United Kingdom

Renters (Reform) Bill dead

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A view of the Houses of Parliament in Westminster at sunset

In a major setback after years of promised reform to the private rented sector in  England, the Renters (Reform) Bill, designed to abolish Section 21 evictions, will not be debated or passed before Parliament is prorogued later today.

The Bill, which aimed to prohibit landlords from evicting tenants without a valid reason, has had a slow passage through Parliament, only recently reaching the House of Lords. With the election called on Wednesday, it appears that time has run out to resolve some outstanding amendments, contributing to the legislation's premature end.

First introduced in response to a 2019 Conservative manifesto promise to abolish Section 21 evictions, the Renters (Reform) Bill has encountered resistance from landlords, also those within the Conservative party itself. Concerns have been raised about unintended and counterproductive consequences, such as landlords selling their properties in response to the proposed changes.

While the BBC reports that Labour was willing to support the Bill with amendments, further proposals from within the House of Lords have seen the Bill excluded from the House of Commons Order Paper on the final day of Parliament before the election. 

Commenting on the news, Neil Cobbold, Managing Director of PayProp UK and Commercial Director of Reapit UK&I said: “The end of the Renters (Reform) Bill is a setback for both tenants and landlords who have been waiting for clarity and stability in the rental market. This delay extends the holding pattern the sector has found itself in since these reforms were first raised in the Conservative manifesto in 2019.

“As an industry we now need to consider what comes next. We know that Labour have wanted to go further than the Renters (Reform) Bill in many areas, but recent comments from Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves on the possibility of local rent controls in England will not have reassured the market. While we wait to see what is in the Labour manifesto, we should prepare by looking at the amendments Matthew Pennycook MP put forward as the Bill was debated in the Commons.”

Stay tuned for further updates on the policies that could shape the future of the private rented sector as the election progresses.

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