Three years later, tenancy reform is still on
As a new session of Parliament begins, the government has renewed its commitment to create a fairer rental market. As well as plans to abolish Section 21 no-fault evictions - first announced in 2019, the latest version of the Renters Reform Bill looks likely to introduce a landlord register.Read more
Government signs up to national landlord register
After an eight-year campaign, today we heard that the government will bring in a register of landlords in England as part of its levelling up agenda.
The Times reported this morning that the Housing Secretary Michael Gove will also raise minimum standards that private rented homes have to meet in line with those in the social sector. The Mirror has also covered the story - you don't have to register to read theirs.Read more
Licensing schemes protect tenants - so let's do more
The licensing of rented properties makes it much easier for tenants to enforce their rights. It also helps to tackle criminal landlords.Read more
It just got easier to tackle criminal landlords in London
- It is estimated that one in seven homes in England is criminally unsafe - but the good news is it just got easier for tenants in London to do something about this. Sadiq Khan has today brought in a tool for renters to check if their home needs a licence.
Local councils are responsible for identifying and putting a stop to criminal landlords. In some cases, tenants can even claim rent back from a landlord who breaks the law.
But councils are not doing much to help renters identify illegal practice and exercise their rights which means that many landlords are getting away with criminal behaviour.Read more
We need a national register of landlords - here's why
Right now, the private rented sector is a wild west which at best costs a fortune for somewhere you can’t call a home and at its worst is dangerously unsafe. In fact, it’s so unregulated that right now the government doesn’t actually know how many landlords are out there.Read more
Finding out if your landlord is a criminal
There are now three live government consultations that could help to reshape the private rental market.
One is on reforming tenancy deposits (deadline for responses 2 September), the second is on abolishing Section 21 evictions (deadline 12 October) and the third, announced last Sunday as well, proposes giving tenants access to a government database of criminal landlords.Read more
55 people living in 3 homes. Fifty five.
Just when you thought you'd heard all the horror stories that the housing crisis had to offer, Barking & Dagenham Council raises the stakes. In raids yesterday morning with police, council officers found 55 people living in three houses, including 11 children.
Two of the homes had three bedrooms, but residents were crammed into every space possible, including a loft and a shed at the third property.Read more
The government's immigration folly overshadows good work to tackle rogue landlords
Today the government announced a raft of measures that will be in the Housing Bill that being is being prepared for Parliament later this year.
Sadly much of the focus was on the extension of the duty to all landlords to check the immigration status of their tenants. We’ve already expressed our opposition to this policy elsewhere, but it is particularly galling that this is being taken forward when there has been no public analysis of the West Midlands ‘pilot scheme’, and other groups have seen cases of it increasing discrimination in lettings.
Despite this policy dominating the headlines, though, the Department for Communities and Local Government has also announced more welcome plans to improve the systems for tackling rogue landlords.Read more
Bills announced to reform private renting
Parliament has announced the 20 Private Member's Bills that are being introduced today, and they include three on housing.
Karen Buck, MP for Westminster North, has introduced the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill, which will amend a law from the 1980s to ensure that rented properties meet certain standards. We think this is a huge opportunity to give tenants the protection they need from unscrupulous landlords and agents - and finally bring renting into the 21st century. Karen is a longtime campaigner on housing so we'll work hard to support her as she takes the Bill through Parliament.Read more
Met appeal to trace bogus landlord
At least six renters in London have been ripped off to the tune of £30,000 since April by a fraudster posing as a landlord.
The Met Police have issued an alert today for information to catch the suspect, pictured below, and have asked members of the public to call 101 and quote reference 1217609/15.