By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Graham Awards


Government announces changes to Renters Reform Bill

Changes put forward to the Renters Reform Bill to crack down on rogue landlords, protect vulnerable residents and improve the safety of homes for millions of tenants are being introduced today.

They appear to put flesh on the bones of some ideas floated more generally in the Bill.

The Government has tabled amendments to make it illegal for landlords and agents to have blanket bans on renting to people who receive benefits or who have children – saying this is ensuring families aren’t discriminated against when looking for a home to rent and protecting the most vulnerable. 


Landlords will still be able to carry out referencing checks to make sure a tenancy is affordable and have the final say on who they let their property to. This will apply to England and Wales and will be extended to Scotland via a further amendment to the Renters Reform Bill at a later stage.

Alongside this, a Decent Homes Standard will be applied to the private rented sector for the first time. 

The new standard will set a clear bar for what tenants should expect from their home ensuring it is safe, warm and decent. It will be set following further consultation and will help to meet the target of reducing non-decency in rented homes by 50 per cent by 2030.

Housing Secretary Michael Gove says: “Everyone deserves a home that is safe, warm and decent. But far too many live in conditions that fall well below what is acceptable. As part of our Long-Term Plan for Housing we are improving housing standards across the entire private rented sector, while also ending discrimination against vulnerable people and families who are being unfairly denied access to a home.”

Gove’s statement today adds that local authorities will be given new enforcement powers to require landlords to make properties decent, with fines up to £30,000 or a banning order in the worse cases. Tenants will also be able to claim up to 24 months rent back through rent repayment orders up from 12 previously.

Councils will also be given stronger powers to investigate landlords who rent substandard homes, providing them with the tools they need to identify and take enforcement action against the criminal minority and help drive them out of the sector.

The amendments will now be considered at Committee stage for the Bill in the House of Commons and are - in the government’s words - ”a vital next step in delivering a fairer system for both tenants and landlords. The changes will support the majority of good landlords by making existing rules clearer and more enforceable.”

Want to comment on this story? Our focus is on providing a platform for you to share your insights and views and we welcome contributions.
If any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.
Please help us by reporting comments you consider to be unduly offensive so we can review and take action if necessary. Thank you.

  • icon
    • A G
    • 15 November 2023 11:47 AM

    I really think that the government needs to take ownership of people who require social housing. It cannot possibly be discrimination when a landlord selects the most suitable tenant who will pay their rent on time and look after the property.


    Yes Social Housing is needed . I don't mean Private landlords hiding under the guise of "Housing Associations" either with their subsidies etc

  • icon

    Well, good luck with that. Countless mortgage terms clearly state, no HB, no refugees (mine all do). Plus on affordability checks, HB tenants will fall at the first hurdle unless the LHA falls into line with rents.

  • icon

    I suspect this would only affect those landlords with properties at the lower end of the market. Would-be tenants on benefits or UC would not be able to afford my rents and I always take out Rentb & Legal expenses insurance, so they would fail their checks too.

    jeremy clarke

    We have had tenants contact us where local authority will basically pay any rent. Last week a couple with joint income of c£48,000 pa receiving £1500 pcm Universal Credit and council willing to pay their deposit, why? It's becoming an entitlement rather than assistance in some people's eyes!

  • icon

    A home is only warm if tenants turn on the heating. Far greater emphasis needs to be put on the tenants obligation to adequately heat and ventilate their home.

    Families need to understand about occupancy and overcrowding laws when claiming they're being discriminated against. Tenants families have rights owner occupiers don't have in that respect. If a landlord is asking about household composition it is because they have to ensure compliance with bedroom entitlement not because they are being nosy or trying to discriminate.

  • icon

    "Long term plan" LMAO. They have at best 12 months left. Most of the Conservatives like landlords, have one foot out the door.


    I don't class any of the government as Conservatives. As for the MPs, the Conservatives lacked the courage of their convictions which is why they have Sunak as PM and the appointment of a "Housing Minister of the Month".

  • Nic  Kaz

    Blanket bans like this are sadly just rhetoric. Recruiters used to put ‘age 30-35’ on job adverts, which was rightly blanket banned due to ageism - but alas the dial didn’t move one jot in relation to who ultimately is chosen for the post. It’s so cynical as politicians know, councils know, landlords and tenants all know that expensive private homes can’t and won’t be rented to the poorest.


    This makes me laugh but true

  • icon

    "Landlords ... have the final say on who they let their property to".
    So I will continue to consider each person on their merits and rent to whoever I think is best for me.
    The government "War on landlords" means that even in the sleepiest areas I am now turning away people I would have been very happy to rent to because I simply don't have the capacity to take anybody else, which I think is a first.

