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Renters Reform Bill to be introduced “very soon” says government

Junior housing minister Kelly Tolhurst says the government will introduce the controversial Renters Reform Bill “very soon.”

This Bill is the one which will include measures to abolish Section 21 rights for landlords and their agents, and will introduce so-called lifelong deposits which can ‘shift’ from one property to another, preventing the need for tenants to raise brand new deposits each time they move.

In a debate in the House of Commons, Tolhurst - a minister at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government - made the announcement in an answer to a question about what steps were being taken to ensure the security of tenants in the private rental sector.

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Tolhurst told MPs: “The government are committed to enhancing renters’ security by abolishing no-fault evictions. During the Covid-19 pandemic, our collective efforts have been focused on protecting people during the outbreak. This has included introducing longer notice periods and preventing evictions at the height of the pandemic on public health grounds. We will introduce a renters’ reform Bill very soon.”

When pressed further, she continued: “We are committed to abolishing no-fault evictions under section 21. Obviously, we have already taken some action. Last week, for example, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State increased the ban on evictions for a further six weeks. We have also introduced six months’ notice, which means that people who receive an order now will find that it will not go through the courts until July. We are committed to making sure that we protect anybody who is suffering homelessness. That has been borne out by the level of investment that we have put into the sector during the pandemic. We will keep all these measures under review.”

The concept of the Renters Reform Bill first appeared in the 2019 Conservative General Election manifesto 14 months ago; it was also included in the Queen’s Speech over a year ago, with the pledge it would be included in the legislative programme for 2020. 

 

However, then Coronavirus hit and no date was made available in Parliamentary business for the Bill to be introduced; last September the housing minister Christopher Pincher told the Commons: “We will do that at the appropriate time when there is a sensible and stable economic and social terrain on which to do it.”

The Bill was one of dozens of proposed pieces of legislation to have been pushed back as Parliamentary and civil service time was occupied by Coronavirus and, until recently, Brexit.

  • George Dawes

    First step towards compulsory purchase of all private landlord property

    Google the great reset

    Mark Wilson

    I suspect that you might be right.

     
    Kristjan Byfield

    Yeah all those Tory landlords are desperate to enact legislation that would see their own assets be seized. Come on guys there really isn't a big monster asleep under the bed.

     
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    We are selling our portfolio to a buyer down south paying good money writings on the wall had a good run fresh start with cash in the bank games over

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    I`m with you time to go. its a deliberate plot to push ordinary people out of this business. If its not corporation run its not wanted. One Bill I will be introducing is the goodbye Boris bill. Voting for him was a request to be stabbed in the back and I was to dumb to see it.

     
  • Mark Wilson

    Exit via the gift shop!

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    How many people truly believe that the Govt. will start a compulsory purchase?

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Don't think they'll bring in compulsory purchase, but they can ( and already are ) making things very difficult for landlords. Govt may well be enforcing Life-Long Deposits, but Landlords will require suitable Guarantors - Govt, - your next move ! ( which might well be L.As having to stand as Unlimited Guarantors ! )

     
  • Matthew Payne

    Renters Reform Bill = Get out of Jail Free Card in the real world game of covid monopoly.

    They have no choice but to fast track this now. They have no plan to tackle the unprecedented backlog of section 21 evictions that is coming later this year, where those tenants will then need to rely on the well provided for Social Housing sector.

    Oh, hang on, there isn't one, sorry, I meant they will sadly become homeless, and a massive headache for the government with nowhere to house them, and a general election on the horizion by 2022. Ergo, remove Section 21. Simple as that.

    Kristjan Byfield

    This also gets tenants 'on side' without having to address paying out on rent arrears- it sidesteps that costly conversation.

     
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    David, I agree with you I don't believe they will compulsory purchase either that would to seen as too good for LL's, if you can replace the word purchase and replace it with confiscation then I will agree with George & Mark.

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    Compulsory purchase even if there are tenants in it?

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    Useless scumbag government

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    How about the 'lifetime deposit' how exactly do you cover the gap between needing a new deposit and having the old one retuned - assuming that it is returned - and what happens if there is a shortfall of hundreds of pounds?

    Matthew Payne

    It wont be a cash deposit, it will be one of the new zero deposit insurance schemes. You would make a claim on that policy for dilaps etc, but the tenant would still move on and take out a new policy on the new property. New and old won't be relevant.

