What looks suspiciously like a government leak to the Daily Mail says the long-awaited Rental Reform White Paper will be unveiled tomorrow.
The Mail says it will contain a raft of radical measures including:
- tenants to have the legal right to have pets in their properties with landlords having limited powers to refuse;
- tenants to have the power to appeal against landlord or agent refusal on keeping pets;
- tenants may be expected to get appropriate pet-damage insurance;
- as expected, the Decent Homes Standard (currently applied only to social housing) will be extended to the private rental sector;
- Section 21 eviction powers for landlords and their representatives will be scrapped;
- Section 8 eviction powers will also be revised.
There is no mention in the Mail of the landlord register concept, nor of mandatory redress through an existing or new scheme - both of these ideas have been floated by the government in recent weeks.
Few other details are given in the Mail story but an unnamed government source is quoted in the paper as saying: “Not only will our new deal for renters extend the decent homes standard to the private rented sector... we’ll also give tenants a legal right to have a pet if they wish.
“Would-be pet owners are being unfairly deprived of the company and companionship of an animal by their landlords – so we’ll change the law to end this unfairness.”
Even if the White Paper - originally pledged in 2019 - is indeed introduced tomorrow, it is likely that a mix of consultation periods and having to progress through both Houses of Parliament will mean that at least some of the changes may take well over a year to come into effect.
The Mail article is here.
Perhaps predictably, the pets idea has already drawn criticism from a prominent spokesperson for the Generation Rent activist group.
Deputy director Dan Wilson Craw said on Twitter that the idea of tenants getting insurance to cover pet damage “is a bit ridiculous” because “that’s what the deposit is there for.”
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