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Update on the progress of the Renters Reform Bill

View profile for Aoife Hennessy
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Aoife Hennessy in our Dispute Resolution team, has provided an update on the progress of the Renters Reform Bill in this blog, this follows on from her original blog about the Reform of the private rented sector in 2022.

On 17 May 2023, the Renters Reform Bill (“the Bill”) was introduced to Parliament at a first reading. The proposed aim of the Bill is to ‘bring in a better deal for renters’ in the private rented sector and to make significant changes to the Housing Act 1988, which are likely to affect how a landlord can obtain possession of their residential property.

The biggest change relates to the abolishment of ‘no fault’ evictions under the section 21 route. Instead, the landlord will have to rely upon one of the grounds for eviction which are set out in Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988.

To address concerns around being able to recover possession of a property, the Bill proposes to introduce more comprehensive possession grounds so that landlords can still recover possession (including where they wish to sell their property or move in close family) and to make it easier to obtain possession in situations where the tenants are at fault, such as cases of anti-social behaviour and repeat rent arrears.

The timeline for the Bill is still somewhat uncertain, reports suggest that the Bill will have a second reading in Parliament at some point after the King’s Speech on 7 November 2023.  Once this takes place, there are various further steps to go through before the Bill is given Royal Assent and passed as law.  In light of this it is likely that the Bill will not come into effect until late 2024 or even early 2025.  Ultimately the timescale is still unknown but we will continue to monitor the progress.

Until the Bill is passed as law, the existing routes to obtaining possession of a residential property remain open to landlords, being the section 21 ‘no fault’ route and the section 8 ‘fault’ route.  If you have questions about the reform of the private sector or if you are looking for advice about a rented property, please contact a member of our Dispute Resolution team on 01904 624185.