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  • Writer's pictureClive Cass

The Renters (Reform) Bill 2023

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

After several delays, The Renters Reform Bill was introduced to Parliament on 17 May 2023. A White Paper, published in June 2022, set out proposals to be legislated in the bill, which will change the way in which the relationship between landlords and tenants will work. The bill only applies in England. This factsheet outlines the key measures in the bill. In the press release accompanying the bill, the government states that it also intends to bring forward legislation at the earliest opportunity to:

  • Apply the ‘Decent Homes Standard’ to the private rented sector for the first time.

  • Make it illegal for landlords to impose blanket bans on benefit claimants or those with children.

  • To help target criminal landlords, local authorities’ enforcement powers will be strengthened and there will be a new requirement for councils to report on enforcement activity.

An end to no-fault evictions No-fault (also referred to as ‘Section 21’ evictions) will be abolished, which according to the government’s press release, “will empower renters to challenge landlords without fear of losing their home”. The bill will end fixed-term tenancies and move to periodic tenancies, which do not have an end date. This will provide greater security for tenants while retaining the important flexibility that privately rented accommodation offers. It will enable tenants to leave poor quality properties without remaining liable for the rent, or to move more easily when their circumstances change. Tenants will be able to stay in their home until they decide to end the tenancy by giving two months’ notice or the landlord can evidence a valid ground for possession. Landlords won’t be able to use grounds for moving in, selling, or redevelopment for the first six months of the tenancy. Landlords who need to sell the property or use it to house close family members will be enabled to recover their property. Similarly, measures will allow landlords to recover their property if tenants wilfully avoid paying rent, breach their tenancy agreement, or cause damage to the property.

The bill will strengthen landlord powers to evict tenants who act anti-socially. The list of anti-social activities for eviction purposes will be broadened. An end to blanket ‘no pet’ policies Tenants will have the right to request a pet in the home and landlords will have to consider the request and, if applicable, prove why housing a pet is unreasonable. The landlord will be able to require pet insurance to cover any damage to the property Protections for renters against ‘back-door’ evictions Landlords will still be able to increase rents to market value, but tenants will be able to appeal against excessively above-market rents that are purely designed to force them out. A new ombudsman and housing portal A new Private Rented Sector Ombudsman will provide fair, impartial, and binding resolution to many issues and prove quicker, cheaper, and less adversarial than the court system. Additionally, a new Privately Rented Property Portal will help landlords understand their legal obligations and demonstrate their compliance. The portal will also provide information to tenants to help them make informed decisions when entering into tenancy agreements. Further information You can read a guide to the Renters Reform bill here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/guide-to-therenters-reform-bill The bill itself can be viewed here: https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/3462

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