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Renters (Reform) Bill Set for Next Parliamentary Stage

The Renters (Reform) Bill is scheduled to advance through Parliament next Wednesday, marking a significant step towards becoming law, with implications for both tenants and landlords.

Bill Progression Confirmed
The Bill is slated to enter its report stage and third reading on 24th April 2024, where it may undergo further amendments before being scrutinized by the Lords. This announcement follows approval from the Tory party’s 1922 Committee and reflects the government’s commitment to reforming rental legislation. A spokesperson from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) stated, “We are absolutely committed to the Renters (Reform) Bill, which will have its remaining stages in the House of Commons next week. This Bill will abolish Section 21 evictions and deliver a fairer rented sector for tenants and landlords.”

Challenges Ahead in the Legislative Process
With the summer recess only three months away and a General Election anticipated later in the year, the government faces a tight deadline to secure Royal Assent for the Bill. The path forward is complicated by opposition from nearly 50 Tory MPs who demand significant concessions, including a delay in banning Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions until the court system is improved, and an end to selective licensing following the introduction of a new Property Portal for registering landlords and properties.

Industry Reaction to the Proposed Changes
The proposed changes have elicited a range of responses from industry experts. David Smith, a senior property lawyer at JMW, emphasized the importance of training for estate agents to improve service quality and outcomes in the sector. “Improving training in the sector would lead to better outcomes from all those using it and would also contribute to better business management and employee retention,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, highlighted the need for a fair system that both empowers tenants and gives confidence to responsible landlords. “Our focus has been on ensuring that when Section 21 repossessions end, the replacement system works and is fair, to both tenants and responsible landlords,” said Beadle. He urged MPs to ensure the swift passage of the Bill, underpinned by improvements to the justice system for both renters and landlords.

As the Renters (Reform) Bill moves forward, it remains a pivotal topic for all stakeholders in the housing sector, balancing the need for tenant protections with the interests of landlords.