Renters’ Reform Bill to enter parliament today but more details urgently needed

With the much-delayed Renters’ Reform Bill set to finally be announced today, there is widespread concern among those operating in the rental sector that the new rules risk backfiring.

Commenting on the introduction of the government’s rental reforms legislation, Matthew Lesh, director of public policy and communications at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said that “making it harder to evict residents is only likely to make it harder to rent”.

He commented: “Landlords will inevitably be more selective about who they offer properties to and charge higher rents when they cannot quickly evict bad tenants. That is likely to disproportionately hurt those who are poorer, younger, and from minority communities.

“Anti-landlord measures, including tax changes, and higher interest rates, are already contributing to many withdrawing properties from the market. New eviction rules and burdensome regulatory standards will only worsen the rental property shortage and record-high rents.

“The housing crisis won’t be solved by fiddling with rental rules. Britain needs fundamental planning reform to allow more homes to be built where people want to live – anything else will continue to see renters offered poorer quality homes at too high prices.”

The Renters’ Reform Bill is expected to get its first reading today after Prime Minister’s Questions, although the full details of the proposals will be announced at a later date, and that is a worry as far as Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, is concerned.

He said: “Responsible landlords need to be confident that when Section 21 ends, where they have a legitimate reason, they will be able to repossess their properties as quickly as possible. Without this assurance, the Bill will only exacerbate the rental housing supply crisis many tenants now face.

“Whilst we welcome the government’s pledge to ensure landlords can effectively recover properties from anti-social tenants and those failing to pay rent, more detail is needed if the Bill is going to work as intended.

“Ministers must develop a plan to improve the speed and efficiency with which the courts process possession claims. Although the government has accepted NRLA calls to digitise cases, staff numbers need to increase in the court system as well to meet the needs of these reforms.

“Likewise, the government must recognise the serious concerns of landlords letting to students about open ended tenancies. Without the ability to plan around the academic year, students will have no certainty that properties will be available to rent when they need them.

“We will continue to work with the government, MPs and Peers to ensure the Bill workable and fair to both responsible landlords and tenants.”


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  1. MrManyUnits

    Sadly many tenants will be homeless if the full bill goes through.

  2. Property Poke In The Eye

    Who would want to be a landlord in this day and age.  Buy to let has had it days, no more cheap interest rates is forcing landlords to sell coupled with the fear of anti landlord bills being passed by goverment.

    Feel sorry for tenants who will ultimately suffer with increased rents.



      Not me, 9 months and waiting for a repossession order, 9 months missing rent, still have to pay the mortgage and court costs, its a joke.

  3. Robert_May

    The people paid to defend the industry and their clients are  embarrassingly inaudible pointing out the  whole basis of these reforms is flawed and cynical obfuscation

    Section 21 is not an eviction,  dressing S21 to up to be an eviction is wrong.

    If tenants want long term stable homes they should not be taking out shorthold tenancies which by definition come with a big fat elephant, they are designed to be shorthold.

    If there is need for assured, long term term occupancy ( there very definitely is) address the reasons landlords and agents steer clear of what is a more appropriate solution to the housing crisis.


    It’s not my place to do any more than I’ve already done  but it is someone’s responsibility  to stand up for either agent customers or agent members and ask Polly Neate a few closed probe questions that would dismantle her business development plan.

    It might scupper the chances of a New Years honour or a lifetime peerage but someone ought to be doing what is right rather than keeping  politely schtum

  4. 22fdunst91

    If only we had an effective industry body to lobby on our behalf eh…? I’m not sure what we pay our annual fees for but I’ll be reviewing our membership.

    1. West end pheasant

      There is, the NRLA. Clearly there are a few ineffective ones..

      1. Woodentop

        Yes, but I have serious doubts they have real influence when it matters.

        1. paulnewboy26

          NRLA chief was on air this morning stating they ” had a seat at the table with the Government over this” Wow, they really listened didn’t they. Waist of time ARLA / NARLA bla bla bla…..Oh, you do get a certificate for your wall though. The current Government will only truly listen to those who a, pay them, b, have something on them, c, have a nice role lined up for them after the next election…..

  5. Gloslet

    With the introduction of yet more regulation and the probability of further legislation following the next general election if /when there is a change of Government, those tenants who do not get a notice that their landlord is selling up will be getting notices to ensure that their rents reflect market rates.

    With the distinct threat of rent controls being introduced in England, in conjunction with fewer opportunities to end tenancies, the vast majority of landlords will have no choice but to ensure that rents are as close to market rates as possible before the introduction of any such regulation.

    There are a considerable number of landlords who have not previously reviewed rents during tenancies but who will in future be very much at risk if they continue that policy.

    Government interference in any industry very rarely leads to positive outcomes, and particularly where it is done for the wrong reasons, ie. votes.