     
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    If it is the insurance based product they are an expensive way to offer security for anyone who looks after the property and generally gets their deposit returned.

     
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    Zero deposit - someone else leaching onto our businesses. In the old days it was the Landlord and the tenant and that’s it now look

     
    Matthew Payne

    Tenants currently pay for these policies and I cant see that changing, and yes I see that responsible tenants will lose out having to pay the premium, but it is tenants that have lobbied to have a lifetime deposit introduced, and it simply isnt workable with cash. The usual story of be careful what you wish for. The greater issue for me is that tenants with no skin in the game may not behave as responsibily.

     
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    Matthew this is where is all goes wrong. Lack of responsibility. Ideas like this will work against a tenant in the long run. It’s now become my job to ‘motivate’ a tenant to behave in a property using consequences. I didn’t get into this to have to do this

     
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    If they don't stump a deposit account then they don't get a house....Simple.....

     
    Kristjan Byfield

    This will be a cash deposit and has been debated and hypothesised for several years. It really is not that difficult to implement and will make renting much better for tenants without little to no impact on landlords. The 'passporting' deposit is really not something to get worried about. It will not be an insurance alternative as MP suggests- at least not from my understanding being heavily involved in this space.

     
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    So Kristjan, how does the porting work? If it takes 2 weeks to get the deposit back from the old house and it is not sufficient for the new house how does the new LL get the full deposit? I can imagine that some tenants will be happy to make it up but what if your tenant chooses not too?

     
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    Doesn't matter then does it?
    Every house they move to they will need to top up any monies that have left the fund,. Or have I misunderstood.

    As long as there is an agreed deposit, and I do not have to pay it, I don't see this as an issue.

    Or have I lost the plot?

  • George Dawes

    Since the property market is the only thing shoring our economy up , it makes sense that they attack it and destroy it for their weird twisted agenda .

    Our manufacturing businesses are virtually destroyed, the financial market is in the control of the global elite already . Whichever way you turn you’re stuffed .

    So much for a democracy eh ? Freedom is a state of mind .

    I’m just glad I won’t be around to see what the younger generation are going to have coming to them . They really are in for the shock of their snowflake lives !

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    I doubt it will affect us oldies too much, but it's sure going to hurt the under 50s and as for the snowflakes, so glad I'm not young in this present day world.

     
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    NW, LL Congratulations very wise choice and be quick as well you'll need to be complete probably before March or get hit with the Capital Gains tax hike to 40/45% on the way. Currently there is a high rate especially for LL's only at 28% now going up to your highest tax rate as a penalty for being a good tax payer. I believe the hike is to lock you in to stop you leaving or on the other hand you can leave but they'll rob you on the way out either way its disastrous for LL's. I suggested to Robert some months back to sell while the going was good because we missed the boat down here, the writing is certainly on the wall.

  • George Dawes

    Michael has a point

    Compulsory confiscation...

    Google - ‘you’ll own nothing and you’ll be happy ‘

    I doubt anyone who’s worked hard for years will be happy to have everything taken away from them ...

  • Peter Meczes

    Perhaps we could all lobby for the government to meet the shortfall between property expenses and interest versus unpaid rent whilst bad tenants take advantage of the mollycoddling legislation that protects the growing number of spongers? Then the “powers that be” might not be so keen on their ridiculous legislation.

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    Don't worry it's going to get worse. The fore-coming anti- LL's Reform Bill will make sure of that. Whats all this permanent Deposit Scheme nonsense, did Shelter not do enough damage in July 2007 with a pack of lies when the alleged LL's withheld up to 44% of Deposits, so now we have laws ? justice based on an unsound foundation like this, incidentally it was later proved to be less than 2%.
    Oh! I don't have any Deposits thank you Shelter, will I be Prosecuted for that ?.

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    The insurance scheme might work for good tenants, but what happens when a tenant has a record of claims, insurance works on risk, so will they increase cost for these tenants or maybe refuse to cover them, then they really will be homeless.

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    An example of how it will work against them haha. All we will ask now is how many year no claims you got? Then will be begging to pay cash deposit

     
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    Let's hope that if they act like that, then they deserve to be made homeless......
    And fast.

