The government has launched its much-anticipated and wide-ranging Levelling Up White Paper including a landlord register, abolishing Section 21 evictions, a national ‘decent homes standards’ and a crackdown on rogue landlords.
These proposals, which have been issued jointly by Michael Gove and Boris Johnson, will include 12 initiatives that, somewhat optimistically given the current administration’s woes, are to last ten years.
This includes the biggest shift of power and government spending from Whitehall to local leaders in modern times with everywhere to get ‘London style’ powers and a mayor.
The 2030 ‘missions’ also promise improvements to regional transport and 5G networks, a clutch of new ‘innovation centres’ and local education upgrades, as well as more government funds to upgrade shabby high streets, reduce crime and restore local pride, including many already consulted-on proposals to improve the PRS.
This includes a proposal that homes in the PRS will have to meet a minimum standard – the Decent Homes Standard.
Also, Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions will further be abolished, ending the unfair situation where renters can be kicked out of their homes for no reason.
Ministers will also consult on introducing a controversial landlords register and will set out plans for a crackdown on rogue landlords – making sure fines and bans stop repeat offenders leaving renters in terrible conditions.
By 2030, more renters will have a secure path to ownership with the number of first-time buyers increasing in all areas; and the government’s ambition is for the number of non-decent rented homes to have fallen by 50%, with the biggest improvements in the lowest-performing areas.
“Not everyone shares equally in the UK’s success,” says Gove.
“For decades, too many communities have been overlooked and undervalued.
“As some areas have flourished, others have been left in a cycle of decline. The UK has been like a jet firing on only one engine.
“Levelling up and this White Paper is about ending this historic injustice and calling time on the postcode lottery.”
“Everyone wants to see a crackdown on rogue landlords and safe and secure private rented homes, but additional standards are meaningless unless they are enforced, says Timothy Douglas, Propertymark’s Head of Policy and Campaigns.
“What’s key for ‘levelling up’ the private rented sector is ensuring that local authorities have the staff and resources needed to actively go out, inspect properties and prosecute.
“Abolishing Section 21 has been talked about for a while now by the UK Government but what agents want to know is what will replace it to maintain confidence in the market for landlords.
“Propertymark believes the only workable alternative is to strengthen all grounds for possession and make them all mandatory – this is in-keeping with the spirit of the UK Government’s intentions as tenant’s won’t be evicted unless they have been provided with good reason to do so.
“We await further details but additional commitments from the UK Government to build more genuinely affordable social housing is important because the long-term solution to address the lack of affordability in the private rented sector is to ensure that more social housing is built to reduce housing need.”