  6. Root1

    I ve tried and tried to alert this government to the damage they are doing whilst all the while losing the tenant and landlord vote. Email yesterday to our MP regarding my letters about the damage being done to this sector….. “Thank you for your kind reply. I will wait to hear. I see there has been some movement on the bill so hopefully this is under review. I can tell you (and maybe you might pass this on) that as of yesterday there were only 16 properties to rent in our town, against 140+ in spring/summer months 2012/13/14/15.   I have worked here for 25 years, we (as a business) account for around 50% of what is rented to tenants by agents in the area and have data that predates the websites if anybody within the DLHC wanted to understand the impact recent and proposed legislation aimed at the PRS is having” The response by the MP (who is a very accessible person)  was to ask if the lack of supply was purely down to the proposed legislation? My reply below, that took all of 5 mins to fire off, which in itself is a worry!!   “Thank you again for your response and your curiosity. It’s a real combination of factors but this idea of a lack of control is speeding up the exit of landlords. Not just control over the moving on of problem tenants, but the idea of very short leases with no security for the landlord. Small landlords now feel that they are no longer wanted. They feel that the UK has endured so many anti small-landlord moves by the government that renting homes to private tenants now comes with a stigma attached. In very brief, in the last 13 years we have seen: ( I have written these in layman’s terms and not quoting the legislation’s in detail) New deposit rules aimed at rouge landlords that have given rise to tenants “in the know” abusing the system and making it harder (with a large weight of proof) for landlords to make bonifide repairs to their homes or obtaining their last month’s rent using funds from the deposit. Reduced legal limits to the deposit level (this has badly affected tenants that have bad credit too) The removal of mortgage interest tax relief – meaning that with today’s enormous mortgage rises, investment landlords are running at a loss in many cases. They are selling and not re-letting. Increase levy on stamp duty – this is a barrier to new landlords. Increase levy of stamp duty – this is a barrier to couples that get together with two homes and deciding to rent one of them. Now they just sell as they don’t want the added stamp duty when they buy on together. Inherited properties – when I see folks in these unfortunate circumstances it was always an option to rent the property for income, or if the elderly relative was in care, use the rent to cover some care costs – now they are petrified about how the government view small landlords  – they opt to sell in most cases. EPC regulations – landlords wonder why they are targeted when no other members of the housing framework are ? 80 % of homes are not rented. 40% (roughly) of housing stock in the PRS will not make C grade whether this be by 2025 or 2028. Landlords are leaving. Under section 21 6 a (that replaced 4b) its become a game of cat and mouse with all the various paperwork that needs to be served at certain times and dates to ensure landlords regain possession of their home. It’s not actually complicated, but to small private landlords it is. It has scared them off. Overseas landlords – these again, are opting to leave empty instead of renting as they do not have any security of tenancy in the proposed bill. Again, they feel that the PRS is no longer safe. Recent capital gains tax reductions 12k down by 50% to 6k and going further still. This is tax on inflation (not gains)  in many long term landlords’ cases. Older landlords are not being replaced for the reasons above. Older landlords have turned back to cash at bank. They feel its not worth the hassle. Tenant fee act – meaning all tenants fees were passed to landlords………. The list goes on and there are more finite details that could be added but if I had to sum this up……………small landlords (1-3 properties which is the vast majority of the UK market) feel they are no longer wanted, and the government is grasping this idea that legislation is needed to make the sector fairer. It is not, in fact it is the opposite. If we had greater supply, tenants have more choice and more power. I would be more than happy to expand for you or your colleagues on this, but we are in big danger of charging into a serious crisis in the sector. I am not politically savvy but honestly, tenants are not thanking our government for the enormous rent levels that now exist and the complete drought of supply. Its lose lose today. Landlords are not wanted and are demonstrably leaving, tenants are paying more and have less choice” They will never listen to landlords or agents. they will only ever listen to charity’s skewed version of reality with, some might say, extremely troubling ulterior motives.      

  7. Woodentop

    ‘And so it begins’.


    Just like the thriller by Rachel Abbott, an excellent psychological thriller, full of lies and deception and revenge and murder.


    The latter is certainly the effect it will have on our industry for more than a few.

  8. Sad Nation

    Why don’t they just change the Section 21 notice to give a reason why they are being asked to leave such as rent arrears or the owner wants to sell. At least it couldn’t be called a “no fault notice” by Shelter any more. No landlord in my experience wakes up one day and says I am going to evict my Tenant for no reason at all.

    There is zero information on this article about Landlords issuing notice as they want to sell or move into the property themselves which is a bit worrying.

    I can remember the difficulties in removing Tenants prior to the Assured Shortholds coming into place as well as the rent controls. There was no PRS as a result.

    1. CountryLass

      Exactly. Whenever I have to serve notice, I always try to call the tenant before sending it, to explain why, and then include a cover letter repeating the reason.

      The landlord HAS to have the ability to get their property back in a reasonable time-frame. Whether the reason is rent arrears, to sell it, they have received repeated complaints from neighbours or they want to move back in doesn’t matter. Yes, it is the tenants home, no-one argues that, but it BELONGS to the landlord, and therefore is theirs to do with as they see fit. If they want to move a new tenant in every 6 months, then that is their business.

  9. Woodentop

    Well one thing is for certain if threatened abolition of Sec 21 ……… All tenancies will be 6 months and end with a fixed term, no periodic clause to roll on. Sorted the 6 month notice period which effectively will be 5 months or less!

  10. KatieHatten85

    They’re proposing to get rid of fixed term tenancies too, all tenancies to be periodic, terminable by 2 months notice either side at any point!

    This is not the solution – it will kill an already struggling PRS when there is no social housing to house people.  We already have about 50 applications for every property that comes available, rents have shot up…people are not going to be able to afford to buy or rent…what a clever Government !!


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