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The Renters’ Reform Bill was passed through the Commons last week and is now being pushed through to the House of Lords for further debate. What amendments did MPs make, and what’s the latest update on Section 21? 

Last week, the Renters Reform Bill was passed through the House of Commons following its third reading. Having finally passed the report stage, it is now moving into the House of Lords for further debate.

Despite the staggering 200 amendments brought forward, last month’s rumoured changes to the Bill mean that the announcements from the meeting will be fairly unsurprising to many landlords. However, it’s more important than ever to stay up to date with legislation changes, so here’s what you need to know as the Renters’ Reform Bill progresses through Parliament:


The abolishment of Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions

As was expected, we received further confirmation that the abolition of Section 21 is on hold until a full review of the courts and barriers to possession is completed. There is no timeline or indication of how the court process will be assessed, but it’s clear that both the Conservatives and the Labour Party are committed to ending Section 21 evictions. Whether that be this year or next, landlords must be reassured they can go through the court process quickly and easily before ‘no fault’ evictions are abolished. 


Local council licensing

Last week’s meeting questioned how local licensing schemes would work in conjunction with the Bill’s proposed Property Portal. The House of Commons debate confirmed that licensing schemes will be reviewed to minimise the overlap with the scheme.

The NRLA has argued that, given that landlords will need to register properties and documents to confirm they meet minimum standards, the portal serves the same purpose as local council licensing. However, The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health argues: “Licensing provides a means for local authorities to inspect privately rented housing using enforceable conditions and to identify and resolve problems without the need for tenants to have complained.”

When we learn more about what the Property Portal could mean for licensing schemes, we will let you know.


Imposing six-month notice periods

As was mentioned in the leaked letter to MPs, rules will be introduced to prevent tenants from serving their two months’ notice within the first four months of their tenancy. This means there will be a six-month minimum tenancy period, giving landlords more reassurance in their financial stability as we transition into periodic tenancies.


Student landlords and periodic tenancies

Positively, last week’s meeting confirmed that the mandatory possession ground for student lets will be extended to all student housing. This amendment means landlords will be allowed to end a periodic tenancy in time for new students to arrive in line with the academic year.


What’s next for landlords?

It’s a relief that there weren’t any substantial last-minute changes to this contentious Bill. Years in the making, most of us are just pleased to get some clarity. For a full overview of the main policies, please see our two previous articles on the subject:

As we approach a general election in which housing will undoubtedly play a central role in both party’s election campaigns, staying up to date with legislation news and changes is essential for all property investors.

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If you would like to discuss your property finance options, get in touch with our expert mortgage consultants on 0345 345 6788 or submit an enquiry here.

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