Rent Reforms: UK Minister Promises Speedier Repossession
Housing Minister Rachel Maclean guarantees landlords that the courts will deal with repossession cases quicker as part of the government’s rent reforms going through Parliament.
The minister told a Tory Conference fringe event in Manchester that courts will process possession claims faster when the Renters (Reform) Bill becomes law.
After months of delay, Housing Secretary Michael Gove has promised this week that the bill will get a second reading before Christmas, which should give Tories ample time to see the bill through to the statute book before Prime Minister Rishi Sunak calls the next general election.
Housing court scrapped
However, MacLean also told the conference that plans for a new housing court included in the bill have been scrapped.
“Many people have lobbied me and said we need a housing court for landlords and tenants,” she said. “I don’t think that’s the answer because if we introduced dedicated courts for evictions and other property-related disputes, we’d have to divert resources from other justice system areas.
“I do agree that one of the major issues good landlords worry about is whether, should they have a terrible tenant, they are going to get rid of them through the courts.”
She added that these concerns would be eased by the new grounds for possession within the Renters (Reform) Bill, claiming only one per cent of evictions reach the courts.
How to Rent guide updated
Meanwhile, the government has published the latest edition of the How To Rent guide explaining how the new Housing Loss Prevention Service should work.
Landlords must issue the guide to new tenants or when a tenancy renews. Failing to hand over an up-to-date copy could mean the landlord loses the right to start Section 21 no-fault eviction proceedings.
The Housing Loss Prevention Service (HLPAS), which went live in August, offers tenants facing eviction free legal advice on rent arrears, housing repair problems, eviction, debt, and benefits.
The new service replaces the Housing Possession Court Duty Service.
Note: The Tenancy Builder automatically includes the latest version of the How to Rent Guide.
Renters (Reform) Bill FAQ
What is the Renters (Reform) Bill?
The Renters (Reform) Bill is a major shake-up of the private rental market in England. The bill introduces a series of changes, including abolishing Section 21 no-fault evictions, creating a national land database and upgrading tenancy agreements to open-ended rolling contracts.
What is a Section 21 no-fault eviction?
Section 21 evictions refer to the process a landlord must follow to possess a property when the tenant has not broken the terms of the tenancy agreement. The grounds for such evictions are listed under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.
What’s the relationship between Rachel MacLean and Michael Gove?
Both politicians work at the Department for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities. MacLean is Housing Minister, while Gove is in charge of the departments.
Can landlords ask HLPAS for advice?
No, the Housing Loss Prevention Service (HLPAS) is a tenant-only service offering legal advice when tenants risk losing their homes. Landlords cannot access the service.
What is the How To Rent guide?
The How To Rent guide explains private tenant and landlord rights and obligations towards each other. Landlords must give the latest version of the guide to tenants taking on a new tenancy or renewing an older agreement.
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