     
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    Hopefully there will be an indication of no claims bonus. Then we will be aided we making wise choices for tenants.

     
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    I suppose if you can get Insurance cover you don't need it.

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    And drivers with claims on their motor insurance either have to pay more or drive a cheaper car.
    Tenants that won’t look after a property will have to pay more for rent insurance or pay the increased fee and look at cheaper non desired housing. So as well as taxes, cp12, elect certs, council licensing letting agent fees there will be this deposit insurance who we will have to fight with to get paid when they ruin a place and eventually leave not looking back cos they have no skin in the game until the next insurance fee when they move

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    I saw the writing on the wall and I am now diversifying. Some of my money will be going to Direct Bullion. They are Spear's 500 recommended and it doesn't get better than that. The rest my money is going into buy-to-let cars which gives 11%. The first car assigned to me was a 2012 Vauxhall Astra. I have to sort out the clutch but after that it is pure profit. Let's keep trading guys.







  • Kristjan Byfield

    Some context to the removal of S21- around 85% of tenancies are ended by the tenant. 85%- so we are already talking about just 15%. Of that 15% about half of those are served by landlords in preference to S8 or other 'breach of contract' hearings- this was never meant to be the purpose of S21- there will likely be an improvement/streamlining for landlords to regain possession upon breach. The framework discussed in meetings on this matter has also comprehensively covered sales which (if they listen and do as suggested) sales will be feasible this accounts for another 3-5%. So we are talking about roughly 3-5% of the market being impacted but most if not all of those landlords will be happy for their contract-abiding tenants to stay. Honestly ladies & gents this really is not the end of the world, asset seize that so many on here suggest.

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    Since the SNP loonies brought in similar legislation in December 2017, rents have risen over 30% and it's chaos with joint tenancies when one wants to leave but others want to stay on. Those staying can hold those wanting to leave to ransom.

    Tenants don't realise that they are turkeys voting for Christmas!

     
    James B

    I agree removal of s21 is not the threat most think it is. It’s not retrospective apparently so existing tenancies unaffected
    New tenancies can have possession if they want to sell or have arrears
    Can’t see a major downside it won’t protect tenants

     
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    James B.

    The main downside in Scotland is the removal of fixed term leases, meaning tenants can leave on 28 days notice but landlords can't get rid of pain in the necks easily if at all.

     
  • James B

    What the landlords market needs to grasp as standard is homeowner working guarantors with every tenancy .. this coupled with the inevitable rising rents and better tenant choices will underpin what we have now

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    Yes James this is the way forward for most of us now, rogue tenants can go to hell, and we will know who they are, the government, shelter, generation rent etc have brought this on, looks like they have shot themselves in the foot

     
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    James, my friend I can't believe you have been taken-in, my goodness they do all this to us and you think its fine. Its none of their business whether we want to sell /buy /sell it should be the owners choice, we didn't need their permission to purchase the property, get any funding from them or require their advice, why now should we need their permission to sell vacant or otherwise, not their business. Is it not bad enough property prices are going to collapse, Capital Gains doubling, Section 21 removal, Section 24, Licensing, meddling with deposits, a scarcity of Tenants and some people think you will be able to get a guarantor not a hope, inevitable rent rise well not a hope can't even get what I was getting 5 years back, leaving Property a non-starter you still got to look after & maintain it even for me to visit it £27.50 Congestion & ELEZ charge, my time, + £165.00 pm Council tax on empty Property, invalidate your Insurance Policy, think on my friends time to wake up.

    James B

    I don’t disagree with some of your comments .. and I am against the attacks as much as the next landlord.. my point is removal of s21 is a vote winner but they are quietly leaving landlords the main rights we have now imo. Not sure which area you operate but rents are rising rapid in the north and guarantors are standard now with better tenant choices so on balance we are making more money than we were a couple years ago just with more red tape, so despite it all I’m just saying its not so bad. I don’t take the attacks personally I look at my bottom line and if the clowns in charge are improving it then so be it
    Sadly the tenant vote is so important these days but if we can make an even better living then I’m quietly happy ...

     
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    James B, up to a point I agree, but is sec 21 a vote winner for the tories ? how many tenants would vote tory with or without sec 21 ?

