United Kingdom

What we know – and don’t know – about rental reform plans

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After a month of apparently conflicting statements, is the Renters’ Reform Bill going ahead?

When The Times published a story earlier this month saying the government was abandoning its rental reform plans, it was widely seen as a leak from the top.

But politicians have since confirmed that they plan to go ahead. At Prime Minister’s Questions, Prime Minister Liz Truss told MPs that rental reform is not being scrapped, and Housing Secretary Simon Clarke has pledged that a rental reform bill will go before Parliament before the end of this session.

The details of the plan aren’t yet known. Both Clarke and Truss said that Section 21 “no-fault” evictions would be scrapped, but other parts of the draft Renter’s Reform Bill, like the creation of a national landlord register, may not happen. The only other specific given by Clarke was that Local Housing Allowance would be brought more into line with local rents.

The clock is ticking. The next election has to take place by the end of 2024, leaving limited time to fit in rental reform along with other priorities like responding to the cost of living crisis. Truss’s position as leader is also far from secure, and her potential successors may have other ideas about the future of the private rented sector.

Don’t write off rental reform

There are also other reasons to think that Section 21 could be scrapped in the fairly near future. Jeremy Hunt, the new Chancellor, supports rental reform and has already taken charge of a lot of the government’s agenda. Hunt’s rollback of the mini-Budget tax plans has also been welcomed by property sector figures.

If the Conservatives don’t get to rental reform before the next election, an incoming Labour government could make it a priority. At last month’s party conference, Shadow Levelling Up Secretary Lisa Nandy revealed plans to scrap Section 21 evictions, extend notice periods, allow tenants to renovate properties and keep pets, and introduce a tougher version of the Decent Homes Standard.

Other tenant headlines

All the massive changes coming in if you rent a home in Wales – Wales Online

Student renters urged to check licensing status of their homes – Property Industry Eye

“We’ll train people to resist evictions,” says Renters Reform group – Landlord Today 

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