said they expected the new rules on allowing pets in lets to have a negative impact on the private rented sector.
Sherlock commented: “Tenants absolutely should not be discriminated against when applying for a property, which makes the decision to outlaw bans on families and those on benefits a no-brainer.
“The proposals for rent reviews and allowing pets in lets, however, require more thought - section 13 of the Housing Act 1988 already covers rent increases for periodic tenancies, although it is not well utilised.
“Similarly, while we agree tenants should be able to keep pets where the property is suitable, there needs to be further clarity on how the insurance element of this policy would work. I look forward to hearing Sean’s thoughts on these proposals on Thursday.”
Agents can register for the free webinar on Thursday 20th October at 10am by clicking here.