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Renters Reform Bill Shelved As Parliament Dissolves

As we approached the end of May, we were surprised by the announcement of a snap general election. A damp and dreary Rishi Sunak delivered the news outside Number 10 on a very rainy day.

The sudden change has caused several legal bills to be dropped as Parliament went through the “wash up” process before dissolving on May 30th, with the election set for July 4th.

The primary bill affecting both landlords and tenants, which I have written about several times, is that of The Renters Reform Bill.

The Bill Summary 

Here is a reminder of the original proposals floated in Michael Gove’s white paper, early on in the second quarter of the 2023: 

  • Abolishing section 21 “no fault” evictions. 
  • A move to periodic tenancies and the removal of assured short-hold tenancies. 
  • Strengthening section 8 grounds – particularly for anti-social tenants. 
  • Reforming the courts process – with new digital processes to reduce delays. 
  • A new ombudsman and digital Property Portal. 
  • Further legal rights for tenants to request a pet in their rental property - with tenants expected to get pet insurance or to pay for the landlord’s pet damage insurance. 
  • Applying the Decent Homes Standard to the Private Rented Sector for the first time. 
  • Stopping landlords and agents from issuing blanket bans on tenants on benefits, or with families. 
  • Strengthening enforcement powers for councils.

Expected Manifestos 

Either way, it’s expected that the bill will resurface post-election, though it may look a bit different. If there is another Conservative majority, the bill will likely reappear in a similar format, depending on the opinion of the housing minister at the time. 

Labour, on the other hand, is leaning towards specific measures of their own. A recent report suggested the following key measures:

  • More flexible planning codes to allow for easier development and improve the speed of building. 
  • National Landlords Register to improve standards. 
  • Removal of Section 21 (no fault evictions). 
  • Rent Stabilisation measures (as opposed to full controls) 
  • Measures and incentives to stop Landlords moving to other sectors. 

These points might not be fully expected policy proposals but are certainly recommendations being discussed by the party. The full report is here:

https://labourlist.org/2024/05/labour-party-housing-policy-private-rented-sector-review-stephen-cowan/?amp

As always, if you would like to discuss what this means in further detail, or you would like some support, reach out to me directly on my email: [email protected]Interested in attending our next landlord seminar? We are holding this on Thursday 15th August 2024 at Worcester City FC, Claines Lane, Worcester you can register by visiting: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/nicol-co-landlord-event-tickets-895074350477?aff=oddtdtcreator