Frettens Banner Image


News and Events

Renters' (Reform) Bill revealed which sees the abolishment of Section 21 evictions

View profile for Olivia Parkinson
  • Posted
  • Author
Renters (Reform) Bill revealed which sees the abolishment of Section 21 evictions

The Renters’ (Reform) Bill is something that has been discussed in Parliament for the last few years now, with it set to bring some major changes to the Private Rented Sector.

However, it is only now that the first draft of the Bill has been released and we have been given some insight as to when it might pass as law. There is possibility for the Bill to be amended before it is passed as law, however this is what is known so far.

In her latest article, Dispute Resolution lawyer, Olivia Parkinson outlines when the Bill is set to come into force, the changes it will bring and what it means for landlords and tenants alike.

What is the Renters’ (Reform) Bill?

The Renters’ (Reform) Bill is a ‘new deal’ presented by the government and has promised to abolish Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions.

The Bill also provides other major changes to the private rented sector which the government claims 11 million tenants will benefit from in England.

Overall, the main purpose of the Bill is to improve home quality standards, provide fairer tenancies resulting in added security and protection for tenants, as well as stabilising the private rental market.

However, it appears that the Bill looks to abolish Assured Shorthold Tenancies altogether and now refer to tenancies as assured tenancies, which is defined in Chapter 1 of Part 1 of the Housing Act 1988. This will see a move to periodic tenancies becoming the new norm with no fixed term.

Related: The importance of having a suitable AST

When does the Renters’ (Reform) Bill come into force?

The Bill has undertaken its first reading at this time, with a second reading to be held on Thursday 18 May 2023 and therefore the Bill is not due to be formally passed imminently.

However, we could see the Bill being passed as law as soon as next year.

What does the Renters’ (Reform) Bill include?

Here’s a quick bullet pointed summary. You can click the links to navigate to the corresponding section.

I’ve outlined the above points in more detail below.

Right to request a pet

After blanket bans on pets were scrapped in 2021, the Renter’s (Reform) Bill now gives tenants the lawful right to request a pet in their let home and permission cannot be unreasonably withheld by a landlord. 

A landlord must give or refuse consent in writing within 42 days after a request is made.

A landlord would be able to take steps to protect themselves and any potential damage to their property by demanding that a tenant obtains pet insurance that covers damage to the property, which will form a new provision under the tenancy agreement.

Bans on renting to families with children or those on benefits to be made illegal

It will now be illegal for landlords to set a blanket ban on renting to families with children or those who receive benefits.

Recovery of possession of properties

The Bill is also intended to support and aid landlords, making it easier to recover possession of properties in cases of anti-social tenants, tenants willfully in arrears and where landlords wish to move family members into the property.

Where tenants are irresponsible, such as breaching their tenancy agreement or causing damage to the property, landlords may be entitled to reduce the notice period required to recover possession of their property.

This will be supported with a reform to the current online property portal and a new Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman

Currently, only letting agents are required to join the Ombudsman scheme, however the Bill will become mandatory for all private landlords and will see the Ombudsman being able to "put things right for tenants".

This will include telling landlords to issue an apology, take remedial action and/or pay compensation of up to £25,000 in addition.

The Ombudsman may require landlords to reimburse rent to tenants where the "service or standard of property they provide falls short of the mark".

The Ombudsman’s decision will be binding on landlords, should the complainant accept the final determination and failure to comply with a decision may result in repeat or serious offenders being liable for a Banning Order.

Decent Homes Standards

Legislation on ensuring rented properties comply with the Decent Homes Standard will also be applied to the private rented sector in due course, however this has not been included in the first draft of the Bill.

Rent Increases  

The Bill will end unfair rent review clauses in tenancy agreements and landlords will only be allowed to raise rent once a year.

Tenants will also be able to claim back rent if the property is below a reasonable standard. 

The Renters' (Reform) Bill doubles notice periods for rent increases and also gives tenants more powers to challenge rent rises if they are unjustified.

