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Government promises a ‘New Deal for Renters’

27 June 2022

After a long three-year wait, the government finally released its “New Deal for Renters”, the fairer private rented sector whitepaper, last week.

1.7 million Disabled people in the UK are renting privately. And with recent investigations by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism highlighting huge inequalities and barriers faced by Disabled people in housing, the paper was highly anticipated by many of us.

Key measures of the whitepaper include:

  • Abolishing ‘no-fault’ Section 21 Evictions, this had previously allowed a landlord to evict their tenant with just two months’ notice without having to give them a reason
  • A shift from predominantly six to twelve-month tenancies to open-ended ones to provide renters with more security
  • A new Private Renters’ Ombudsman will be created to enable disputes between private renters and landlords to be settled quickly, at low cost, and without going to court
  • A blanket ban on Ban on landlords refusing to rent to people claiming benefits
  • The right to have a pet which landlords cannot “unreasonably deny”

Bethany Bale, Policy Officer at DR UK, said:

“Disabled people across Britain have been waiting for a restoration of their housing rights for more than 30 years. Although we welcome the abolition of Section 21 and the blanket ban to stop landlords from refusing to rent to those claiming benefits, we are still awaiting changes that would make the private rented system fairer and more accessible for Disabled people.

We will be paying close attention to this bill as it moves through parliament. As it stands, the whitepaper does not mention improving access to the disabled facilities grant or any new regulation to support Disabled people to access the adaptations they need. Disabled people will have to continue to wait for the basic changes to our homes, which would enable us to live independently and safely.”