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The government plans to make several critical amendments to the Renters’ Reform Bill to better support landlords. What are the changes, and how will legislation impact the market moving forward? 

A leaked letter sent to MPs last week mentions three changes to the Conservative’s Renters’ Reform Bill that would make the Bill much more supportive of landlords. Given a recent coalition’s attempt to make the Bill tougher on property investors, these changes, if confirmed, would be a positive step forward for the sector.

Here’s what you need to know: 


The proposed changes

Notice periods

The government may accept a proposal from the cross-party housing select committee to give landlords better security when it comes to notice periods. With periodic tenancies replacing fixed-term agreements, the proposal would mean tenants could not give two months’ notice to leave the property until they have lived there for a minimum of four months.

This proposal would give landlords financial stability for at least six months, which is a positive sign that the government is considering how the Bill can support both landlords and tenants.

Court Reviews

The government previously confirmed that plans to scrap Section 21 will remain on hold until improvements have been made to the court system. The letter confirms this is still the case, with reviews of the operation of the courts a priority to ensure the justice system can cope with the increased workload. The Law Society has warned that “without investment for housing legal aid and the courts, the bill will not achieve its aims and may lead to an increase in backlogs and landlords and tenants alike will be unable to enforce their legal rights.”

Many industry leaders and experts have also advised the government on the risks of abolishing Section 21 evictions. Vulnerable tenants and those on lower incomes will struggle most to secure rental properties, with landlords having to vet tenants more carefully to ensure their own financial stability. Given the current rental demand and supply disparity, the abolishment of Section 21 will likely do more damage than good for both tenants and the wider PRS.

Student Housing

Another positive change is that the new planned ‘ground for possession’, which aims to protect the essential cyclical model for the student market, could be extended to cover all types of housing, including one- and two-bed properties.

This is great news for student landlords, as it means that landlords can guarantee prospective tenants that the property will be empty in time for the start of the new academic year. This will further support the growing levels of demand for rental properties from students year on year.


How will legislation impact landlords moving forward?

Current opinion polls indicate it’s highly likely we will see a Labour government before the end of the year. On Thursday, 28th March, Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner launched Labour’s local election campaign ahead of the local elections in May, with commitments to deepen devolution and boost levelling up across the UK. Although we’re still awaiting the full election manifesto, Labour’s Renters’ Charter already looks tougher on landlords and property investors than the current Reform Bill.

As such, it’s now more important than ever to stay up to date with legislation changes and how these amends impact your property investments.


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