What is the Renters (Reform) Bill and How Does it Affect Landlords?

What is the Renters (Reform) Bill and How Does it Affect Landlords? hero

Learn more about the Renters (Reform) Bill and it affects Landlords?

What is the Renters (Reform) Bill?

The Renters (Reform) Bill sets out the government's plans to fundamentally reform the private rented sector (PRS) and level up housing quality.

The proposed reforms commit to bring in a better deal for renters and marks the biggest shake-up of the private rented sector in 30 years.

The Bill, introduced to parliament on 17 May 2023, will need to pass through parliament before becoming law. Housing Secretary Michael Give commented that he hoped to see the Bill in place as quickly as possible.

Why is the Renters (Reform) Bill being introduced?

The private rented sector is a vital part of the UK housing market. More than four million properties are privately rented, with numbers having doubled since 2004.

The government says that under current legislation, some renters face "a precarious lack of security" - especially in terms of Section 21 "no fault" evictions. Meanwhile, responsible landlords are facing issues by being "undercut by a minority of criminal landlords".

While the government has set out plans in its Bill, it has further ambitions for the sector - highlighting that nearly a quarter of private rented homes "do not meet basic decency standards". In the future it aims to apply a Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector.

 What was originally proposed?

The government first published the full extent of its plans in a white paper - A Fairer Private Rented Sector  in June 2022 which proposed measures such as making all tenancies periodic, doubling the notice periods for rent reviews, establishing a new property portal, a requirement for all private rented properties to and the creation of a new property ombudsman.

Most of the measures proposed in the white paper were included in the Bill, published 2023, with a few exceptions that will be considered as "further improvements". This includes requiring rented properties to meet the Decent Homes Standard and making it illegal for landlords and agents to have blanket bans on renting to families with children or those in receipt of benefits. 

How Does This Affect Landlords?

Whilst the bill was introduced to parliament on 17 May 2023, it has not yet been passed as law, so could take up to 18 months for the recommended legislation changes to take effect.

If you're a landlord, these are the important facts you need to know are:

  • The government has confirmed that it will provide at least 6 months’ notice of the first implementation date, after which all new tenancies will be governed by the new rules.
  • Existing tenancies will be given a further 12 months’ notice from the first implementation date to convert to the new system.
  • The abolition of Section 21 evictions will make it more difficult for landlords to regain possession of their properties for no reason. However, it may be easier and quick to evict tenants who have broken their tenancy agreement.
  • The shortage of rental homes will mean the average rental prices could continue to rise.

A Summary of the Proposed Changes are:

  • Abolition of Section 21 “no fault” evictions.
  • Introduction of standard periodic tenancies.
  • Doubling notice periods for rent increases.
  • Implementation of minimum housing standards.
  • Greater rights for tenants to keep pets in properties.
  • Outlawing blanket bans on renting to families with children or those on benefits.
  • Establishment of a new ombudsman covering all private landlords.
  • Creation of a new Property Portal for private landlords and tenants.

Please call our lettings team on 01635 581991 if you have any queries and we will be very happy to assist.