New housing laws on the horizon for England in 2022

Housing Law is ever changing, and 2022 is going to be no different. 

During the Queen’s Speech, delivered on 10 May 2022, it was confirmed three bills that will impact social housing will be brought before parliament in the coming months – the Renters Reform Bill, the Social Housing Regulation Bill and the Levelling up and Regeneration Bill. 

The Renters Reform Bill will: 

  • Repeal Section 21 Housing Act (HA) 1988, which will abolish ‘no fault’ evictions; 
  • reform the other grounds for possession; 
  • make the Decent Homes Standard legally binding in the private rented sector; 
  • introduce a new ombudsman for private renting; and 
  • establish a new property portal.

The Social Housing Regulation Bill will: 

  • Aim to increase social housing tenant’s rights to better homes and enhance their ability to hold landlords to account; 
  • enable the Regulator of Social Housing to inspect, at only 48 hours’ notice should a social landlord be performing poorly on consumer issues, such the decency of homes.  
  • ensure the Regulator of Social Housing will be empowered to arrange emergency repairs of tenants’ homes following a survey where there is evidence of systemic failure by the landlord.  
  • ensure there are unlimited fines on social landlord if they fail to meet required standards; 
  • create new tenant satisfaction measures to allow tenants to see how their landlord is performing compared to other social landlords ; and 
  • give social landlord tenants a right to request information from their landlord in a similar way to how the Freedom of Information Act 2000 works for tenants of council landlords. 

In terms of social housing, the Levelling up and Regeneration Bill will: 

  • Increasing certainly in planning decisions and improvements to the application process; 
  • Introduce a new Infrastructure Levy which will replace Section 106; 
  • Introduce a new section 73B in the Town and Country Planning Act, expanding the existing powers under sections 73 and 96A to vary or remove planning conditions attached to grants of planning permission and make non-material amendments to a planning permission, respectively.

There was also mention of further Leasehold Reforms in the future, beyond the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022. The government said it was committed to a reform programme going forward and it is expected this will include changes to make it easier for a leaseholder to extend their lease and or purchase the freehold, improving transparency in services charges and options on enfranchisement.   

Law is correct as of 6th June 2022 

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure that the law in this article is correct, it is intended to give a general overview of the law for educational purposes. You are respectfully reminded that it is not intended to be a substitute for specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. No liability is accepted for any error or omission contained herein. 

Contact us, we are here to help

If you need any advice related to the up-and-coming changes mentioned here, please contact our expert Social Housing team who will be happy to help.