What is the new Renters Reform Bill 2023?
The Renters (Reform) Bill is a piece of legislation currently making its way through the UK Parliament. It aims to reform the private rented sector in England, giving renters more security and protection.
It encompasses several key provisions:
- Eliminate section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions.
- Establish a legal prohibition on landlords and agents refusing rental to individuals receiving benefits or with children.
- Create a national landlord registry accessible through a new property portal, providing renters with comprehensive information to make informed decisions before entering a tenancy agreement.
- Introduce new grounds for eviction for landlords who genuinely intend to sell their properties or move back in.
However, prior to the bill’s enactment, efforts continue to ensure the strengthening of renters’ rights to the maximum extent possible. Consequently, the bill also includes provisions to:
- Eradicate all unjust evictions by closing any potential loopholes for landlords to exploit.
- Extend the notice periods for eviction from two to four months, affording renters more time to secure alternative housing after eviction.
- Address unfair affordability hurdles that renters encounter when seeking accommodation, such as excessive upfront payments (e.g., two months’ rent or more in advance).
- Ensure that the property portal contains comprehensive information to aid renters in their choice of residence.
Who is in support of the Renters Reform Bill?
The Renters (Reform) Bill is supported by many housing charities and tenant groups, who believe that it will make a real difference to the lives of millions of renters in England.
Even though some landlords have expressed concerns that the bill will make it more difficult for them to run their businesses, it will also help to streamline the eviction process.
This is because by strengthening Section 8 eviction grounds, it aids private landlords against problematic tenants while maintaining fair eviction measures for both parties.
What are the benefits of the Renters Reform Bill?
- More security: Renters will no longer be able to be evicted without good reason.
- More flexibility: Renters will be able to move home more easily if they want to.
- More protection: Renters will be protected from discrimination and from living in poor-quality properties.
The bill is expected to have a significant impact on the private rented sector in England. It will give renters more power and choice, and it will help to create a fairer and more secure housing market for everyone.
What does the Renters Reform Bill mean for landlords?
The Renters Reform Bill will have a significant impact on landlords in the UK. It will mean that they will have to give tenants more security and protection, and it will make it more difficult for them to evict tenants without good reason.
However, to reiterate, it will too help private landlords to have a more streamlined eviction process as The Bill speaks about fortifying Section 8 eviction grounds.
Landlords should therefore start preparing for the changes that it will introduce, by ensuring that they are following fair measures when dealing with their tenants.
The government has also said that it will provide support to landlords to help them comply with the new rules. For example, it will provide guidance on how to draft new tenancy agreements and how to keep properties in a good state of repair.
What is happening with the Renters Reform Bill now?
The bill is currently at the committee stage in the House of Commons, which means that it is being debated and scrutinized by a group of MPs.
The final decision on whether to enact the bill into law will be made by Parliament.
The government has committed to achieving this before the next general election, which is expected to be by the end of 2024 and up to the beginning of 2025.
Key dates in the legislative process include:
June 2022: The government released “A Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper,” outlining its intentions and plans for the Renters Reform Bill.
May 2023: The government introduced the Renters Reform Bill to Parliament, marking the commencement of its journey through the parliamentary process.
The Renters Reform Bill 2023 signifies a crucial effort to reform the private rental sector in England, focusing on bolstering tenant security and protection.
It garners strong support from tenant advocates, aiming to provide renters with more security, flexibility, and safeguards against discrimination and poor living conditions.
The bill’s progress underscores the government’s commitment to enhancing renters’ rights and improving the rental housing market in England.