Industry expert says the Renters (Reform) Bill faces uncertain future

Industry expert says the Renters (Reform) Bill faces uncertain future

0:03 AM, 2nd January 2024, About 5 months ago 4

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The government’s flagship legislation for the private rented sector (PRS), the Renters (Reform) Bill, is still in limbo, with many amendments and challenges ahead, says one industry expert.

Neil Cobbold, the managing director of PayProp UK, says the Bill, has faced delays and opposition from various parties and is unlikely to become law before the next General Election, which is widely expected to be held in May 2024.

The Bill has already undergone more than 140 pages of amendments, most of them from the government itself, but also 26 from Labour.

Changes to the Renters (Reform) Bill

Some of the key changes to the Renters (Reform) Bill include:

  • Scrapping Section 21 evictions, which allow landlords to evict tenants without a reason, subject to improvements in the court system.
  • Allowing student landlords to regain possession after the academic year, but only for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), not purpose-built student accommodation.
  • Adopting the Decent Homes Standard in the PRS, which sets minimum standards for social housing, and giving local authorities enforcement powers.
  • Giving housing authorities tougher investigative powers, such as entering business premises without a warrant and requiring landlords and agents to provide information where there has been a possible breach of PRS regulations.
  • Allowing the First-tier Tribunal to make an order against superior landlords, holding them liable for the behaviour of a rent-to-rent company, and asking them to pay back up to two years of rent.
  • Making it illegal to discriminate against benefit claimants or tenants with children.

‘Suggest amendments to the Bill’

Mr Cobbold asks: “So, where does all this leave the legislation? MPs will have an opportunity in 2024 to suggest amendments to the Bill when it returns to the Commons for its third reading, so if you want to see changes now is the best opportunity to voice your opinion.

“However, with time running out before the next election, there is a risk that the Bill is rushed through without the changes it needs to provide a fair and transparent PRS that works for landlords, agents and tenants.”

He adds: “But perhaps the bigger challenge facing the industry is what happens if it doesn’t receive royal assent soon, as whoever wins the next election will want to revisit rental reform before too long.”

“Either way, PRS reform looks to be top of the political agenda for 2024.”

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11:16 AM, 2nd January 2024, About 5 months ago

It’s becoming impossible to be a LL - constant flow of new regulations - five figure fines - rent repayments - S21 going. It’ll be the Gallows next!


12:47 PM, 2nd January 2024, About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by LaLo at 02/01/2024 - 11:16
It will probably not stop at the Gallows, then surely your property will be confiscated for the common good and Generation rent, Shelter and Ms Rayner will all live happily ever after!!

Paddy O'Dawes

15:38 PM, 2nd January 2024, About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Stella at 02/01/2024 - 12:47
In extremis after multiple enforcement notices perhaps that is what should happen. However it needs to be balanced which would mean any tenant who takes a property and immediately doesn't pay rent should face criminal charges under obtaining goods or services by deception. Especially where false details/references etc have been used which should allow removal as squatters etc or possession immediately. Then the court can chase unpaid arrears under a fraud charge with the threat of a contempt charge. Reform has to work both ways.

Accommodate-UK Ltd

18:24 PM, 6th January 2024, About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Paddy O'Dawes at 02/01/2024 - 15:38
Dreamland - Present Civil Court system overcome. Criminal court useles and clogged

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