  • Franklin I

    I've listed some of the key points in this article, from 1 to 12;

    1. The UK government has introduced the Renters (Reform) Bill to Parliament on May 17, 2023.
    2. The bill aims to bring in a better deal for renters by abolishing 'no fault' evictions and reforming landlord possession grounds.
    3. The bill will improve the system for both the 11 million private renters and 2.3 million landlords in England.
    4. The bill will introduce more comprehensive possession grounds so landlords can still recover their property (including where they wish to sell their property or move in close family) and make it easier to repossess properties where tenants are at fault, for example in cases of anti-social behaviour and repeat rent arrears.
    5. The bill will legislate for reforms set out in the PRS white paper published in June 2022.
    6. The bill will make it easier to repossess properties where tenants are at fault, for example in cases of anti-social behaviour and repeat rent arrears.
    7. The bill will create a new register of PRS landlords and property portal to improve data on the PRS and drive up standards across the sector.
    8. The bill will establish an Ombudsman for the PRS to help tenants and landlords to resolve disputes.
    9. The bill will end the system of assured shorthold tenancies.
    10. The bill will ban no-fault evictions by repealing section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.
    11. Councils will have the power to fine landlords up to £30,000 for breaking the law and will be able to issue rent repayment orders for up to 12 months of rent.
    12. The bill will also introduce a new minimum standard for rental properties, including requirements for electrical safety checks, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and minimum energy efficiency standards.

    The problems I have with this bill are as follows;

    Local authorities already have a poor track record in managing properties owned by PRS landlords. I experienced this first hand when I complained about a previous tenant causing damp and mould in my property. Despite reporting the issue well in advance to the housing, environmental, and Private Sector Leasing (PSL) departments, none of them were supportive or willing to investigate, even with an official damp report. In short, they actually didn't care.

    Additionally, when trying to evict a council tenant, the council advises the tenants to wait for a possession order after the 2 months notice to quit has expired, which can cost over £1,000 and take more than six months to obtain access to the property.
    Considering recent incidents, like Awaab Ishak's tragic death involving Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, it's concerning that local councils will now be responsible for fining landlords when they themselves are often responsible for mismanaging properties provided to them under 10 year leases from PRS landlords.

    It's crucial to carefully evaluate this bill and address existing challenges before implementing new regulations or transferring responsibilities. We need to ensure the protection of both tenants and landlords while consistently maintaining housing standards.

    I will conclude this message, by stating that many LL's are on standby in regards to the final decision on the 'Renter's reform bill.'

    Once the final bill has been implemented, I will predict that landlord property sales will have a spike of 30% to 50% in LL's exiting the BTL market.

    My advise to the government, is "The council should exercise caution when dealing with PRS LL's, as the departure of a LL from the PRS market may lead their tenANts to construct temporary homes by subtracting the fourth and fifth letters ('A' and 'N') from the word 'tenANts,' resulting in 'tents'⛺." I can visualise this, more than the bill itself!

    Nic  Kaz

    I think your point 9 has the greatest long term concern. What will kill PRS is the loss of the protected AST contract which allowed it to grow in the first place:
    9. The bill will end the system of assured SHORThold tenancies.


    I fully agree with your predictions.
    The Bill is very motivational- not to be a landlord, even an accidental one. The risks outweigh the benefits. A lot of good landlords will get burned before they realise they are not as good as they believed. Because they are easy targets with no rights and no voice.

  • icon

    More discrimination against landlords just when we are totally sick of them.
    So Tenants can happily damage your property and get 2 years rent back instead of one, so what do you expect will happen
    Some fake Bill not worthy of a comment.


    The primary problem is that the majority of people making the rules have no experience of repairs and carrying them out - or how damage occurs in rented accommodation.

    Shelter comments on repairs, but don't know what they are talking about because they are not involved in property maintenance and management.


    @ Ellie, Shelter is the personification of the saying, "Those who can, do. Those who cannot, criticise."

  • icon

    Why is every other Article Banging on on about Rogue Landlords .
    Most of the Landlords I deal with are decent hardworking people .
    There is no balance in the Renters Reform Bill . Agreements need to be of Mutual Benefit to all concerned . I can see no reason why anyone would want to buy an House and give it to someone else for their life.

    How many tenants will be deliberately damaging the property in order get 2 years rent back.
    Every day their is an article about Tenants being turfed out for no reason . One of the main ones are Landlords selling up . Because of Government and Councils Policies

  • icon

    What about the crack down on appalling social housing - stop beating up the PRS - we are leaving in droves!


