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Renters Reform Bill unlikely to pass through Parliament today

View profile for Michelle Hayter
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Renters Reform Bill and ban on no fault Section 21 evictions unlikely to pass through Parliament today

Today is the last day that MPs will sit in parliament before the election, and a lot of legislation is set to be rushed through.

However, according to sources close to the BBC, The Renters (Reform) Bill will not be included in the debate today meaning it will not be passed as legislation.

Talks about the bill will therefore have to be reintroduced in the next session of Parliament after the general election, if the new government wishes to proceed with it.

What does this mean for landlords?

In the year since the Bill was first introduced in the House of Commons, we saw a lot of landlords raise concerns about how difficult it would become to recover possession of their properties.

In addition, many MPs at the time opposed the Bill, claiming it would cause landlords to sell their properties, and called for more landlord protection.

For this reason, the potentially indefinite delay of the Bill will come to the relief of many but, for others, the promise of a reasonable private rental market just dissipated.

If and when the Bill does pass, landlords should seek advice from a legal representative and complete their own due diligence.

What is the Renters Reform Bill?

In case you’re not already aware, The Renters (Reform) Bill was a ‘new deal’ presented by the government that promised to abolish Section 21 evictions and bring in other major changes.

In all, the Bill sought to improve home quality standards, provide fairer tenancies resulting in added security and protection for tenants, and stabilise the private rental market.

The Bill would have:

  • Given tenants the right to request pets in their home
  • Abolished bans on renting to families with children or those on benefits
  • Provided landlords with the entitlement to reduce notice periods when tenants are ‘irresponsible’
  • Required private landlords to join the ombudsman scheme
  • Restricted landlords to only raise rent once per annum

But, most importantly, it would have scrapped Section 21 evictions in favour of Section 8.

Read more about the proposed Bill in our dedicated article here.

What are Section 8 evictions?

Unlike Section 21, a Section 8 notice (often referred to as a ‘fault based eviction’) requires landlords to give a ‘concrete and evidenced reason’ for eviction.

Section 8 evictions, currently have two types of grounds, mandatory grounds, where the Court must grant Possession, and discretionary grounds where the Court may grant possession which can be seen in the Housing Act 1988, Schedule 2.

The most common grounds which are relied on by landlords are rent arrears over 2 months’ up until the date of a possession hearing (mandatory), any rent arrears at all (discretionary), persistent rent arrears (discretionary), and anti-social behaviour (discretionary).

You can find out more about Section 8 evictions, and see a full list of grounds, here.

Landlord Advice and Eviction Solicitors

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

We would be happy to answer any questions you might have, and provide advice on any and all areas of landlord & tenant law.

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

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.