The Renters Reform Bill will also end blanket bans on benefit claimants or families with children.
Landlords are to be prevented from evicting tenants in England without giving a reason, under proposals published in a government White Paper.
The Renters Reform Bill will also end blanket bans on benefit claimants or families with children – and landlords must consider requests to allow pets.
Housing charity Shelter called it a “game-changer”.
But landlords associations said the government must ensure the changes would not worsen the housing crisis.
Of all the private renters leaving accommodation in 2019 and 2020, 8% had been asked to go by their landlord, the government said.
- No-fault evictions are already banned in Scotland for tenancies starting after 1 December 2017
- The Welsh government says no-fault-eviction notice periods will be extended to six months by the end of 2022
- Legislation to extend the notice period for tenancies is going through the Northern Ireland Assembly
Evicted from her Brighton home of six years, after complaining about her central heating that had been faulty for 18 months, Naomi, 59, was “devastated”.
“Last winter, when I told my landlord my central heating wasn’t working properly, she told me she was handing the tenancy management to a letting agent. I was confused but thought no more of it,” Naomi said.
“But a couple of months later, in March, I received a Section 21 [no-fault] eviction notice, with no warning.
“I immediately had to search for a new flat – but with [me having] multiple sclerosis, there were fewer suitable properties.
“To find anywhere and not end up homeless, I had to leave my local area.”
Shelter chief executive Polly Neate said: “The Renters Reform Bill is a game-changer for England’s 11 million private renters.
“Scrapping unfair evictions will level the playing field.
“For the first time in a long time, tenants will be able to stand up to bad behaviour instead of living in fear,”
“Gone will be the days of families being uprooted and children forced to move school after being slapped with a Section 21 no-fault eviction for no good reason.”
The government has also promised tenants stronger powers to:
- challenge poor practice and unjustified rent increases
- obtain rent refunds for unhealthy, unsafe or poor quality homes.
Its Decent Homes Standard will be extended to the private sector, meaning:
- homes must be free from serious health and safety hazards
- landlords must keep homes in a good state of repair, with clean, appropriate and useable facilities
The bill will also:
- end “arbitrary” rent-review clauses, so tenants can leave poor-quality housing without being liable for the rent
- double notice periods for rent increases
- give councils stronger powers to tackle the worst landlords and increase fines for serious offences
For private landlords, the bill offers “greater clarity and support”, including:
- a private-renters’ ombudsman to settle disputes cheaply and quickly
- ensuring landlords can efficiently recover their properties from antisocial tenants
- a property portal to help landlords comply with their responsibilities and tenants understand their rights
National Residential Landlords Association chief executive Ben Beadle said: “Whilst headline commitments to strengthening possession grounds, speedier court processes and mediation are helpful, the detail to follow must retain the confidence of responsible landlords, as well as improving tenants’ rights.
“We will be analysing the government’s plans carefully to ensure they meet this test.
“A failure to do so will exacerbate the housing crisis at a time when renters are struggling to find the homes they need.”