Landlord MPs set to ‘torpedo’ Renters (Reform) Bill

Landlord MPs set to ‘torpedo’ Renters (Reform) Bill

9:28 AM, 18th March 2024, About 2 months ago 22

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Momentum is growing to torpedo the Renters (Reform) Bill that will abolish Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions and end fixed term tenancies, the Telegraph reports.

The news comes just days after The Sun revealed that angry Tory MPs have brought the Bill ‘close to collapse’.

Michael Gove, the housing secretary, vowed last month to pass the Bill before a General Election this year.

However, around 50 backbenchers have proposed amendments to the controversial legislation, which risks highlighting fractures in the Tory party.

The MPs are also warning that the Bill will lead to more homelessness and make housing more expensive.

Use a Section 21 notice to evict a tenant

Currently, landlords can use a Section 21 notice to evict a tenant but MPs worry about the new plans which will need court permission before a tenant can be eviction.

Landlords – including some sitting on the Commons benches – fear this could add months to evictions, with courts still unable to clear a pandemic-era backlog.

Under reforms, tenants who fall into arrears will also have a black mark placed against them – making it tougher to find a property in the future.

Marco Longhi, Conservative MP for Dudley North and a landlord, said while the Bill was ‘well-meaning’ it would backfire on the very tenants it was designed to help.

He added: “There will be a sustained move of private landlords exiting the market.

“It’s already happening, because they think it’s easier to invest elsewhere.

“A smaller pool of rental homes will lead to higher prices. That’s a simple economic fact.

“We need to build homes. Whatever attempts the Government makes to manipulate the market will always come back to this.”

‘Parts of this bill are bad for tenant’

Mr Longhi continued: “I absolutely know that parts of this bill are bad for tenants.

“It’s the law of unintended consequences.

“The bill was well-meaning, but I wish the Government would have involved all MPs – especially those of us who actually have a lot of experience in property.”

MPs from across the House have amended the Bill, including a mandatory review of the courts before a ban on no-fault evictions can be introduced.

Another amendment states that landlords cannot use the intention to sell or move in with a family member for at least the initial two years of a tenancy.

‘The big sticking point’ is rolling tenancies

One MP told the Telegraph that ‘the big sticking point’ between ministers and backbenchers is rolling tenancies, with the Government refusing to budge on the issue.

He said: “We want an amendment to be added so that if a landlord and tenant both agree to a fixed term, this will be allowed under the bill.

“Why is it the right of the Government to interfere in a contract between two parties?”

Critics are also pointing to the black mark on a tenant’s record following a court judgment would prevent many from finding somewhere else to live.

A Tory MP, who is a landlord, said: “An inadvertent consequence of abolishing section 21 is the risk of tenants who fall into arrears getting a court judgment against their name and ending up on the streets.

“Local authorities won’t help them and this will only add to the homelessness problem.”

He added: “The advantage to tenants of section 21 is that it’s no-fault, so even if they haven’t paid that won’t get written down.”

Yet to schedule sessions for amendments

The Bill is currently at the report stage and Tory whips are yet to schedule sessions for amendments to be debated by MPs in the Commons.

Chris Norris, of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), said that MPs with personal experience as landlords are well-placed to pick holes in the draft policy.

He told the Telegraph: “If you’re a landlord yourself, you’re going to be more alive to those nuances and understand what the consequences will be.

“If you want to keep your business going, you want solid legislation.”

He added: “There’s criticism about the number of landlord MPs, but it should be beneficial that we leverage the wealth of experience we have in Parliament – from landlords running businesses to those doing casework on the part of tenants.”

Landlords are holding the Bill hostage

Shelter’s chief executive, Polly Neate, said landlords are holding the Bill hostage.

She added: “It is outrageous the government would allow the Renters (Reform) Bill to be held hostage by a small minority of MPs, many of them landlords, while renters are put through hell.

“With a General Election on the horizon, an overt betrayal of England’s 11 million renters will not be forgotten.

“The government must show its strength and oppose attempts to destroy or delay the bill from within its own ranks.”

Tom Darling, of the Renters’ Reform Coalition, said the bill would help to rebalance the ‘unequal relationship that results in tenants afraid to ask for basic repairs, stuck in unhealthy homes and unable to put down roots’.

He added: “It is outrageous that landlord MPs – all of whom were elected on a manifesto to deliver these moderate reforms – are now seeking to undermine the legislation.”

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Cider Drinker

9:37 AM, 18th March 2024, About 2 months ago

We don’t really need more houses. We need fewer immigrants. If we stopped supporting wars maybe fewer people would seek refuge in the U.K.

We may need more affordable social housing. Government and Local Authorities are quite welcome to buy houses from private landlords to add to their stock. I’d sell them all of mine but the prices would be slightly inflated to cover my CGT liabilities. The properties would come with great tenants and therefore, there’d be no additional housing being created but the new owners could reduce the rent to uneconomic levels if they so desire.

Section 8 has a number of ‘no fault’ grounds. I prefer to refer to Section 21 as a ‘no evidence’ eviction (or contract closure).

Landlords don’t evict tenants. That is a job for the Law Courts.


9:57 AM, 18th March 2024, About 2 months ago

Unfortunately the woke generation and the lunatics are in charge of the asylum. As is clearly denoted with the Renters Reform Bill. I could digress, but there are just too many reasons why this was always a bad idea and always will be.


10:00 AM, 18th March 2024, About 2 months ago

Just watch Jacob Rees Mogg's recent tv panel and listen to the completely uninformed comments by the people invited onto the panel. These same people are in positions of power. If it wasn't so terrible I would be in hysterics.


10:03 AM, 18th March 2024, About 2 months ago

Angela Rayner being supported for taking advantage of tenants and abusing the right to buy. No action taken and to further rub salt in the wound Ms Rayner is supported by the Labour Party and allowed to keep her job.
But landlords and agents who are not members of the Labour Party are completely evil by the way. Hysterical laughter or dumbstruck expression?

Yvonne Francis

10:37 AM, 18th March 2024, About 2 months ago

Let us not forget the 'unintended consequences' banning fixed term tenancies on landlords letting to students. I'm just waiting with bated breath and cutting out all improvements I would have liked to make to my properties. 

Sheralyne Stamp

10:54 AM, 18th March 2024, About 2 months ago

I think Polly Neate and all other housing charities should get our of their warm office and get into the towns and speak to landlords and tenants. This would paint a bigger picture, maybe she can house someone who does not pay, trashes the house, she can then pat the tenant on the back and say (its ok I wont evict you) carry on and I will pay your way.


11:26 AM, 18th March 2024, About 2 months ago

Unfortunately, if this Bill doesn't go through under the Tories, it will likely be even worse if Labour do it.

Ian Narbeth

14:55 PM, 18th March 2024, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by JB at 18/03/2024 - 11:26Spot on JB. That is the point made by Ben Beadle and others. Unfortunately, Mr Gove has been seduced by the nonsense spouted by tenant lobby groups and he thought he could win some votes from renters (How's that plan coming along, Michael?). If the Tories do not pass this wretched Bill, Labour will make it even more wretched when they get in, as seem almost inevitable.


15:11 PM, 18th March 2024, About 2 months ago

There is a hidden agenda behind all this regardless of which political party is in power going forward. For clarity and to realise we are fighting a losing battle please read The United Nations 2030 Agenda.


15:34 PM, 18th March 2024, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by JC at 18/03/2024 - 15:11Can you give us a precis please? Are we all becoming communists ... apart from those in power?

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