Renters (Reform) Bill Updates: Delay & Changes

The government has buckled to pressure from backbench MPS to water down the controversial Renters (Reform) Bill.

The Bill aims to reform the private rented sector in England, but around 50 Tory MPs, including some landlords, have bogged down the legislation’s progress through Parliament.

They claim the Bill is anti-landlord and weighted too much in the interests of tenants.

To end the stalemate, Levelling-Up Secretary Michael Gove is offering to change some of the clauses that most concern the rebel MPs.

The central reversal is delaying a ban on Section 21 no-fault evictions until the Ministry of Justice can ready the courts to handle repossession claims in less time than the present 23.7 weeks when the law requires four to eight weeks between posting a claim and a court hearing.

The proposed amendments

Other proposed changes include:

  • Tenants are committed to a six-month contract when first renting a property. Current tenancy agreements specify that tenants can give two months’ notice when they move into a rented home.
  • Cutting duplication between council licensing schemes and a new national database of rented homes where landlords must register their properties.
  • Allowing landlords to tailor contracts to the academic year for students
  • Offering homelessness support from local councils to evicted tenants

Levelling Up MInister Jacob Young has detailed the BIll’s changes in a letter to Tory MPs.

The minister said he had listened to concerns raised by MPs and landlords who argued the current Bill would lead to landlords selling their homes, reducing the number of properties available to renters.

What the minister wrote to MPs

Young wrote, “The Bill must strike the balance between delivering security for tenants and fairness for landlords.

“The change [to when tenants can give notice] would ensure landlords could rely on a letting period that covers the cost of finding tenants and making repairs between tenancies, as well as preventing tenants using rented properties as short-term lets.

“The government was considering exemptions, such as the death of a tenant, domestic abuse or significant hazards in the property.”

The government hopes reviewing the BIll will unblock its progress through Parliament and reintroduce the legislation after Easter.

The BIll is at the report stage in The Commons before a third reading, and then it goes to the House of Lords.

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Investing in a Property

Investing in a private rented property can be achieved in a variety of ways. Sometimes landlords inherit a property that they then turn over to renting. Sometimes owners of properties become unintentional landlords because they are unable or unwilling to sell a property at the value the market currently dictates.