Renters Reform Bill – is the government having ‘second’ thoughts?

More than four years after the Renters Reform Bill was first pledged by Theresa May’s government (April 2019) which at the time was described as a “step change” in protections for renters, ending Section 21 evictions and giving landlords and tenants more rights, the industry is still waiting for the legislation to be implemented.

The government showed it remains committed to the policy, amid industry uncertainty caused in part by the ill-fated Truss administration, when it finally introduced its long-delayed renting reforms into parliament in May of this year.

The Bill included nearly all of the measures outlined within the Fairer Renting white paper, which pleased most of those campaigning for change within the sector, with a view to giving renters greater powers.

However, progress of the Renters Reform Bill through the House of Commons has been unexpectedly slow, with no date for the ‘second’ reading.

It is considered unusual for a Bill to take this long to move from a first to second reading, with the committee stage, third reading, and finally Royal Assent still needed.

The National Residential Landlords Association says it could take up to 18 months for many elements of the Renters Reform Bill to become law. That would take the timescale roughly up to the time of the next general election, which is widely expected to be late 2024.

David Smith

So is the government serious about implementing Renters Reform Bill into law?

David Smith, head of property litigation at JMW Solicitors, commented: “As pointed out by Ben Beadle [chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association] the government has announced all business for Parliament up to the summer recess with no mention of the second reading of the Renters (Reform) Bill. This is something of a surprise as government sources had told me that this would happen before summer recess.

“In principle this could involve a second reading when Parliament returns in September but in practice Parliament is only back for a short time before immediately going back into recess for party conferences. After that we also need to have a budget and [probably] a King’s speech before December so there is not actually a huge amount of time to do this before Christmas.

“Surely the government is not reneging on its commitment to the Bill…again.”



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  1. Andy Halstead

    There must be a high likelihood that the government will not make the next 18 months, never mind see things through. A total shambles that will at best be replicated by whoever is next. We have a totally broken system.

  2. jeremy1960

    Government are just waiting for a disaster or huge scandal, at which point, sometime after midnight on a Friday, they will progress this disastrous bill. But, as Andy says, it matters not because the commies and greenies will be taking over the asylum next year!

  3. Ian Narbeth

    They would be wise to have second thoughts but have committed themselves in public and will look foolish if they backtrack. However, the Bill is already causing BTL landlords to get out of the market, pushing rents up and making life harder for tenants. A few landlords misuse section 21 notices but if s21 is so wrong now, was it always wrong, Mr Gove? Getting rid of s21 will leave landlords practically powerless to deal with anti-social behaviour by tenants because of the understandable reluctance of witnesses to come forward. The interests of the frightened and vulnerable will be compromised to protect the thug and the bully.

  4. Stephb717

    The Government woukd be wise to backtrack. They have totally broken the rental market and will only proceed to damage it further. What they still fail to grasp is that the otopertues still belong to the Landlord and they have a right yo claim it back when required. I am a landlord with one house rented out which was my home for 22 years and is ultimately for my retirement. I am having to sell as is going up hugely with the interest rate rises. I feel bad for the tenants who were very happy living there and had made it their home who could afford it and now have to downsize to a 2 bed from my 3 bed home and rents for similar properties wete well above mine.   This id a situation which has been caused by tge Government abd the banks. I have rented it out for 2 years and not put up the rent. I could not have increased the rent to match my increased mortgage payments. I now intend to buy a smaller prooerty with a much smaller mortgage and more affordable rent for someone to live in.


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