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Government to boldly go on ten-year PRS mission

‘Levelling up’, as envisaged by the Government, requires abolition of Section 21 grounds for possession and cracking down on ‘rogue landlords’.

This became clear in launch thus week of the Government flagship Levelling up the United Kingdom white paper.

The ‘recipe for a new Industrial Revolution’ will include moves to boost productivity, pay, jobs and living standards, to spread opportunities and improve public services, to transfer power to local leaders, and to ‘restore a sense of Community, local pride and belonging’.

The latter is one of five ten-year missions and includes the ambition that by 2030 renters will have a secure path to ownership with increasing numbers of first-time buyers in all areas. At the same time, the number of non-decent rented homes will have fallen by 50 per cent ‘with the biggest improvements in the lowest performing areas’.

Promised policy initiatives include building more new homes, ‘including more genuinely affordable social housing’ and ‘a drive on housing quality’.

The white paper promises to ‘introduce new legislation to improve the quality and regulation of social housing, give residents performance information so that they can hold their landlord to account and ensure that when residents make a complaint, landlords take quick and effective action to put things right’.

The Government’s promised rent reform legislation, billed as ‘a landmark white paper’ will be published in the spring.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said the Government will set out its plan for requiring all homes in the Private Rented Sector to meet a minimum standard – the Decent Homes Standard. Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions will be abolished, ‘ending the unfair situation where renters can be kicked out of their homes for no reason’.

The Government will also consult on introducing a landlords register, and ‘will set out plans for a crackdown on rogue landlords – making sure fines and bans stop repeat offenders leaving renters in terrible conditions’.