How will the Renters’ Reform Bill change the sector?

Sean Hooker
Sean Hooker

With the Renters’ Reform Bill back on the government’s agenda, Sean Hooker, head of redress at the Property Redress Scheme, will discuss the latest proposals and answer letting agents’ questions on the bill in a live Q&A hosted by Goodlord next week.

Scrapping section 21 and strengthening section 8 remain core to the government’s proposals but other priorities have shifted since the bill was first announced in 2019.

Recent announcements have included extending the Decent Homes Standard to cover the private rented sector and introducing landlord redress via the establishment of a Private Renters’ Ombudsman.

The government has also mooted the creation of a “property portal” that will “help landlords understand their obligations, give tenants performance information to hold their landlord to account, and help councils crack down on poor practice”.

Meanwhile, lifetime deposits, which has been a mainstay of previous proposals, appear to have fallen off the agenda entirely.

The government is due to set out its proposals in more detail this spring in its long-delayed white paper.

Sean Hooker, head of redress at the Property Redress Scheme, commented: “Now we have a firm commitment to action, we can get on with the task of making these reforms work. The indications are that the Government has listened to the sector and whilst not everything will be welcomed by agents and landlords, or indeed tenants, this agenda looks realistic and achievable. I am looking forward to picking over the bones of the proposals and what I believe they will mean for raising standards in the private rental sector. The good, the bad and the ugly.”

Oli Sherlock, director of insurance at Goodlord, added: “The private rented sector has been waiting too long for clarity on the Renters’ Reform Bill. The latest announcements from the government indicate that these long anticipated reforms are increasingly likely to become a reality, which means that the  industry should prepare for major upheavals, such as the abolition of section 21. We hope we can shed some light on the latest proposals and what they will mean for letting agents and their landlords and tenants.”

Letting agents can register for the free webinar, taking place on Tuesday 24 May at 10am, by clicking here.

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  1. Woodentop

    Shame it is very one sided. Tighten up on rogue landlords but nothing on rogue tenants. Consumer protection V business protection. They certainly know how not to encourage the hand that feeds them housing or should that read …. leaving!

    1. KByfield04

      I’d say they are tightening up on rogue tenants (or are saying they will be)- with strengthened S8 for repeated rent arrears & ASB- surely that covers the two primary categories a rogue tenant would fall under. Governments don’t need to innovate in the deposit space- the marketplace is already doing that with everything from reposit to fronted. Largely seems sensible, although personally feel the same ombudsman should service agents & private landlord marketplace to ensure a single standard/approach. Would be good to see UPRNs legislated (unlikely in RRB) and also the planned digitisation of compliance via a ‘Property MOT’ introduction and mandated data APIs on all new compliance contracts going forwards. Time will tell!

      1. A W

        Kristjan, how… how are they tightening up on rouge tenants? By making landlords/agents liable for everything? Your citing a strengthening of s.8 when there has been no confirmation of what the actuality of the situation will be (specifically the MANDATORY grounds).

        Next you’ll have Shelter crying that landlords should pay a tenants utilities and lobby further when rents are increased to offset costs?

        Renting is a business, not a charity.

      2. CountryLass

        There needs to be more clarity on ASB though. I recently had an issue where two properties I manage (next door to each other) got the police involved over arguments, I have seen the camera footage of the argument and then someone covering up the camera (it was quite amusing watching someone try to hug the wall to sneak up on a camera with 180 vision! There were lots of other reports by other people in the neighbouring houses, but only a couple of times over the course of a couple of weeks where the police were called, all relating to the actions of a teenager and the parents response.

        But as no ASB order was made, I couldn’t use that on the S8 to evict and had to go for S21 and hope they left… Even though to me it was quite clearly anti-social behaviour.

        I’m not saying “one complaint and you’re out”, but if we can prove it over a period of time then we should be able to move ahead on that basis without involving the already-overworked police?

  2. A W

    “the Government has listened to SHELTER” – fixed it for you.

    Time to prepare for the mass exodus of landlords out of the sector (unless of course there are some serious revisions).


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