The UK Government introduced significant reforms yesterday (17th May 2023) aimed at creating a fairer Private Rented Sector (PRS) for tenants and landlords and improving the system for 11 million private renters and 2.3 million landlords in the UK.
The Renters Reform Bill will fulfil the Government’s 2019 manifesto pledge to abolish Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions and lift bans on tenants claiming benefits. The objective is to combat discrimination in the rental market and improve access to private rental sector accommodation, particularly for vulnerable groups like individuals with disabilities.
Disability charities have urged the Government to seize the opportunity provided by the Renters Reform Bill to enhance access to the disabled facilities grant, establish a robust Decent Homes Standard, and implement new regulations to address the ongoing rent crisis.
The UK Housing Market exhibits significant disparities, with only 39.7% of disabled people owning their own homes in the year leading up to June 2021, compared to 53.3% of non-disabled individuals.*
The bill includes repossessions for missed rent or anti-social behaviour, making it easier for landlords to evict tenants engaged in anti-social activities or who repeatedly fail to pay rent.
The bill gives tenants the right to request pets which the landlord must consider and cannot unreasonably refuse. Landlords will also be able to require pet insurance to cover any damage to the property.
Privately Rented Property Portal
The creation of an online property portal to serve as a central hub of rental information for landlords and tenants. The portal will also support local councils to help them target enforcement activity where it is most needed.
Introduced stronger protections, by ensuring tenants can appeal excessively above market rents, designed purely to force them out the property. Landlords are still able to increase rent to market price, and if needed, an independent tribunal will make a judgement on this.
Additional improvements includes news legislation to prohibit landlords and agents from implementing blanket bans on renting to tenants who receive benefits or have children. This important change aims to prevent discrimination against families, especially those living with disabilities seeking rental properties, ensuring equal access for all.
The announcement of the Renters Reform Bill has raised some concerns, “The tighter rules implemented by the renters reform bill is likely to discourage landlords from owning or renting properties. This reduction in available properties is set to intensify the pressure in what is already a tight market, making it increasingly challenging for individuals to find suitable rentals. As a result, rental prices will skyrocket, exacerbating the issue of affordability.” warns Phill Gill, Managing Director, PLG
Accessible housing is vital for individuals with disabilities, as it enables their independence and improves their quality of life. PLG is dedicated to securing suitable rental properties for people living with disabilities, ensuring they have access to the necessary care and therapy packages that maximize their potential as quickly as possible.