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:
A Summary of the Proposed Changes are:
Please call our lettings team if you have any queries and we will be very happy to assist.