UPDATE – October 24th 2023
October is proving to be very busy for the Renters Reform Bill. Just as it was widely believed the Bill would miss the parliamentary deadlines, the long-awaited date for the second reading was announced.
Then in a surprise move immediately prior to the reading, the government confirmed a controversial U-turn on what is arguably the most contentious element was announced – a delay to the scrapping of Section 21 Notices until court reforms had taken place. This announcement appeared to appease backbenchers’ concerns, and following a lengthy debate, the Renters Reform Bill will now advance to the Committee Stage.
Changes to the Bill
It’s not expected that the Bill will be enacted as it is currently laid out. The approval provided by the House on 23rd October was to commit it to a Public Bill Committee who will complete a line-by-line review of the proposals.
This cross-party committee is expected to continue to listen to views from the market including The National Residential Landlords Association, Propertymark and Shelter.
The Public Bill Committee will be brought to a conclusion on Tuesday 5th December, 2023. Following this, expect to see a further eight stages before it receives Royal Assent. Therefore, whether you’re excited or angry by the latest announcements, there is more change on the horizon.
The impact on tenants
Without the removal of Section 21 Notices, the Bill – as currently laid out – offers very little in new benefits for tenants. Under the Bill, tenants are still vulnerable eviction without good reason but would need to give two months’ notice to move out themselves – double the current requirement.
Love or loathe it, the reason the Renters Reform Bill was introduced was to ensure the private rental sector was fairer for tenants. However, where the Bill stands today, it certainly isn’t.
Pets in Lets
The one area of the Bill that seems to have very little opposition or contention is the ability for current tenants to request a pet joins them in the tenancy. Provided the tenant arranges suitable insurance the landlord must consider all reasonable requests.