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Rent reform promises more security

More housing clients of Citizens Advice Epsom & Ewell need advice about private renting than any other issue (chart below).

Whether we look at queries about rent, living conditions, deposits or threats of eviction, the private rental sector is the source of most calls for help. And after social security and financial problems, housing consistently causes most worries.

For many years experts have known that existing law* puts tenants in the sector at a disadvantage.

Above all, so-called ‘no fault evictions’ which allow landlords to force tenants out without giving a reason have caused insecurity, discontent and misery.

Now, with its Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper, the government is planning important improvements.

If the plans become law they will stop landlords:

  • Evicting tenants without a reason
  • Banning tenants who receive benefits
  • Banning families with children
  • Refusing to allow pets.

The white paper is what private renters have long been waiting for. Putting an end to no fault evictions will reduce insecurity and make private rental fairer. It’s now essential that parliament vote the reforms into law as quickly as possible.

In Epsom & Ewell, as elsewhere, a large majority of landlords treat their tenants fairly.

Not all however, and it’s notable the residential landlords association has given a guarded welcome to the reforms. We are happy to share their comment that “the detail to follow must retain the confidence of responsible landlords, as well as improving tenants’ rights”.

* The current law allows a landlord to serve the tenant with a termination notice under Housing Act 1988 (Section 21 Notice), at the end of the term, without giving a reason to take back their property.

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