Renters (Reform) Bill: Latest News - Committee Hearing Stage

With the Renters (Reform) Bill continuing its journey through Parliament, we share the latest updates.

Published under Lettings and Our blog — Feb 2024
Renters (Reform) Bill: Latest News - Committee Hearing Stage

What is the Renters (Reform) Bill?

Promising the biggest reform to the private rented sector for decades, the Renters (Reform) Bill will deliver the government’s commitment to “bring in a better deal for renters”, including abolishing ‘no fault’ evictions and reforming landlord possession grounds. It will legislate for reforms set out in the private rented sector white paper published in June 2022.

What are its key aims?

The objective of The Renters (Reform) Bill is to ensure renters have access to a secure and decent home and that landlords retain the confidence to repossess their properties where they need to.

The Bill will:

Additional measures the Government intends to legislate for include:

What’s happened since last month?

Since the December second hearing in Parliament, the Bill has now moved onto the Committee Hearing or Report Stage, where MP’s hear from experts and stakeholders from across the market, such as National Residential Landlords Association, Propertymark, Shelter, Citizens Advice, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, etc.

These Committee Hearings have now completed, and MP’s have put forward amends to the bill, with the bill to be heard for a third time, then it moves onto the Lords before receiving Royal Ascent.

Commentators are turning to the impact of an election and the impact of a change in governance, with several theories:

Option 1: conservative rushing the bill through in the last few days of parliament commonly referred to as the ‘wash up’ this is likely to need co-operation of the opposition and may need concessions.
Option 2: The bill falls/is scrapped; however, it will return in some short form (after the election) under a new government as the Conservative and Labour parties are committed to removing S21.

So what do we know?

Under the Conservative version of the legislation, Section 21 will not be removed immediately after the bill gets Royal Assent, with a proposed 6 month delay for before new assured shorthold tenancies can be created; and pre-existing assured shorthold tenancies become assured tenancies after 12 month, both losing the right to serve Section 21 notices.

In addition, Michael Gove announces that, to ensure that the courts can cope with case load, that these dates will not be set until the courts have been sufficiently reformed to cope with an increase in contested possession cases.

Whilst Labour proposed amendments would see the removal of Section 21 notices coming first, with court reform something that’s looked at after implementation.

If the Renters (Reform) Bill does receive Royal Assent in its full form before the election, much of the detailed implementation guidance will need to be fleshed out by secondary legislation, around such things like the detail in the Decent Homes Standard and what and how information would be included in the property portal etc.


The Bill’s passage can be tracked here.


Any questions?

If you have any further questions regarding the Bill, please contact your local lettings experts below.

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