The government’s Levelling Up White Paper, released this morning, will bring in a radical reform of the private rental sector (PRS).

New legislation will include:

  • Scrapping of Section 21 notice.
  • Properties in the private rental sector will have to meet a new minimum Decent Homes Standard.
  • A national register of landlords may be launched subject to the findings of a new consultation.
  • More will be done to help get renters on to the housing ladder.
  • There will be as greater focus on creating more affordable social housing.

The changes to the PRS are included with other far reaching measures which the government states will “transform the UK by spreading opportunity and prosperity to all parts of it” and “shift government focus and resources to Britain’s forgotten communities throughout the 2020s.”

The White Paper details ‘12 Missions to Level Up the UK’ to be achieved by 2030.

Mission number 10 states ‘By 2030, 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.’

To see all twelve missions follow the link below:

Housing Secretary Michael Gove says the removal of Section 21 will “end the unfair situation where renters can be kicked out of their homes for no reason.” Many landlord groups have requested new grounds or reforms to existing grounds for repossession but the Whiter Paper does not contain any such changes.

The legislation will introduce a requirement that all homes in the private rental sector will have to meet a minimum standard to be known as the Decent Homes Standard. A Decent Homes Standard currently exists which is a technical standard for public housing.

The government will also consult on introducing a national landlords register and will set out plans for a crackdown on rogue landlords. The intention is that fines and bans will stop repeat offenders.

The government is keen to boost home ownership and will launch a new £1.5 billion Levelling Up Home Building Fund. The fund will provide loans to small and medium sized developers and support the government’s wider regeneration agenda in areas considered a priority for levelling up.

There are also changes to how government funding for housing supply is distributed which has previously focussed on affordability and this has been seen to favour the South East. With the proposed changes, funding will instead be diverted to transforming brownfield sites in the North and Midlands.

The government is also committing to build what it calls “a more genuinely affordable social housing” and a new Social Housing Regulation Bill will be introduced.

A noticeable omission is any mention of a lifetime deposit scheme which was part of a recent consultation.