     
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    Leaving property Vacant typo,

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    Hi James, of course its nothing personal but I stand by what I say I was a LL well before Section 21 and know exactly what it was like back then which is why we spent years campaigning for it, if we hadn't done it you or anyone else on here would not be a LL at all, at that time if you let your property to someone they immediately became a sitting Tenant, hence there was virtually no letting and people couldn't find anywhere to live and had to change, would you buy a property for a stranger just to loose it ?. Removal is the slippery slope back there again, it doesn't matter about the vote when the economy has collapsed and Social Security Payments cut. I have been a LL since 1978 and know how it is, they can't pretend to be LL's friends at the same time push us off the edge of a Cliff.

    James B

    I do agree with your comments but my thoughts are tenants do move around and the opportunity to sell will present itself from time to time as they move about .. supply demand and rents will make a huge shift in landlords favour I feel as new landlords don’t enter and existing ones exit with such legislation.. how long can they sustain that movement in the market without incentives to landlords in some way let’s see how it plays out once s21 is scrapped .. I for one won’t be reletting a unit unless the terms to evict and sell when I want is there

     
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    James B, goings forward I think all new lets will have to be supported by a cast iron guarantor, no suitable guarantor no tenancy

     
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    Hi, James my friend we will have to agree to disagree on this. too many deliberate adverse things after happening to our determent and well documented not much point going over the same ground again & again. We must know whats in front of us the worst recession ever in our life time and I have been through 5, when and if the virus is controlled many businesses will never again open sadly, some of the ones that do will struggle, the loss of revenue from those businesses, the loss of workers income tax , the additional Welfare Bill, their ability to spend to help keep the economy going severely curtailed. Impossible to expect a rent rise in a Recession, there are too many factors to mention so much more. I will leave it be and wish you well for the future.

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    Great brilliant fantastic, been a professional LL for over 35 years. Had enough now.
    All my properties rented ,no arrears and all have b2l mortgages please what ever government,buy all my properties, as long as market value under compulsory purchase rules apply i wont have a problem with that. Mortgage companies can
    set the values, please bring it on.
    Cant wait.

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    Steve, if you managed to find a buyer for your properties, please please please let me know. I have a small portfolio and like yourself been in this game for years. Always been told that 5 things keep landlords awake at night. Void periods, rent arrears, maintenance, tax and legislations. I can and have managed with the first four for many years. The last one is breaking the camel's back. I want out.

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    Never had a problem with tax. Stopped the sleepless nights around 2008 after the last crash caused by bank and american mortgage warehousing, Arrears two choices, tenant pays or is homeless with or without a Sec 21, no excuses. I treat my tenants with the greatest respect, pay my rent on My property and any problems i will sort within 24 hours. Dont pay my rent because you feel like you dont want to, then the tenant will be out, that week, no ifs no buts, no shelter no council telling me who i can or cannot rent to. Simple rules everyone aware befir committed.

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    I have been known to evict tenants the illegal way in the 90s, needs must sometimes, these days I am very careful who I rent to, and going forward I think it is going to have to be a suitable guarantor or no tenancy with this '' breathing space'' law coming in May

     
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    Haven't tried it myself but have heard £500 cash delivered by well built couriers usually gains almost instant voluntary vacation of properties and correct supporting paperwork.

     
  • John  manley

    Can anybody tell me if I have to issue an A S T to s new tenant in a self contained flat? Is it against the law if we just have a verbal agreement? And if not illegal what would be the disadvantages to a landlord? Thanks in advance.

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    John, think about the day that you may wish to get your property back. The terms of a verbal agreement is unclear and you will have a job to obtain a possession order. A tenancy agreement clarifies the terms, should the tenant breach them. With Section 21 on its way out, I would make sure the tenants entre an express agreement rather than implied.

     
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    Do it properly and get a guarantor signed up, other wise keep that flat empty.

     
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    Agreements are only essential when there isn't any. Don't even think about trusting anyone with your assets without a legally enforceable written agreement.

     
  • John  manley

    I was thinking that without a written agreement why would I need a possession order? Just tell him to go and he's got no paperwork to say he should be there in the first place? I can't really afford o keep it empty either.

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    If that worked we would all do it and problem tenants would be a thing of the past.

    Get a proper agreement signed and a property owner guarantor in place.

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