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Under the skin of the letting market

Here we share news and views on both the local letting market in & around Oxfordshire and all planned and recent legislation.

Rental Reform White Paper not published until 2022

The eagerly awaited Rental Reform White Paper will now not be published until 2022, The Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has said.

The Queen’s speech in May this year included a commitment by the Government’s for rental form and the White Paper was widely understood to be due to be issued this autumn. However, more time has now been provided to allow the contributors to develop policies, review the findings of the National Audit Office’s review of regulation of the sector and to engage with the sector to enable them to produce a “balanced package of reforms”.

The White Paper will detail a reform package and a consultation period will follow before the introduction of the Renters Reform Bill. This Bill, which would see some of the biggest changes in the private rented sector for decades, proposes:

  • Removing Section 21 of the Housing Act to end ‘no fault’ evictions and reforming grounds for possession
  • Giving landlords more rights to regain possession
  • Introducing lifetime deposits, which move with the tenant from property to property
  • Widening the scope for entries on the rogue landlord and agent database

Any removal of Section 21 would need to be replaced with comprehensive grounds upon which landlords can legitimately repossess properties and court reform to ensure that possession orders are dealt with swiftly.

We have long been supporters of agent regulation and licensing, so we hope for a step in the right direction in 2022. The aim to drive out bad landlords is to be supported, but care needs to be taken and we hope that the extra time provides space to get these reforms right. The Government must take care not to push landlords out of the sector, or discourage landlords from investing as a further reduction of supply would cause real issues.

Published October 2021