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Renters Reform Bill - in the government’s own words

This is the entirety of the detail given by the government about the Renters’ Reform Bill, confirmed in yesterday’s Queen’s Speech.

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Renters Reform Bill 

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The purpose of the Bill is to: 

- Fulfil the manifesto commitments to abolish so-called ‘no fault’ section 21 evictions and strengthen landlords’ rights of possession, delivering on the levelling up mission to halve the number of non-decent rented homes by 2030 and create a rental market that is fairer and more effective for tenants and landlords. 

The main benefits of the Bill would be: 

- Delivering a better deal for renters through reforms that will provide 4.4 million households with more secure and higher quality homes.

- Providing a more effective legal framework and a more stable rental market for landlords to remain and invest in.

- Giving local councils effective tools to crack down on the minority of non- compliant landlords and poor practice.
 

The main elements of the Bill are:

- Abolishing so-called ‘no fault’ evictions by removing Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, providing security for tenants in the private rented sector and empowering them to challenge poor practice and unfair rent increases without fear of retaliatory eviction.

- Reforming possession grounds for landlords, introducing new and stronger grounds for repeated incidences of rent arrears and reducing notice periods for anti-social behaviour, ensuring that they can regain their property efficiently when needed.

- Applying the legally binding Decent Homes Standard in the Private Rented Sector for the first time ever, giving tenants safer, better quality and better value homes.

- Introduce a new Ombudsman for private landlords so that disputes can easily be resolved without the need to go to court, which is often costly and lengthy, and ensure that when residents make a complaint, landlords take action to put things right.

- Introducing a new property portal to help landlords understand their obligations, give tenants performance information to hold their landlord to account as well as aiding local authorities. 

Territorial extent and application 

The Bill will extend to England and Wales and apply to England only. 

 

Key facts 

- There are currently 4.4 million households in the private rented sector in England, making it the second largest tenure (19 per cent of households).

- Around one million (21 per cent) private rental homes don’t meet the Decent Homes Standard. This is down from 41 per cent in 2009 but still much higher than other tenures (12 per cent of social sector homes and 16 per cent of owner- occupied homes).

- In 2019-20, more than one fifth of renters (22 per cent) did not end their last tenancy by choice and faced an average of £1,400 of moving costs as well as likely paying more for the home they moved into.

- The measures in the Bill will support the Government’s levelling up mission on housing for the number of non-decent rented homes to have fallen by 50 per cent by 2030.

- We will shortly publish a White Paper which will set out more detail on our proposals for landmark reform in the private rented sector. 
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Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

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    It’s all so tragic, many tenants will rejoice at all this, they have no idea what it will do to the PRS stock levels (ie lower them) and how that will negatively affect them. Lambs to the slaughter.

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    Exactly - why cant the powers that be see it?

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    I think they have a different (undefined) agenda. Certainly preventing homelessness is not part of that agenda.

     
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    They don't care either way but foolishly think this will get them more votes.

    The type of rogue tenants which this will help are probably too indolent to vote and almost certainly would never vote Tory anyway.

    The Government has just alienated a load of voters who would probably prefer to vote for them than any other major party, and that includes the majority of decent aspirational tenants!

     
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    Either they can see it but they don't care or they are so deluded that they really think it a good idea. Presumably they think it's a vote winner.

     
  • Neil Moores

    Airbnb here I come...along with a portfolio of 150 properties.

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    Short sighted ‘do gooders’……it WILL Backfire on them!

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    its a bit like licensing - tenants think that is a good idea ...until their rent goes up!

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    Notably, it says nothing about ending a tenancy when you want to sell or move a family member in.

    Does anyone know anything about that?

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    Previously it has been said that valid grounds for giving notice will include selling the property or needing it back to live in yourself. We will have to wait and see the detail but it has been suggested this will have to be included or the whole sector will collapse. Not just because landlords will sell up, but also mortgage lenders won't lend if they can't repossess the property in the event of default on the mortgage. So mortgage lenders may in fact save the sector inadvertently. There's a thought.

     
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    In Scotland the SNP banned mutually agreed fixed term tenancies in December 2017, which is what abolishing S 21 will do.

    Initially there were some limited mandatory grounds for repossession including selling, major works required, property required for the owner's personal use as the principal home.

    ALL mandatory repossession grounds were made discretionary at the start of the pandemic but STILL remain discretionary even more than 2 years later.

    The mortgage companies don't seem to have cottoned on yet but hopefully the sheer size of the English prs will make them sit up and take notice.

    There will be many unintended (but predictable) consequences of this lunacy including a severely curtailed, stricter and more expensive BTL mortgage market, which will in turn lead to a similar effect on the PRS.

    Decent tenants should get ready to riot outside the premises of Shelter, Acorn, Generation Rant etc as they will be the idiots to blame for the resulting debacle.

     
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    I am in favour of clamping down on rogue landlords and improvements to properties which are genuinely unsafe. Surely it would be possible to do this without making things impossible for decent landlords with decent properties?

    There is no point saying 22% of renters did not end their last tenancy by choice without giving the actual reasons. No landlord evicts decent tenants who are paying the rent. In any case, where do they get these figures from? There is currently no credible organisation collecting data from all tenants as to why they left their previous property. Presumably this is data from shelter who only get to meet a small proportion of tenants. Those will be tenants who can't find a new place and who will have been given notice for reasons they may not be honest about. When I gave notice to some nightmare tenants they told their new landlord a load of lies about why they were moving.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    ... Bring on the ' Unintended consequences ' Tenants with Cast-Iron Guarantors Only, need apply.

    Local Authorities, - prepare for a deluge of demand from the ' you know what ' sector.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    The reality is that the removal of S21 actually won’t change much. Tenants end over 90% of tenancies- this won’t change. With S8 grounds being strengthened (for Landlords) these will be better/easier to enforce and S21’s used as a ‘simpler’ way to remove a rogue/troublesome tenant- landlords/agents will simply use the intended S8 grounds. The right to occupy & sell will (almost certainly) be protected/enshrined within the new regs as well as the right for banks to repossess (with caveats to avoid abuse). As such, this will likely impact roughly 2% of tenancies (which is still around 80k). Please read Ben Beadle’s recent open letter on behalf of NRLA to Shelter for greater statistical insight- it’s a long(ish) but brilliant read!

    However, this will likely make landlords and agents be far more cautious about ‘questionable’ tenancies. Where there are concerns over a pet being a nuisance or where the affordability is at the threshold (worsened by rising living costs)- these tenants will likely be shunned for fear of being stuck with them unless they formally breach the contract actionable under S8. Therefore, this will likely impact the very people the likes of Shelter are (supposedly) trying to help & protect.

    S21 are likely to go until the latter part of this year and it is not unreasonable to think this may only apply to new tenancies going forwards. Rent increases in line with fair market conditions are likely to still be actionable- so concerns over being stuck with a tenant who, after several; years, is paying way below market rate is also likely to be unfounded.

    As such, this is likely a storm in a teacup and better S8 grounds/framework could actually lead to a better-structured landscape for agents & landlords alike.

    The white paper will obviously set out more detail, so we are all largely speculating until then, but let’s see…..

  • girish mehta

    I have not increase rent for 6 years . Now it will be yearly. Insurance when I get a bad tenent. Long term decent tenants will end up higher rents. The councils should bring in property mot . Landlords pay inspection fee to council they then advise the landlords to upgrade their property and then let. Whrr e n landlords wish to evict then it should be easier for both parties. Noncompliance by tenent should give automatic grounds hot eviction. Present policies are money grabbing exercise and money being wasted with no real improvement

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