Pragmatic Amendments Proposed to Rental Reform Bill
The Renters (Reform) Bill is facing proposed changes from landlords and agents who want MPs to support them and make the Bill fairer for the whole private rented sector.
Conservative MP, Anthony Mangall has put forward several amendments before the Bill reaches the Report stage. These include suggestions to:
- Follow the advice of the cross-party housing select committee that tenants should not be able to leave a property without giving notice until they have lived there for at least four months after fixed-term tenancies end. The Committee has said that “A reasonable balance needs to be struck between security of tenure for tenants and a degree of certainty for landlords.”
- Allow evidence such as texts or emails from neighbours to be considered by the courts when deciding if a tenant has been anti-social.
- Deal with worries that the courts are not ready for the end of Section 21 repossessions by asking the government to publish a review of how possession proceedings in the courts work before it is scrapped. The Law Society has warned that: “The courts are vastly overstretched: possession claims, and the eviction process can take many months, sometimes more”. It added: “The government should outline how it intends to manage increased demand on the courts and what additional resourcing it will put in place to deal with existing backlogs.”
- Avoid wasteful duplication of efforts by stopping the use of landlord selective licensing schemes by councils when the national Property Portal covering the private rented sector is set up.
- Safeguard the annual cycle of all kinds of student housing by extending the Government’s proposed grounds for possession to achieve this to one- and two-bedroom student properties, not just houses in multiple occupations.
Meanwhile, Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said:
“We accept that Section 21 is going and agree that tenants need to feel empowered to challenge the actions of rogue and criminal landlords. However, amidst a supply crisis in the rental market, the Bill must have the confidence of responsible landlords.
“These pragmatic changes would go a long way towards striking the balance between the needs of renters and the majority of landlords who do right by their tenants”.
This content was exclusively prepared in collaboration with The Lettings Hub by Cara Wiltshire from award-winning Woodstock Legal Services.
Woodstock Legal Services are specialists in legal advice and solutions for the Private Rental Sector.
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