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Renters Reform Bill: Landlords urged to prepare for changes as MPs return

A prominent lettings agent is urging landlords to stay vigilant for changes to the Renters Reform Bill now that Parliament is back from the summer recess.

Graeme Goessen, Management Services Director for London agency JOHNS&CO, says: “The ongoing review and debate in parliament offer opportunities for additional amends, but it is also important that landlords do not overlook the potential benefits the Bill can have for them.”

It’s thought the Bill will get a second reading in the Commons shortly, but this will still be just an early stage of a lengthy passage through Parliament. It is highly unlikely to become law until we’ll into 2024.


Goessen continues: “The government will then give at least six months' notice of the first implementation date, from which point all new tenancies will need to abide by the Bill. A further 12 months' notice will then be provided to retrospectively govern all tenancies. Here are a few of the key changes proposed by the Reform Bill."

He says the most significant change is the abolition of Section 21 evictions, which enabled landlords to repossess their properties without having to establish fault on the part of the tenant. 

“The proposed new system will mean that tenants will be required to provide two months’ notice when leaving a tenancy and landlords will only be able to evict a tenant in reasonable circumstances, which will be defined in law. 

“For landlords, this will change how they can approach evictions, however, it is important for landlords to understand that they will still be looking to regain possession for the same reasons.”

In place of Section 21, the Bill proposes strengthening Section 8 to allow landlords to end a tenancy agreement early if they have the legal reason to do so.

Goessen adds: “While intending to give tenants greater security and stability, the strengthening of Section 8 will also benefit landlords as it expands the reasons for eviction, giving landlords greater options in cases where tenants have breached their tenancy agreements, such as for persistent arrears.” 

The Bill also recognises new mandatory grounds for eviction when landlords’ circumstances change, such as landlords wishing to sell the property or move family members into the property.  

“While this provides more comprehensive grounds for possession, it does raise questions that some grounds will actually take longer to enforce, even when the landlord is able to make a claim immediately for possession. This is one area which would benefit from increased clarity during the government’s second reading debate” says the JOHNS&CO chief.

The Bill intends to introduce a mandatory Ombudsman to provide ‘fair, impartial, and binding’ resolution to disputes between landlords and tenants outside of court.

He comments: “The Ombudsman will be a streamlined service that will help to resolve individual disputes without involving the courts, which will be a faster and cheaper solution to resolving issues. The government is also exploring the possibility of offering mediation services to landlords to help settle disputes raised by landlords.

“While the Ombudsman will have additional powers granted to compel landlords to resolve situations, it also offers benefits for landlords, providing access to training, guidance, and support.”

The Bill will also give tenants an implied right to request consent to keep a pet in the property, which landlords cannot reasonably refuse, and tenants will be able to challenge the landlord's decision.

Goessen points out that it will not be possible to legislate for each individual situation where a landlord would or would not be able to ‘reasonably’ refuse a pet, and there will be situations where it is reasonable to refuse - including where their superior landlord prohibits pets. For example, as a clause in the head lease should a tenant be a leaseholder in a block of flats. 

He says: “As it stands, further clarity will need to be provided to help landlords determine if they can reasonably deny a tenant's request for a pet. However, the Bill also proposes amending the Tenant Fees Act 2019 so that landlords can require insurance as a permitted payment to cover any damage to their property.

“This will help reassure landlords that any property damage caused by a pet will be covered and that the responsibility for preventing and resolving any damage will reside solely with the tenant.

“For now, it is important that landlords remain vigilant and agile to any new changes from the rental reforms, and consult their letting agents for guidance.”

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  • George Dawes

    Back from Holiday , that we pay for with our taxes , claiming every expense imaginable

    Nothing honourable about being a politician

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    Go away and grow up no preparation allowed, so how could a landlord be vigilant and prepare for RRB designed to prevent him from operating with his two hands tied behind his back.
    The only preparation possible is exit and that’s Bankruptcy in itself, don’t give me all this pretending to be given Tenants more rights, after you have driven up their Rents 20/30% and that’s if they can find anywhere at all to Rent, they must be chuffed with this Bill.

