Renters (Reform) Bill – The key amendments to look out for

Renters (Reform) Bill – The key amendments to look out for

9:41 AM, 24th April 2024, About 2 months ago 14

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The Renters (Reform) Bill is heading back to the House of Commons, with several key amendments set to be debated and Goodlord has examined the most interesting proposals that could impact landlords and tenants.

The firm’s managing director insurance, Oli Sherlock, said: “There are some sensible and logical amendments on track to be debated during the third reading of this Bill.

“The biggest talking point for most will be regarding Section 21; looking at how and when the government will abolish the measure.

“It is imperative that our legal system can manage cases effectively and efficiently, however there seems to be little commitment as to how the government will achieve this and, as importantly, the timelines involved.”

He adds: “At risk of sounding like a broken record, the industry just needs clarity on details and timelines.

“Landlords, tenants and agents need to know exactly what is changing and when.

“This legislation was promised as part of the Conservative manifesto and the clock is ticking ahead of a General Election, all whilst patience in the market is wearing very thin.”

Conservative amendments

  • Section 21: Conservative MP Anthony Mangnall proposes a review of court procedures used in eviction cases before a ban on Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions is implemented. This delays the abolition of Section 21.
  • Longer tenant notice periods: Another amendment by Mr Mangnall would require tenants to give landlords four months’ notice before leaving, potentially offering landlords more stability.

Labour amendments

  • Mandatory rent price advertising: Labour proposes requiring landlords to advertise the asking rent to prevent bidding wars and ensure transparency.
  • Ban on rent bidding: Another Labour amendment aims to stop landlords from encouraging tenants to bid above the advertised rent.
  • Guarantor ban: Labour MP Alex Sobel proposes a ban on landlords requiring guarantors, potentially making it easier for some tenants to find accommodation.
  • Flexible student tenancies: Labour MP Paul Blomfield’s amendment aims to give students more flexibility when signing tenancy agreements.

Green Party amendments

  • Minimum EPC rating: Green MP Caroline Lucas proposes raising the minimum energy efficiency rating for rental properties to an EPC C rating.

Landlords are less opposed to the removal of Section 21

Goodlord’s data suggests landlords are becoming less opposed to the removal of Section 21.

It says that support for keeping Section 21 fell from 71% in 2022 to 62% in 2023, according to its research.

The firm’s analysis also shows the number of tenants required to find a guarantor has risen from 17.73% in 2020 to 18.88% in 2023.

And the issue of tenants being allowed pets is controversial – just 5% of tenancies in 2023 allowed pets, Goodlord says.

The Bill proposes a right to request pets unless landlords have a good reason to refuse.


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Comments

Cider Drinker

18:57 PM, 24th April 2024, About 2 months ago

The bottom line is that private landlords can house tenants that pay the rent and abide by the terms of the tenancy agreement or they can house tenants that don’t pay the rent or don’t abide by the terms of the tenancy agreement.
If politicians protect those that can’t/wont pay, they also condemn potentially good tenants to more years in temporary accommodation.
It is that simple.

PH

19:11 PM, 24th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Cider Drinker at 24/04/2024 - 18:57
So if they condone tenants breaching the contract I presume they'll condone someone turfing them out onto the streets along with their belongings ? Eye for an eye and all that .

Reluctant Landlord

10:08 AM, 25th April 2024, About 2 months ago

all I envisage is if this all goes ahead, the courts being overwhelmed (as they already are) and desperate (good) landlords will revert to 'old fashioned' means to get really bad tenants out. Under the Eviction Act 1977 it is the tenant that has to prove that this has occurred and bring a claim accordingly. Can anyone really see this happening?

I sat through and watched the whole process yesterday and a quirk in one of the amendments accepted actually states possession will be granted if the LL themselves is in legal breach of an offence - so in essence by breaking the law this guarantees you get your property back!

PH

10:26 AM, 25th April 2024, About 2 months ago

I can certainly see the 'old days' returning because the country is broken and it will certainly take some proving that a landlord was behind any sort of physical removal and lets face it...it would take an age for that to happen anyway and the resources aren't there .

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