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Renters Reform Bill - major changes likely at Committee Stage

It’s being forecast that there are likely to be major changes made to the Renters Reform Bill during its next stage as it progresses through Parliament.

It passed Second Reading last Monday and now goes to the Committee Stage, the third of five stages in the Commons.

The Committee Stage typically begins within a fortnight of the Second Reading and this will be formally timetabled - a start date should be known shortly.


At Committee Stage it will take evidence from external experts and those with strong opinions on rental issues, and amendments are selected by the chair of the committee: only members of the committee can vote on whether to accept or reject changes. 

A statement from the National Residential Landlords Association over the weekend says: “It is likely that we will witness significant alterations to the Bill during Committee Stage. The NRLA will provide evidence to ensure that changes proposed do not undermine landlord confidence further and that the Bill as amended supports responsible landlords.”

Once the committee is sitting, amendments proposed by MPs to the Bill will be published daily and reprinted as a marshalled list of amendments for each day the committee discusses the Bill. Every clause in the Bill is agreed to, changed or removed from the Bill, although this may happen in some less contentious cases without debate.

Labour has made it clear it will be pushing for measures that go beyond those already in the Bill, particularly on an expansion of rent repayment orders; amending possession grounds to protect tenants against ‘no fault’ evictions; and the outlawing of blanket bans on landlords accepting tenants with children or who are in receipt of benefits.

For its part, the government has made clear that it will not enact the flagship policy within the Bill - the abolition of Section 21 eviction powers - until a reform of the court possession process has been enacted.

The Committee Stage is due to be completed by Tuesday December 5.

If the Bill has been amended the Bill is reprinted before its next stage, called the Report Stage. This is when the Bill returns to the floor of the House of Commons for its report stage, where the amended Bill can be debated and further amendments proposed.

The House of Commons rises for its Christmas recess on December 19, with MPs returning on January 8 2024.

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    They need the world’s biggest red pen.

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    The whole process seems bizarre to me for a number of reasons:

    1. Landlords' views have not been taken into account at all with respect to the legislation.

    2. The statistics and data from the past have been ignored which show that only when landlords had the right to get their property back at the end of a fixed term, did the size of the private rental sector increase in size. Prior to that time the private rental sector was small.

    3. The data regarding the age of landlords has not been taken into account; the majority of landlords are aged over 55 and many are aged over 75. Older people are less able to cope with spurious claims and are less able to manage online communications etc. Many landlords will struggle with those aspects of the bill which require online proficiency.

    4. There was no vote after the second reading.

    5. It is not clear at all how landlords' interests will be represented at the committee stage.


    I emailed our local mp and pointed out according to govt housing survey only 4% of tenants had their tenancy ended by LL when they did not wish to leave. So if the majority of these cases wld be to sell/rent arrears or ASB - how many tenants will RRB benefit and they shld do a cost benefit analysis. Mr Freeman made sympathetic noises and did nothing. Our local reform candidate in breckland is anti RRB!


    That is very interesting Catherine.

    I wonder if the Reform Party would favour all tenancies being governed by common law i.e. the law of contract and previous relevant case decisions, rather than the Housing Acts.

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    The NRLA are providing evidence - we really are doomed then.

    I challenged Beadle re S21 in an email and he absolutely refuses to make it clear to Govt this is a make or break issue that will drive landlords to sell. He says he surveyed NRLA members on this. Did Any NRLA member on here get a survey?

    Interesting article in the Guardian today about England's broken housing system is a problem no council can avoid - “. a 120% year-on-year rise in evictions, shortages of social housing and a shrinking, volatile, local private rented sector have created a perfect storm“. I wroteto Sam Chapman Allen Head of District Council Network a couple of years ago and predicted this. If they carry on with this destructive bill then things will only get worse for tenants


    You are absolutely right Catherine; things are going to get worse for tenants. Many landlords are not going to be prepared to hand over their properties indefinitely.

    This extremist legislation has set the framework for tenancies under a Labour Government, too. They have pledged to give tenants even more rights which is so short-sighted of them. Haven't they looked at the historical data at all? Don't they realise that in Scotland existing tenancies continued to be shorthold assured tenancies so that the housing market didn't collapse with the "reforms" there?


    They appear hell bent on the destruction of the PRS 🤔 I don’t even think they have given tenants any thought at all 🥲


    It seems like that, Simon.

    Fery  Lavassani

    Catharine, I am an accredited member of the NRLA. In fact I have been a member for almost twelve years. I participate in all surveys, but do not recall one particularly on abolition of Section 21.

    I send a message on Instagram to Ben Beadle, specifically telling him that Mr. Beadle on the issue of Section 21, "you sold us out". He came back furiously defending his stance by saying that he was pushing for the court system to be somehow overhauled and become fit for the purpose, before Section 21 is abolished. My point was that the same way Shelter, Generation Rent and Acorn are pushing for the abolition of Section 21, the NRLA as our representative, must fight to keep this vital Section operative for landlord at the end of the tenancies.