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    This is the way that agents talk. They don't have money invested themselves in the properties and therefore they are only interested in rental income, not capital value, rights of the owner etc.

    It is the same with the politicians and the groups which purport to represent tenants; none of those who advocate the Renters Reform legislation has any money invested in the properties.

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    ……”but it is also important that landlords do not overlook the potential benefits the Bill can have for them.” Says a letting agent watching his business implode 🤔. I can’t see any benefits of the bill. I have S21. This is all worse. A lot worse.

    “The Bill intends to introduce a mandatory Ombudsman to provide ‘fair, impartial, and binding’ resolution to disputes between landlords and tenants outside of court.” Mmmm… Impartial…. Mmm…. Just like the tenant deposit schemes 😁. The process will be tenant complains to landlord. Landlord jumps knowing tenants know they can jump straight to the ‘impartial’ Ombudsman for the all but guaranteed win and more importantly compensation 💴 💵 💰. They can keep repeating knowing you can’t get them out. Better than working…. Tax free too.

    …”it also offers benefits for landlords, providing access to training, guidance, and support.” Mmm… a load more work then. Difficult to follow process just like trying to claim through the TDS scheme. No training for tenants though. They are all angels 👼.

    Insurance? Tenants can just cancel and get a refund. Can we evict once they don’t renew after they first year??? Will that be a new ground “written into law”? No of course not.


    Excellent analysis, Nick, of the new "reforms"!


    Yes, I have to agree. My experience of the TDS is tennant left my beautiful property in a stinking mess. It was cleaned by a cleaning company and it was so bad it cost (just to clean) £1150.
    I put in a claim to the TDS, and they decided that £100 would be "fair" and reasonable. I have no faith in any onbudsman or insurance, or tennants or government these days. This will all turn into a disaster for everyone!

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    Oh I’m getting ready alright, preparing my evictions and getting them ready for sale 😂😂💰💰

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    There will be nothing beneficial to Landlords no matter how it’s dressed up either by letting Agents or the NRLA.

  • Franklin I

    I wrote to my local MP, Janet Darby, in regards to my concerns pertaining to the effects/impact the 'Renter's Reform bill,' will have on LL's.

    I was provided with a "Response," letter attached to the email, along with a link at dot gov UK.

    "Guide to the Renters (Reform) Bill," was the link also provided in the attached letter from RACHEL MACLEAN MP Minister of State for Housing and Planning.

    The following letter read as follows:

    Dear Janet,

    31st August 2023.

    Thank you for your email to the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP on behalf of your constituent, Mr Franklin I, regarding the Renters (Reform) Bill and tenant licencing. I am replying as the Minister responsible for this policy area. I am very sorry to hear of the challenges Mr Franklin I, has faced with his tenant. I would like to assure him that we recognise the vital role that good landlords play in providing homes for millions of people across the country. We know that the overwhelming majority of landlords provide a good service, and that they both care for their properties and care about the tenants who occupy them. As you are aware, on 17 May, the Renters (Reform) Bill was introduced to Parliament. The Bill delivers the government’s manifesto commitment to abolish section 21 “no fault” evictions. It will help ensure tenants, including many families with children, can rent decent, secure homes from which they can put down roots in their communities, take up jobs, and build stable lives. It will also bolster the ability of good landlords to evict problematic tenants, and, in many cases, it will be quicker for a landlord to evict a tenant than it is now.

