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


Renters Reform Bill changes not as key as opponents claim - expert comment

Amendments to be made to the Renters Reform Bill when it returns to the Hoise of Commons next week won’t significantly change the tone of the Bill.

Nor will they make it any more playable to landlords.

That’s the view of managing director of client accounting and automated rental payment specialists, PayProp UK.


Neil Cobbold says: “When you take a step back and look at the details, these new changes amount to very little in real terms – in fact, the Bill is more or less intact.

“The government has made some tweaks after speaking to the industry but in practical terms, nothing substantial in the Renters Reform Bill has changed for the majority of tenants and landlords.”

Just before Easter the government unveiled amendments to calm opposition from some of its own MPs.

The proposed changes include:

- Accepting a proposal by the cross-party Housing Select Committee that when fixed term tenancy agreements end, ‘tenants be unable to give two months’ notice to leave until they have been in a property for at least four months’;

- Reviewing the operation of the courts before ending Section 21 for existing tenancies to ensure the justice system can cope;

- Ensuring all types of student housing, including one- and two-bed properties, are covered by the planned ground for possession to protect the annual cycle of the student housing market and ensure properties will be available to rent from the start of each academic year;

- Reviewing the need for local authority licensing schemes in light of the proposed property portal - an idea contained within the Renters (Reform) Bill.

Activist groups like Generation Rent and the Renters Reform Coalition reacted angrily to claiming the government was betraying tenants in favour of placating their own backbenchers.

But Cobbold says: “Although these amendments were billed as a big announcement, there’s nothing here that is particularly groundbreaking.

“Waiting for reform of the court process before the abolition of Section 21 is something we’ve known about since the Bill was introduced. What will be key is the details of this assessment, which we have been calling for since the legislation was introduced. The abolition of Section 21 has been a policy of every major party since the last election, so it has become a question of whether this government will abolish it or a future one.

“Until Section 21 is abolished, landlords will have to think in a slightly more structured way about how they actually evict somebody. Having to wait four months before you can give two months’ notice is effectively a six month wait – well it’s at least a six month wait now if an eviction notice is contested and the matter has to be settled through the legal system. The only material difference here is that tenants won’t be able to treat the PRS like an Airbnb lite, giving notice as soon as the tenancy begins to secure cheaper rents for a few months in a new location.

"Revising the legislation to protect student lets is something almost everybody is in favour of – students and landlords alike. If the Government didn’t take action there’d be a major problem for the new intake of students at the beginning of the academic year.

“And as far as the property portal removing the need for local authority licensing schemes is concerned, what the government has announced is only a review. What the industry is keen to see is the abolition of selective licensing schemes and HMO licences so there is consistency across England – although the question of how enforcement will work is less clear.

“I think these are quite balanced changes that the government is proposing to the Bill – nothing really contentious at all and certainly not a landlord’s charter, as some are claiming.”

MPs return to work after their Spring break next Monday and the Bill will be scheduled for its Third Reading shortly afterwards before progressing to the House of Lords.

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

    The amendments raise some questions.

    Firstly, will Labour support the bill or vote against it; Labour has pledged to abolish Section 21 notices on its first day in office and the requirement for court reform first will perhaps stymie that ambition?

    Secondly, are the amendments sufficient to satisfy the Conservative MPs who have been opposed to the introduction of virtually universal, neverending periodic tenancies? They wanted some fixed term tenancy options in the bill.

    Thirdly, although not directly related to the amendments, will there be an early general election in perhaps July so that the bill does not finish its journey through Parliament? It is likely that the Tories will perform very badly in the May local elections and that that could have repercussions for Rishi Sunak. Could he call a July general election to avoid being ousted?

    I know one thing for sure myself and that is that I find the continuing legal uncertainty to be dreadful. How can you possibly operate a business when you don't know whether the tenancy agreement that you are signing will be valid!


    I think the legal uncertainty will be perfectly clear under Labour- no Section 21 ie sitting tenants, rent control/capping and much more legislation. In order words total loss of control of one’s properties. Unless you are a Corporate of course!


    Good points Ellie. If Labour wins the election before the Renters Reform Bill goes through, will they amend it? And to what extent?

    I’ve seen nothing about the promised court reform. This reform is not just paying for bums on seats. There will need to be newly trained staff using government-approved software as I imagine landlords will be utilising the reform system as much as tenants. So, Court decisions based on the law must be enacted in every case.

    As the bill is contentious toward landlords, despite government rhetoric to the contrary, I would expect the courts to be tested, especially by landlords. Court cases may take a long period of time to resolve, especially when landlords consider they have legitimate cases and hundreds of thousands of pounds to lose.


    Thanks Robin, Labour will probably amend the legislation but will keep many parts of it I should imagine.

    Personally, I think the Renters Reform Bill is very bad legislation because of the need to rely on the courts far too much and because it is not acceptable to the majority of landlords. The Government could have given tenants more rights without the need to introduce indefinite periodic tenancies. Welsh Labour wisely retained no fault termination of tenancies while still giving tenants more rights.