    I further explained to him that by making sure that the courts speed up the hearing of the cases, your problems would not be solved. Those of you who have been through operation of Section 8, fully well know that the judge will not give you more than five or ten minutes, if you lucky, to hear your case. Then all you need is a clever tenant come on the hearing and "cough" in front of the honourable district judge and falsely claim mould and disrepair. Something that was never been mentioned before. Now you have got yourself a counter claim. The tenant is entitled to legal aid and surveyor's fees.

    The arrears will be written off against the compensation claim from the tenant side. On a case of rent arrears, the most common cases under Section 8 for obtaining an eviction order, you will have to start all over again waiting for the rent arrears to add up to two months and pay legal and surveyor fees . Cut the long story short, you will be thousands of pounds out of pocket with no fault of your own.

    Like Ellie said, I am now 66 and have been a landlord since 1983, I know what will happen when Section 21 is abolished and open ended tenancies are introduced. So for these reasons and as a matter of experience, I am out.


    I never saw or heard of a survey. I heard him at an online meeting / committee with Shelter, the government, Generation Rant etc. When asked about his view on S21 going he just shrugged his shoulders and said "I don't have a problem with that". That's the leader of the NRLA talking. Unforgiveable.


    As per Fery's post I can see a never ending cycle happening of arrears and counterclaims. As landlords we are all self funding paying expensive fees while the tenants are all legal aided and pay for nowt.

    This RRB is an absolute disaster.

    Fery  Lavassani

    Exactly Nick. Once the tenant brings a counterclaim on damp or disrepair, the acting solicitors instruct a chartered surveyor to carry out a full survey similar to HHSRS inspections. You can bet your bottom dollar that in a house built prior to 1917 without cavity you are bound to find some sort of minor defect, most probably or certainly unreported by the tenant. Once you are notified about the defect, you will have to remedy that, then instruct your own surveyor, since the first one took instructions from the tenant. And the nightmare continues.

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    I think it’s wonderful at Committee Stage it will take Evidence from external Experts with Strong Opinions on Rental issue, if they are External how can they be Expert’s ?.
    Shelter you are in you are the Experts at not supplying any Housing, this is your chance to get amendment's and have power over Landlords that house 9 million, this is the pattern of the way the Country is going, everyone with no input have all the say and the Committee see fit to entertain them.
    I have been an NLA member for more years than I can remember never seen a Survey.


    Well said. All these MPs like Gove and Rayner all have big ideas with OTHER PEOPLE's PROPERTY... Kiers at PMQs pulling heart strings about 'Alicia and her 2 children' getting a 'no fault eviction'. I bet Alicia deserved her very much at fault eviction; and even if it wasn't deserved I bet the landlord had a very good reason which had nothing to do with repairs of wanting to charge excessive rents.

    Peter Why Do I Bother

    I have never had the survey, then again half the stuff they do not want to into the public domain they never inform you. What they do though is stick it on the website and you have to physically go to that to find anything.

    I do not have the time or inclination to go onto that website when most of it is full of their own self interests and promoting sponsored links. This is my last year with the shower of useless idiots.

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    Said before they churn out rules and regs without thinking about the effect to appease groups like G E. As read above lab will just make it many times worse. They r all a bunch of f idiots. . That rule the Uk!🤣. And indirectly we will put lab/ the tories there. Best not to vote. Or emigrate.

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    The Big Boys must be busting their sides laughing we are all caught up in this spiders web and no one saying a dickey bird about them, sitting there waiting for their takeaway.

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    We have had enough of so called experts , who house no-one . Lets actually ask Landlords , and tenants . Also the NRLA needs to get a mandate from the members not just about section 21 . also Section 24. And handing over our properties to our tenants for life.

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    Who are these panel of experts? If anyone knows please share.

    It's also good time to contact MPs on both side of government to share the concerns this bill will have..


    They are tone deaf. The lines are drawn. It's one big football now getting kicked around in a race to the bottom. They are all "committed" to doing more and more for tenants which means making them homeless...


    @ Nick, not just tone deaf, but wearing blindfolds too.

    Peter Why Do I Bother

    Paul, might be worth asking Catherine Wright, Jo Westlake or Michael Foley on here if they have been contacted to be on the panel. Doubt it very much but Beadles About will be there for a free lunch and waving his Tradepoint discount card around.

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    I think all the landlords have to accept the fact that S21 will be removed as it is part of conservatives election pledge. Labour will do worse. It is time for NRLA to come up with solutions that work for landlords. So far, I have not seen any. If S8 is the only option, then system must be setup in a way a lazy landlord will have evidence to evict a tenant. What do I mean by that? Well, the procedures must by default provide evidence needed. Tenancy is for fixed period of say 5 years (so no one is quaking in the boots about eviction). However, students, HMOs to have 1 year fixed term tenancies. Late payment recorded, 3 late payments = eviction, one month of non payment= eviction, any mould or property degradation in quarterly inspection should be grounds for eviction, deposit should be split into one for rent protection and other for damage protection. Or Tenant must have rent and damage protection insurance for the duration of tenancy with the landlord as the benefishery. Court process needs to be landlords filling in a form online or otherwise with evidence and court granting it. No expensive lawyers or delays.
    S21 is not the be all and end all as long as we have comprehensive reforms to support the landlords. For me a landlord tenant register is a must and must not be allowed at any cost to have a landlords only register.
    In any negotiation if you are not willing to give anything then the negotiation will fail. We need a register of tenants with their history of what ever they have done. So Landlords should be asking for a tenant register.