    A guide to the Bill can be found here: "dot gov dot uk/guidance/guide-to-the-renters-reform-bill."
    Mr Franklin I, raised a proposal to introduce tenant licensing. While the government does not currently plan to introduce tenant licensing, we are committed to making sure all parties are aware of their rights and responsibilities. The government is currently conducting a review of the available guidance to tenants and landlords to ensure that each group is aware of their rights and can also fulfil their responsibilities.
    We are planning a communications campaign to raise awareness of the Renters (Reform) Bill and the changes that will come out of that, the campaign will direct people to guidance which is relevant to them. We regularly meet with charities such as Shelter, Citizen’s Advice and other tenant organisations as well as landlord and agent bodies such as NRLA and ARLA. We have good relationships with key stakeholders and actively seek out their views.
    We are planning some user research on our guidance to ensure it works for landlords and tenants.
    The government will also require all tenants and landlords to have a written statement setting out details such as the tenancy start date, rent level, landlord address and basic rights and responsibilities of both parties.

    A written statement will provide tenants and landlords with a clear summary of their rights and responsibilities, while retaining their right to agree and adapt terms to meet their needs.

    We will allow time for a smooth transition to the new system, supporting tenants, landlords and agents to adjust, while making sure that tenants can benefit from the new system as soon as reasonably possible. Again, while the government wants to see more people buying their own homes, I fully recognise that private rented properties are a crucial part of a properly functioning property system, and I thank Mr Franklin I, for taking the time to write in and lay out his concerns. Thank you again for your email.

    Yours sincerely, RACHEL MACLEAN MP Minister of State for Housing and Planning.

    Please feel free to share your comments.....


    This is what happens when Landlords don't have any representation. The whole package of reforms will be rejected by landlords who will either sell up or find a new way to let.

    However, perhaps none of it matters much. Rachel Maclean will probably lose Redditch to Labour in the General Election, and the Lib Dems may take Michael Gove's Surrey Heath constituency.


    They're not listening. It's like watching Khan with Ulez saying "I'm listening", and "I'm continuing to listen" but going against everybody all of the way.


    And in the case of the Renters Reform bill they haven't heard from the people who own the property that they want to commandeer for homeless families for life. Ben Beadle is a student landlord. His opinion may have been relevant to landlords who let to students, but not to any other landlord. The only people who mattered in the whole reform process were the property owners as it was up to them whether they were prepared to let under the new regime. Shelter's opinion etc was completely irrelevant if all landlords were entirely in opposition to the legislation.


    Lisa Nandy has been moved from being shadow secretary of state covering levelling-up and housing to a shadow cabinet minister covering international trade.

    Perhaps that signals that Labour will have a more realistic rental property policy which will respect property ownership rights. I am hoping that they will follow Welsh Labour and retain no fault endings to tenancies.


    Rayner reasonable?


    Have you ever seen her tantrums in the Commons?


    I don't really know much about Angela Rayner, Robert. When I wrote that post, I didn't know who had replaced Lisa Nandy.


    Rayner called the Tories scum in the House of Commons. Was forced to apologise. What words will she have for describing a landlord?

  • Franklin I

    I totally agree with you Ellie, the heading "Renters Reform Bill: Landlords urged to prepare for changes as MPs return."

    The headlines could easily read in the future;

    Renters Reform Bill: MP's urged to prepare for mass exodus of LL's in PRS."


    Your headline would be the accurate one!

  • Franklin I

    It's okay Nick, if they don't listen, we can just play this outi like a game of chess.

    Their will be no stale mates involved, check mates all the way in favour of LL's.

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    Goessen has gone out of his mind. Does he not get it? Jones & Co is going to lose a lot of business, certainly from me. Whose side is he on? He is like Beadle. Gove and Rayner will be both be out of the picture, once them have done 100% damage to the PRS market. Tenants are finding difficult to finding difficult to find property now. In 2 years, it will be worse. 3-4 of my properties will be out of the rental market within 2 years. Others are student properties. Even those will go in 5 to 6 years. Students will further struggle.


    It's like the story of the Emperor's New Clothes, Vibha - they are all denying reality.

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    When Parliament returns they might have got rid of the cobwebs in their brain and read it properly the second time.
    The main change required is substitute the words Tenant’s and replace with the words Landlords (landlord to give Tenants 2 months notice) I don’t know how they got that wrong the first time they certainly needed a break.

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    It sounds like they are angling for a job with the property ombudsman.

  • Franklin I

    100% Michael.


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