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


Renters Reform Bill U-turn by tenant activists

The coalition of 20-plus groups which have previously spoken enthusiastically about the Renters Reform Bill has now changed its mind.

On April 15 - just 10 days ago - the Renters Reform Coalition spoke enthusiastically about the Bill, even though at the time it was known that the government was seeking to amend it to make it fairer. 

So on April 15 the Coalition announced on its website: “It is also important not to lose sight of the bigger picture. That this government has brought forward legislation aimed at regulating the private sector, with the stated goal of improving the rights of tenants, is no mean feat – and it is in no small part down to the overwhelming public support for reform and tireless campaigning from the renters’ movement. There are those who would happily have let reform fall off the agenda, so the fact renting remains a key political issue heading into the next election, is to the hard work and resilience of all those that have been part of the struggle for renters’ rights.”


However, fast forward to yesterday and the coalition has done a 180-degree turn.

Now it says: “As groups representing and working alongside private tenants in England, our concerns have not been taken seriously. It is revealing that ministers have met with lobbyists for landlords and estate agents twice as often as they have met groups representing renters. 

“Instead of engaging with us, the bill has been watered down again and again by the government, with several rounds of damaging concessions to backbench MPs that have fundamentally weakened it. The amendments tabled recently by the government are just the final straw.

“The result of all the government’s backtracking is that we have now have a bill that abolishes section 21 in name only – there is no guarantee it would ever fully abolish section 21, and even then the new tenancy system set to replace it will be little better. This legislation is intended to give the impression of improving conditions for renters, but in fact it preserves the central power imbalance at the root of why renting in England is in crisis.”

The Coalition - which includes a mix of organisations including the London Renters Union, the Greater Manchester Renters Union and the National Union of Students - says it is setting out conditions for future reforms to win its support.

These are (in the Coalition’s words): 

- Reversing the concessions to the Bill made to backbench MPs which see the end of section 21 delayed indefinitely, trapping tenants into tenancy for 6 months, and reviewing selective licensing to reduce the burden on landlords;  

- Giving tenants 4 months’ notice when they are evicted, rather than 2 months’ notice proposed at present (and which is the same as the status quo for section 21 evictions);

- Protecting renters from eviction under the new landlord circumstances grounds for the first two years of a tenancy, rather than the 6 months proposed which offers no improvement on the status quo;

- Implementing strong safeguards to prevent unscrupulous landlords abusing the new grounds for eviction, which risk being used in essentially the same way as section 21 notices;

- Giving courts maximum discretion to identify if there are good reasons why an eviction should not take place;

- Limiting in-tenancy rent increases at the lowest of either inflation or wage growth, to prevent unaffordable rent increases being no-fault ‘economic’ evictions. 

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 usual suspects with the usual complaints. They cannot see any connection between the RRB and the reduction in available properties and thus the increases in rents. 🤔

    I am sure they have a barn door somewhere that has written on it: Landlords bad, tenants good.🤪


    A power imbalance 🤷‍♂️ They say😂 That would be due to the fact … WE OWN THEM 💰💰💰

  • icon

    For once I mostly agree with them - this bill does not anything for anyone!

    The 2 biggest problems for tenants is a lack of properties & increasing rent - this bill does nothing to address either.

    The tenant groups want everyone to have social housing, so it fails there too!


    Tricia, this is what it really comes down to - the pressure groups regard housing as a human right and want all renting to be effectively social housing, subsidised and rent for life. Their ultimate goal is to rid the land of all the horrid private landlords.
    I for one would be quite happy if the government were to make it worth my while to sell my properties to a social housing provider. And good luck to my tenants whilst I just do my other work and plan my retirement in a few short years, with little to no responsibilities and all that goes with it. Should give me a lot more time to spend seeing my family instead of looking after my tenants' and negotiating all the dramas that can go with it.
    On a related note, it's interesting to see that social housing rent arrears are ballooning, whilst private landlords are largely keeping on top of things, supposedly.

    Peter Why Do I Bother

    If the government want to buy my eleven properties at market rate with no tax I will sell tomorrow. I will even throw in a shop too...!


    The activists want the PRS to become social landlords with lifetime tenancies. We as landlords didn’t sign up for that. I am waiting to see what restrictions the Corporates have. Any new landlords investing in the PRS will have to become a corporate. How many properties does one have to own to become a Corporate?

  • Sarah Fox-Moore

    This Bill hurts landlords and ultimately hurts Tenants- no one wins. It is a bad piece of legislation and is doing unfathomable damage to the PRS


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up