Take a look at the Renters’ (Reform) Bill here.

Is Section 21 being scrapped?

As part of the Renters’ (Reform) Bill, Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions are set to be abolished when the Bill is passed as law and comes into force.

Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 currently allows landlords to give 2 months’ notice and evict their tenants without needing to give a reason for the repossession.

However, the introduction of the new Bill will mean that, from next year, landlords will no longer be able to evict their tenant without giving a 'concrete and evidenced reason'

From next year, landlords will have to rely on an alternative eviction process and serve a Section 8 notice to commence possession proceedings.

Can I still evict a tenant with a Section 21 notice?

Yes, you will still be able to evict your tenant under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, providing the correct notice period of 2 months is givem, up until the Bill is passed as law and comes into full force.

However, in some cases where there has already been an allegation made by tenants regarding disrepair and dilapidations, a landlord may be statute barred from serving a valid Section 21 notice. We would advise a landlord seek legal advice prior to serving an eviction notice.

As soon as the Bill does come into force, Section 21 will be abolished, and landlords will be statute barred from undertaking this eviction process.

If you’re a landlord who wishes to repossess your property and would like some assistance, please feel free to get in touch with our bright and experienced Landlord & Tenant Team.

We would be happy to discuss your individual circumstances with you and offer tailored advice over a free initial chat.

Call us on 01202 4999255 or fill out the form at the top of this page, to find out more.

Related: Advice for evicting a tenant

What are the grounds for a Section 8 eviction?

There are currently 17 grounds under Section 8, with the Renters’ Reform Bill set to introduce further and stricter grounds. However, landlords will not be able to use the grounds for moving into, selling or redeveloping a property for the first six months of a tenancy commencing.

You can read our separate article, which outlines these grounds, here.

What will the new notice periods be for eviction?

If a landlord wishes to rely on a notice period for existing rent arrears, this will be increased to 4 weeks and the mandatory threshold of two months’ arrears at time of serving a notice and hearing will remain.

The Bill sets out that any notice which does not specify ground 7A or 14 should follow the below notice period:

Grounds specified in notice


1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2ZA, 2ZB, 5, 5A, 5B, 5C, 5D, 6, 6A, 7, 9

two months beginning with the date of service of the notice


5E, 5F, 5G, 8, 8A, 10, 11, 18

four weeks beginning with the date of the service of the notice


4, 7B, 12, 13, 14ZA, 14A, 15, 17

two weeks beginning with the 25 date of the service of the notice”


If you require any information about the new grounds and notice periods which are to be passed within the Bill, you can read the Bill in the link above.

Alternatively, we would be happy to discuss your individual circumstances with you and offer tailored advice over a free initial chat.

What does the Renters’ Reform Bill mean for landlords?

Olivia Parkinson, Dispute Resolution Lawyer, says: “Overall, we have seen a lot of concerns from landlords due to the potential increased difficulty when recovering possession of their properties.

However, the Bill is being passed to support a fair, just and reasonable private rental market for all. Seeking advice from a legal representative and completing your own due diligence, will likely see limited change from the current legislation.”

Related: Do I need to protect my tenant's deposit?

Landlord Advice and Eviction Solicitors

If you have any questions following this article or would like to speak to a specialist lawyer about eviction, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experienced team.

We would be happy to discuss how the Renters’ Reform Bill might affect you and outline your options going forwards.

You can call us on 01202 499255 or fill out the form at the top of this page, for a free initial chat.

Keep up to date

The Renters’ Reform Bill is a developing story and only the first draft has been released. To keep up to date with the proposed changes, when they might come into force and how they affect you; please subscribe to our Property mailing list here.

Here, we’ll send you timely updates on Property and Landlord & Tenant Law to ensure that you are kept ‘in the loop’.

The content of this article, blog or video is not intended as specific legal advice. For tailored assistance, please contact a member of our team.