Renters’ Reform Bill delayed again – Tories warned not to ‘backtrack’

Michael Gove

The long-awaited legislation to improve renters’ rights, which was due to be published this week – more than four years after the government pledged to abolish Section 21 evictions – has been delayed again.

The secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities, Michael Gove, announced last week that the draft bill would be published this week and would “change the way the relationship between landlords and tenants works, providing tenants with new protection, which should ensure they are better protected against arbitrary rent increases”.

However, the Mirror newspaper reports this morning that  “procedural issues” have caused the delay in introducing the Bill to Parliament.

In 2019, the then prime minister, Theresa May, promised to scrap Section 21 evictions, and later that year Boris Johnson vowed in the Conservative party general election manifesto “a better deal for renters”, including the eviction ban.

Ministers published a rental reform white paper in summer 2022, but with six different housing ministers since 2021, draft legislation has yet to go before parliament for debate.

Shadow housing secretary Lisa Nandy has criticised the government’s failure to publish the Renters’ Reform Bill.

She warned the further delay would fuel doubts that ministers will deliver fully on their promises to the 4.4million households privately renting in the UK.

Lisa Nandy

Nandy said: “Our message to the government is clear, do not backtrack on the promises you have made, do not drop any commitments, do not roll over to your backbenchers again.”

Labour has promised to bring in its own renter reform charter to beef up rights if it gets into power.

“We will tilt the balance of power with powerful new rights and protections for tenants, including longer notice periods, a ban on no-fault evictions and the right to make changes to your home,” Nandy said.

Alongside the proposed reforms to the private rented sector, Labour has said it will make wider changes to the housing system to build more homes.

Nandy pointed to the Conservative’s record of failure on housebuilding, after it has caved to pressure on MPs over housing targets.

The Tories have scrapped housebuilding targets following pressure from backbenchers

The Labour MP added: “Labour has ambitious plans to get Britain building, delivering more genuinely affordable homes to own, more social housing and a better regulated, professionalised private rented sector.

“Under a Labour government, people will once again have access to the security and dignity of a decent, affordable home.”

A Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities spokesman said: “We are absolutely committed to delivering a fairer deal for renters.

“We will bring forward legislation very shortly, which will include a ban on ‘no fault’ evictions, so that all tenants have greater security in their homes and are empowered to challenge poor conditions.

“We are also introducing a Decent Homes Standard for the Private Rented Sector for the first time ever which will make sure privately rented homes are safe and decent.”



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  1. jeremy1960

    Warned by Lisa Nandy! Oh dear I bet everyone is shaking in their boots!

  2. Diogenes

    Here’s what I suspect – The White Paper contained lots of issues (eg Student properties) and much lobbying followed. DLUHC went ahead with the draft bill and failed to address such issues so MPs have quite rightly become miffed that feedback from the consultation has been ignored. If Government want to get the bill through both houses of parliament, they will need to listen. Maybe a few tweaks are being made.

  3. CountryLass

    Firstly, most Tenants are allowed to make changes to the property, at least most of my Landlords let them! The only thing we say is to ask first, and if it isn’t a neutral shade then either change it back before you leave if requested or be prepared to pay for it to be done. And make sure it is done properly, it doesn’t have to be professional, but make it look professional at least.

    And there has to be a sure-fire way for a Landlord to get their property back in a reasonable time-frame. At the end of the day, it is an asset belonging to the Landlord. They are in a business partnership with the Tenant, but at the end of the day, if they need it back to sell, they should not have to wait 6 months before they can market it. If they have a family member who needs a place to live, they should be able to offer it to them in a couple of months. 99% of Landlords will not get rid of a good Tenant who pays and looks after the property. and the 1% are probably the ones who thought they could cash in on the Olympics etc and deserve to have their properties sitting empty after trying to gouge a higher rent from a new, short-term Tenant rather than keep a good, market-level Tenant!

    I worry that they are concentrating so much on ‘swinging the balance of power to Tenants’ that they forget it is supposed to be a BALANCE of power. It is always going to be shaded in the Landlords favour as they are the owner of the property, but that does not mean that the Tenants should have no rights, but they should not be at the expense of the person who’s name is on the title as the owner. If I have a hire-purchase agreement for a car and I don’t pay, then the company takes the car back. They will send letters, but they will just turn up and take the car and I can’t stop them. And it doesn’t take 6-12 months to do that…

  4. KByfield04

    As long as this is a delay to get the finer details right rather than a knee-jerk reaction to the recent drubbing in the Local Elections and they are now proposing more aggressive, political clickbait policies in the hope they can right their sinking ship. I sincerely hope it is the former- lets wait and see!


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