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Landlords may be forced to rent properties to those on benefits

Under new government plans to overhaul the buy-to-let sector, landlords will be forced to rent to people on benefits and to reimburse tenants whose homes are not up to scratch.

In what’s been named “the biggest shake-up of the private rented sector in 30 years”, landlords will have to repay rent to tenants if homes do not meet minimum standards. According to the Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper, blanket bans on renting to tenants on benefits or to families with children will be outlawed.

The Government will also bring about its 2019 election manifesto promise to abolish Section 21 “no-fault” evictions into law in the Renters Reform Bill, which will make it harder for landlords to gain repossession of their properties unless they can prove tenant, 'wrongdoing.'

However, the Government has said landlords will be given new protections to regain possession of their properties in cases involving anti-social tenants. It is billing the White Paper as a “new deal” for renters as part of its levelling-up agenda and support for the current cost of living crisis.

Ministers have proposed all rental properties meet the benchmark that is in place for the social rental sector, the Decent Homes Standard. It means homes must be free from serious health and safety hazards and be clean and usable. Tenants will be able to take their landlords to court to seek rent repayments if homes do not meet the required standard.

All tenants will move away from fixed-term tenancies to a system of periodic tenancies – which are rolling tenancies with no fixed end date. They will only end if the landlord has a valid reason or the tenant decides to terminate the agreement.

Tenants will also get stronger powers to contest rent rises and new rights to be allowed to keep pets in rental properties, which landlords will not be able to refuse without good reason.


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