Revisions to the Renters Reform Bill Following Easter Break

Date Published 05 April 2024

In light of recent developments, the Renters Reform Bill has undergone revisions after the Easter break. These changes aim to further address and improve upon existing issues in the rental housing sector. The government has issued a letter to Conservative MPs assuring them that modifications will be made to the Renters Reform Bill in order to alleviate any worries regarding its potential anti-landlord stance. Critics say the changes will create ‘a landlords charter' but ministers are responding to criticism from Conservative MPs who say the Bill is too burdensome for landlords.

The revised proposals include a mandatory six-month tenancy period for renters, replacing the current system where they can leave with two months' notice. Levelling Up Minister Jacob Young defended the changes, and in a letter to Tory MPs said the changes ensure ‘landlords can rely on a letting period that covers costs' and prevents short-term lets.

There is also a proposal of delaying the ban on Section 21 ‘no fault' evictions which will be postponed until the justice secretary decides whether courts can deal with a rise in repossession claims. In the updated proposal, landlords would still have the ability to evict tenants under certain circumstances, such as if they need to sell the property or use it for themselves or their immediate family. Additionally, the government is exploring exceptions to the requirement for a minimum six-month tenancy, which may apply in cases of tenant death, domestic violence, or significant property risks.

Students may encounter a higher risk of eviction as they near the conclusion of their academic year, with tenants who are evicted based on new regulations being eligible for assistance from the local council to prevent homelessness. This would ensure all student housing, including one and two bed properties, are covered by the planned ground for possession to protect the annual cycle of the student housing market.

We are hoping that more news on the Renters Reform Bill will come soon but for now the estimated date would be 1st October 2024. Which means once it becomes law, it will initially only affect new tenancies. Pre-existing tenancies will be included 12 months later on 1st October 2025.