On 17th May, the Government published the long-awaited Renters Reform Bill which will deliver on their 2019 manifesto commitment to end Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions and outline plans to strengthen tenants’ rights.
Responding to the publication of the Bill, Matt Downie, Crisis Chief Executive, comments: “After years of waiting, the publication of the Renters Reform Bill is an important moment for the millions of people currently renting their home across England who are in desperate need of some stability.
“Through our services, we see how the lack of security for renters is driving up homelessness. Day in day out, we witness the emotional and financial toll it is having on thousands of people across our country. It should never have been acceptable for people to live in fear of eviction and homelessness, forced to tolerate dangerous conditions so they can keep a roof over their head. Ending this is now finally in sight.
“Over the coming months, we look forward to working with the Government as the Bill progresses. Now is the time to finally put an end to unnecessary evictions that force people into homelessness and ensure that everyone has a safe, secure place to call home.”
Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), comments: “Responsible landlords need to be confident that when Section 21 ends, where they have a legitimate reason, they will be able to repossess their properties as quickly as possible. Without this assurance, the Bill will only exacerbate the rental housing supply crisis many tenants now face.
“Whilst we welcome the Government’s pledge to ensure landlords can effectively recover properties from anti-social tenants and those failing to pay rent, more detail is needed if the Bill is going to work as intended.
“Ministers must develop a plan to improve the speed and efficiency with which the courts process possession claims. Although the Government has accepted NRLA calls to digitise cases, staff numbers need to increase in the court system as well to meet the needs of these reforms.
“Likewise, the Government must recognise the serious concerns of landlords letting to students about open ended tenancies. Without the ability to plan around the academic year, students will have no certainty that properties will be available to rent when they need them.
“We will continue to work with the Government, MPs and Peers to ensure the Bill workable and fair to both responsible landlords and tenants.”
Neil Cobbold, Managing Director of PayProp UK, comments: “After years of delay the Renters (Reform) Bill has finally been published, but it contains no surprises for the industry as the measures were already included in the 2022 Fairer Private Rented Sector white paper.
“While the bill appears to be light on specific details, the Government has announced that more information about the proposals will be outlined in another white paper. Unfortunately, more delays will extend the holding pattern the private rented sector currently finds itself in.
“The industry will not be able to press ahead with reform until the Government clarifies when it will deliver on changes to evictions, applying decent home standards, introducing a new ombudsman, and a landlord portal.
“We trust the Government will consult the wealth of experience and knowledge held by landlords, agents, tenants and other stakeholders to ensure the Renters (Reform) Bill delivers to the benefit of all parties.”