    Mostly agreed, but I do not agree that landlords have to accept that S21 will be removed. Older and wiser heads than mine have explained what the PRS was like before S21 and the fear that those days will return. The NRLA have certainly been quiet on the abolition and appear to have meekly rolled over on the matter. Like many I am voting with my feet and gradually selling up. Good luck to those with the stamina and will to stay.


    Agree Annoyed. Loss of S21 is a no-go. The NRLA are a disgrace for rolling over.

    Th government won't allow a tenants register. There's too much **** out there and they want to protect it even when at fault. Landlords are politically okay to kick with registers, fines, fees etc. But not tenants.

    A lot comes down to how things are measured and assessed. I can see lots of issues with 'evidence' being provided and not accepted. A bit like the tenant deposit schemes. It will all be one sided. The evidence required will probably have to be enough for a conviction; albeit they say no conviction would be required. A very small concession and is really just splitting hairs.

  • David Saunders

    Regardless how many committee stages or amendments given to the RRB, the bottom line is/will be "No Section 21 No properties to let" as per previous to its introduction in 1980s and unless and until someone in power manages to get 2 brain cells working in unison and realises that. then tenants and homeless will come off worst in this charade as homeless figures go into orbit.

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    They did a complete U turn on EPC C. There is always hope!

    Peter Why Do I Bother

    They will U turn on most of it, if not they won't be able to house anybody. The only thing though that worries me is if they go political and leave a sh1tshow for labour to clean up (which they won't).



    I think they are creating a sh1tshow for Labour to clean up. Now they can claim to be looking after renters and being more left wing appealing to a wider audience. If and when it goes wrong it will be for Labour to clear up. But Labour, dummies that they are , want to go further. So the Tories in opposition can claim credit for what will be implemented anyway. If the Tories stay in power they have helped their BTR mates raising the rents. Perhaps more home owners will get more Tory votes. Landlord with any money vote Labour? Perhaps not too many?

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    Everybody knows that landlords are there to house people, so effectively demonising them as an evil entity for doing this has obviously spooked a lot of people. The big problem for landlords is going to be the potentially increased sense of entitlement of some tenants, the fact that they may find it easier than before to play the system against their landlord, and the undeniable fact that justice is only for those that can afford it or have it provided for them. And there will be a LOT of homelessness if tenants are evicted for fault rather than via section 21 (get out of jail free as no fault recorded against the tenant).

    At the moment the attitude seems to be that landlords are people swimming in money from "unearned" income and therefore can take a few punches to their wealth, whilst tenants are the innocent oppressed. Robin Hood anyone?

    As I see it, the only solution for anybody who wants to continue in the business is to look after number one first and foremost, be ultra-careful who you rent to (whilst being careful to consider potential tenants without falling foul of discrimination laws), and sell up if the ride gets too scary.

    I'm 55 and disabled with chronic fatigue, so am in a position that I am quite tempted to cash out and pay off my residential mortgage when the current deal expires. I can then carry on my part time work, keep one or two select properties or just keep my lodgers that more than cover my bills, draw my partial teacher's pension when I'm 60 and get my state pension as well when I'm 67. I would then have more time time spend with my gf, time to visit children and relatives, buy some nice things and have a holiday. What's not to like?


    Tenants are all entitled to non-means tested legal aid as of about 1 month ago. So justice is free for them. But of course not the landlord.


    @ Nick - also Citizens Advice (paid by public and taxpayers) will give advice to tenants and not to landlords, because landlords are businesses.

    I deal with one CA person once, sanctimonious ****, who soon learned that it was best to check facts before accusing people.

  • George Dawes

    Lot of politicians are landlords, they’ll do what suits themselves as usual

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    • A JR
    • 30 October 2023 18:00 PM

    This free legal aid for all tenants thing is horrendous and clearly designed to reduce successful evictions to a trickle. Its deliberate and calculated, just another move closer to de facto sequestration of private property. Creeping communism.


    Exactly. One of the main reasons I’ve been taking my time fixing my old property up for sale rather than rent.

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    For me, it's the tenant's right to give 2 months notice the day they move in. If this goes ahead I'm selling my portfolio. I already have many tenants who rent for just 6 months who are between buying a house. That's enough faff as it is!

    We will be used for cheap short-term accommodation. Profits are already making it a pointless business to be in. When a tenancy is changed, it generally costs us a month or two in rent (in terms of time/rent lost/tenant find/snagging etc) so if that goes ahead, then it will become even less profitable, so, as Duncan Bannatyne says; "I'M OOT!"


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