    Yes - we are all very fed up with our businesses being interfered with.

    We are not providers of social housing. Most of us see our role as to provide good, reasonably priced, temporary accommodation for people, not permanent homes.

  • John  Adams

    Unfortunately the lunatics are running the asylum. It will take several years before the chaos they have caused is fully realised and some kind of backtracking to bring back investment will inevitably happen. In the meantime homelessness is going to sky rocket, already the SNP are beginning to see the results but of course are currently unable to admit it. The current "Government" will probably fall in the coming months and lose the election, the loonie left however will have little to clap about as investment collapses.

  • icon

    We can't say 'No families' or 'No DSS' but we don't have to take them! So we just waste everyone's time & still pick the professional working couple with no pets!


    we aren't supposed to say so but most on benefits know that most landlords won't touch them so they waste their time


    Yep. I just advertised a place, partly as an experiment, taking care not to say anything potentially discriminatory. I got 100 enquiries in 3 days, and openrent paused my advert. I did over 20 viewings, taking care to be fair, but there were less than 10 potentially suitable tenants. Big waste of everyone's time really.

    • A JR
    • 15 November 2023 19:58 PM

    Or will the Gov of the day simply intervene with quota’s particularly for portfolio LLs? Ie if you have 5 properties then 1 will have to be let to a benefit claimant. Perish the thought, but we are living in highly illogical and uncertain times!

    Franklin I

    I totally agree Tricia.
    We're being forced to take pets, without the tenants presenting us with pet insurance or tenants insurance that will cover the costs of incidents and damages within the property.

    Franklin I

    That one property out of 5 "AJR," will have to be sold I'm afraid.

    I've been in touch with my local MP, with regards to a complaint about "Usless C's."

    UC are so useless, I said if they don't want to pay me for the loss of 2 months rent, respond to my emails and confirm that the tenant was guilty of benefit fraud, then they should give me special exemptions to opt out from taken tenants on UC!

  • icon

    Wait until Labour get it and start rent controls and blame landlords for being greedy and should be forced to accept benefits and insulate the house for them so that the tenants bills are lower. There won’t be any landlords left and only the wealthiest will be owning homes leaving everyone else with nowhere to go because who would want to be a landlord.

  • icon

    So everyone deserves a Safe Warm Decent home. My Home. Why what did they do to deserve it or was the requirement just sign up for Benefit.
    It’s now the Governments Public Rented Sector in full control at zero cost to them and raking in Billions in taxes & licensing scams, run, maintained and financed for free by private individuals who will be fined £30k if he doesn’t comply. Being forced to operate under duress.

  • John Wathen

    I know from professional experience that the real rogue landlords don’t give two hoots about any legislation to do with the PRS because they operate entirely under the radar letting slums to illegal & other immigrants who invariably don’t speak English & are too scared to complain even if they knew how! These insidious characters work with cash only & grossly overcrowd their disgusting hovels with vulnerable, often forced, slave or sex workers & the councils know nothing about them. Meantime honest decent caring landlords are being viciously legislated against by ignorant misguided politicians!

  • icon

    I've just written to the BBC about a story about a single Mum for 4 being given a section 21...she's posed for a picture in her £50 a fortnight fake eyelashes....I asked the BBC why they hadn't investigated why the landlord needed her to leave??? and suggested maybe he had no choice but to sell due to Gov policies, bankruptcy, mortgage arrears, paying for an operation they can't get on the NHS, or simply wanted their own children to live in a house they worked their entire life to pay for ....bet I don't get a reply.

    Nic  Kaz

    I saw that too - yet another article screaming about ‘more no fault evictions’ As if landlords like nothing more than throwing folk on the street for no reason but kicks n giggles. Totally unbalanced, as you said, and I too doubt you will get a reply.

  • icon

    The legalisation is back the front, it should be to Protect Vulnerable landlords from the Rogue Tenants.

  • icon

    What a disappointing lot our Government have been, are currently and probably will continue to be. I am now even more motivated to sell my properties. Don't get me wrong, my current decent tenants are safe, as long as their heads don't get turned by this disastrous act.
    I start work next week on a refurb of a property to sell, had thought about one more let, but even if the market falls the property will go, I have no appetite to take the risk of new tenants.

  • icon

    'The Government has tabled amendments to make it illegal for landlords and agents to have blanket bans on renting to people who receive benefits or who have children'
    Totally irrelevant statement. Landlords will still decide who they want to let THEIR home to.
    If Gov't meddling gets to the point where they think they can say who is housed, then I am selling straight away.


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up