  • icon

    I see a total devastation of the Conservatives in the election 😬🆘, possibly less than 100 seats, if that happens, Court Reform or not, Labour will have the power to do what they like, including s21 abolishing without court reform 🤔👎🏻


    I don't think Labour will have the landslide they are expecting. Most sensible people no longer trust the polls and mainstream media. For instance, yesterday the Mail carried a headline that GMB was about to be cancelled because the new hosts had fewer viewers than the old hosts. By late afternoon, the headline was reversed and the show was saved.

    It is the same with the polls. One day REFORM is beating the Conservatives, the next they are level with the Limp Dums.

  • icon

    Very little changes it just takes only one to destroy the whole Sector that is the Removal of Section 21.
    They should have known this before putting it in the Manifesto.
    They can tweak it all they like it makes no difference playing games who cares if they give 2 months notice or not I never stopped anyone leaving just peas off if you want to go I’m not organising your life.


    Right Michael! And we have had to put up with the threat of losing control of our properties for the last five years!

  • icon

    Licensing is my bug bear, I agree with penalising bad Landlords, but why do we all need to suffer this expense. It’s because incompetent Councils can’t be bothered to do their job properly.

  • Sarah Fox-Moore

    Which ever way you slice it Landlords will sell up and leave in increasing numbers, rents will continue to rise, Tenant selection will get tougher, Councils will go bankrupt trying to deal with the homeless, services will be cut and everyone suffers. 👏👏👏🤦‍♀️


    Rents won’t continue to rise. Labour will institute a rent freeze.

  • George Dawes

    Get rid of the prs , replace with government controlled everything

    Remind me who actually won the last war ? Hard to tell the way things are going

  • icon

    Warning to tenants no guarantor = no tenancy, simples

  • Peter Why Do I Bother

    I see this morning it’s reported over £4b of foreign aid budget has been used to cover the cost of people arriving at the shores in inflatable buses 🚌 not directly related but when we have bankrupt councils they will do everything to stop landlords getting their properties back.


    There’s a real danger that Gov will soon enough impose eviction bans. What else can they do, where are the evicted going to live? Sequestration maybe all but inevitable.
    What a mess these Gov jerks have made of everything.

  • icon

    The rental sector is not going to become a mess after the introduction of S21, it is already a mess in anticipation and other changes that have come in. I am putting a property in croydon on the market and the agent advised me that the croydon council are offering £5000 incentive + Market Rent + maintenance for 2 years to landlords - No thank you


    The Councils will eventually cotton on there are only a finite number of private rentals. Then where are they going to house people?!

  • icon

    If I have to be on a register or a licence that's me out and unfortunately more families for the LA to deal with.
    Also, it should be a 2 way street. There are 100 bad tenants to 1 landlord so there should be a Tenants' Register that can be accessed by Landlords. Have you ever stopped to think what happens to the nightmare tenants or tenants from hell when they are finally evicted leaving the landlord with arrears, annoyed neighbours, and damage to their property? They can just go to another poor landlord who won't be able to get them out for at least 6 months- which with LA's advising tenants to remain till the bailiffs arrive, could possibly be 12 - 18 months.


    They won't have a register for tenants but we should. Make it one of the condition of tenancy. I would go further, they would need to pay via a system that will update the credit agency. That way if the rent is paid one day late or not in full, it will negatively affects their credit ratings. If they pay as they should, it will improve their credit ratings and help them with mortgage applications when they finally move out and purchase their home.


    Why not have a voluntary system for tenants. Tenants register and build up a credit score and gain good reviews from their landlord. They can then use this evidence when applying for rental accommodation. Landlords would be able to choose the gold star tenants based on their history and good tenants would be able to secure accommodation more easily. No regulations required as the system would be on a voluntary basis. Good tenants will want to register and bad tenants won't bother.

    Anyone good at setting up a website for this?

  • icon

    Rents can’t keep rising there’s a limit to people’s pockets isn’t that what causes Recessions.
    Who cares about reforming the Court System if you have to go to Court every time to get your property back it’s not a Business.
    Section 21 was never meant to be a requirement to get your property back it was a Safety buffer for when the Tenants breached their agreement and didn’t abide by the Agreement he signed and vacate.
    They were Virtually always given the option to renew again if that’s what they wanted, what was wrong with that.
    Suppose you hire anything else you have to give it back you can’t keep it.
    Section 21 was abused by Tenants requiring Landlord to go to Court and hey presto now I have a Court Order the Council have a legal duty to house me and there lies the crux of the matter.
    The Council wants out of that because it’s a major burden on them but instead of telling the truth and change the law so they wouldn’t have automatic entitlement to be housed by the Council.
    They are too cowardly to say it because now too many on it, so they’d rather blame the Landlords make him the scapegoat to Change the Law.
    Its well know from the Landlord meeting I attended that the Tenants often required the Landlord to serve it to get housed by the Council, something the Tenant had the application ready for Landlord to sign if he didn’t comply the rent stopped, everyone knows this and if you didn’t you have lived a sheltered life.


    As rents increase gov will have to step in with increased LHA top ups, after all it's the gov that has caused all this so they can pay


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up