Queens Speech 2.0: Section 21 set to be abolished
Article Posted - 19th December 2019
In the second Queen's speech in as many months, the Government's priorities for the next parliamentary session were outlined and all in all no less than 30 bills are expected to be pursued.
Included was the Renters' Reform Bill which will be introduced in order to ‘protect tenants' and provides confirmation that Section 21 will be abolished.
Other elements to be included in the Bill include:
- Reform of the current legislation to give landlords more rights when there is a legitimate need to regain possession
- Lifetime deposits will be introduced which will mean that tenants will not need to save every time they move
- The scope and access of the rogue landlords and property agents' database will be expanded to improve standards and empower tenants to make an informed decision about their renting decisions
Commitments to building safety mirrored the proposals put forward in the last Queen's speech in October.
The building safety standards legislation aims to:
- Create clear accountability for those responsible for the management and safety of high-rise buildings
- Provide residents with a stronger voice to ensure that concerns are understood and enable them to contribute to maintaining the safety of their building
- Ensure stronger enforcement and sanctions for non-compliance with the new regime
- Develop stronger and clear frameworks to ensure that construction products meet high performance standards
- Introduce a requirement for new build developers to belong to a New Homes Ombudsman.
- Foster greater collaboration between local enforcement agencies and national regulators to ensure that building safety is improved
Inline with provisions to improve building safety, a Fire Safety Bill will also be introduced and it will ensure that:
- There is clarification relating to the Fire Safety Order which will cover external walls of a building including the cladding and the fire doors in domestic premises where there is multiple occupancy
- Building owners and managers are held to account through the provision of greater enforcement powers
- Building owners, managers and Fire and Rescue Services are provided with a transition period to allow the infrastructure needed to be put in place
The speech also confirmed plans to introduce a Planning White Paper to help provide clarity, certainty and more accessible for all users, as well as, pursue leasehold reform in order to address unfair practices.
Reforms will ensure that where possible, new builds are sold as freeholds, unnecessary ground rents are removed, loopholes are closed to prevent unfair evictions and leasehold property is easier and cheaper to sell.
In other areas, broadband legislation will be introduced to unite and level up the country with a commitment to ensure that all new builds and flats are equipped with faster and reliable internet speeds. The speech also confirmed the Government's decision to increase the National Insurance threshold to £9,500 whilst freezing VAT, income tax and National Insurance rates.
Details of all the proposals within the speech can be found here.
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