I welcomed the introduction of the Renters (Reform) Bill in May this year and am confident it will help create a fairer rental market in England. The legislation will see tenants protected from revenge evictions and rogue landlords, and landlords given greater powers to evict anti-social tenants.
It is the Government's intention to abolish Section 21 'no fault' evictions, which I recognise can deter tenants from challenging poor practice or unfair rent increases in fear they will be forced out of their home. I believe that moving to a fairer tenancy structure where all assured tenancies will become periodic will create more security for tenants, without compromising the flexibility which attracts many to the private rented sector.
I also support measures in the Bill to introduce more comprehensive possession grounds so landlords can still recover their property, including where they wish to sell their property or move in close family. I believe these are important steps in the absence of Section 21, to ensure landlords have the peace of mind that they can regain their property when their circumstances change or tenants do not fulfil their obligations.
The Renters (Reform) Bill will give tenants the right to request a pet in their home, which the landlord must consider and cannot unreasonably refuse. While it is not possible to legislate for every situation where a landlord would or would not be able to 'reasonably' refuse a pet, landlords will be required to fully consider all requests for pets on a case-by-case basis.
These changes come in addition to new powers to create a Private Rented Sector Ombudsman which will provide fair, impartial, and binding resolutions to many issues in the sector. The Ombudsman will allow tenants to seek redress for free, where their landlord has failed to deal with a legitimate complaint about their tenancy. The Government will also set up a Private Rented Property Portal which will increase transparency and the information available to tenants before they decide to rent a property.
I believe that these reforms will benefit both tenants and landlords, and I look forward to discussing this legislation in more detail as it continues its way through Parliament.