Renters (Reform) Bill heads for key stage in Parliament

Renters (Reform) Bill heads for key stage in Parliament

0:07 AM, 19th April 2024, About a month ago 7

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The Renters (Reform) Bill, designed to shake up the private rental sector (PRS) in England, is nearing a key stage in its passage through Parliament.

It is scheduled for its report stage and third reading next Wednesday (April 24), but the Bill has already undergone significant changes.

Originally introduced to fulfil a Conservative manifesto pledge, the Bill will see the abolition of Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions.

Landlords will still be able to repossess properties but under stricter guidelines.

NRLA welcomed the news that the Bill is heading back to Parliament

The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has welcomed news that the Bill is heading back to Parliament and its chief executive, Ben Beadle, said: “Our focus has been on ensuring that when section 21 repossessions end, the replacement system works and is fair, to both tenants and responsible landlords.

“Tenants should rightly be empowered to hold rogue and criminal landlords to account to root out the minority who bring the sector into disrepute.

“However, it is vital that the majority of responsible landlords have confidence in the Bill to provide the homes for rent the country needs.”

He added: “The amendments proposed by the Government strike that balance.

“It is now important to provide certainty to the market, so it can transition smoothly to the new system.

“We therefore call on MPs to ensure swift passage of the Bill through Parliament with the Government’s planned changes.”

Government proposed 183 changes to the Bill

The Bill has seen its share of amendments with the government proposing 183 changes, including allowing landlords to reclaim student housing at the end of the academic year.

It also wanted to prohibit discrimination against families with children or benefit recipients.

Other amendments to the Bill include:

  • Setting minimum standards: Regulations would be introduced allowing for a ‘decent homes standard’ in the PRS, with local authorities empowered to enforce it.
  • Stronger oversight: Local authorities would be required to report to the government on how they enforce these housing standards, improving national monitoring.
  • Increased tenant protection: The maximum amount of rent a landlord can be ordered to repay would double, from 12 to 24 months. Also, both the direct landlord and any superior landlords would be liable for repayment orders.

Prevent tenant ‘bidding wars’

The Opposition also sought amendments, but none were successful, and some included a proposal that required landlords to disclose rent prices upfront to prevent tenant ‘bidding wars’.

Restricting rent increases and strengthening pet ownership rights for tenants also failed to make the final Bill.

Labour has indicated they might revisit some of these issues later in the process.

The upcoming report stage and third reading offer another opportunity to debate and refine the Bill before it moves to the House of Lords for further scrutiny.

A spokesperson for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said: “We are absolutely committed to the Renters (Reform) Bill, which will have its remaining stages in the House of Commons next week.

“This bill will abolish Section 21 evictions and deliver a fairer rented sector for tenants and landlords. We will continue to work across the sector to ensure it passes into law as soon as possible.”


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Comments

Monty Bodkin

8:10 AM, 19th April 2024, About a month ago

Tories passing a poisoned chalice before they leave.

Scrapping section 21 will decimate the market.

"The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has welcomed the news"

FFS!

Cider Drinker

9:00 AM, 19th April 2024, About a month ago

A poisoned chalice indeed. One of many, I’m afraid.

The market will be decimated with or without the RRB.

High interest rates that are a little ‘stickier’ than many people had expected will see landlords selling up. Couple this with a the Tories’ cost of living crisis and many more tenants will default on rent payments, leading to even more landlords selling up.

The RRB isn’t the greatest risk that landlords face today. It certainly doesn’t help, of course.

PAUL BARTLETT

9:02 AM, 19th April 2024, About a month ago

A really bad idea of completing the RRB regardless of the Ombudsman, Portal, Courts Reform required to actually deliver it.

Not defining the service level of the Courts required to be achieved is bad government and disables the MoJ from understanding and achieving an acceptable service.

Bad law, done badly..

Stella

10:05 AM, 19th April 2024, About 4 weeks ago

More red tape, more impossible hurdles to climb.

Bad law created by people who appear to have no clue about the PRS.

Best to leave properties empty for now because it looks like we are heading back to the pre Thatcher era.

Clint

10:59 AM, 19th April 2024, About 4 weeks ago

The NRLA needs to be reformed. They are supporting all those that are against landlords and giving a helping hand in it all.

Fed Up Landlord

11:07 AM, 19th April 2024, About 4 weeks ago

The NRLA is nothing more than a backside kissing training course provider that has no teeth or backbone.

It needs taking over by a more militant minority leadership. A bit like the marxist entitled bespectactled primary school looking junior doctor morons at the BMA did.

Michael Booth

15:46 PM, 19th April 2024, About 4 weeks ago

All we need now is a liebor administration to introduce a rent freeze and cap, then bingo the final straw the total decimation of prs,what this space it will come under raynor the left wing socialist.

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