Industry News NRLA Communications Team 29/02/2024

Government needs to get on with rental reform changes

Following the publication of a BBC News report claiming that the Government has circulated draft proposed amendments to the Renters (Reform) Bill to backbench MPs, the NRLA has issued a statement calling for clarity on any suggested changes to proposed rental reforms.

The report claims that draft amendments to the Bill - which was published in draft form last May - may address issues such as selective licensing systems and section 21 repossessions. 

Responding to the BBC's story Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said:

“We have long accepted that the Government has a mandate to end the use of fixed term tenancies and no-fault repossessions. Our focus has, and continues to be, on developing a replacement system that is fair and workable for tenants and responsible landlords. This need not be a zero-sum game between the two.

“The NRLA has consistently campaigned for the Bill to balance the protections promised to tenants and the legitimate business needs of landlords to enable them to continue to provide rented homes. 

“If the Government is considering amendments that would provide for assurances to landlords with a six-month minimum term and ensure confidence for all in the court process, then that balance would be struck. We now need to see these amendments published in full so that all parties can judge for themselves what is on the table and move on with debating the Bill in public. The lack of progress and uncertainty about the future is destabilising and damaging for those living and working in the private-rented sector.”

The cross-party housing select committee has argued that when fixed term tenancy agreements end, “tenants be unable to give two months’ notice to leave until they have been in a property for at least four months.” The Committee noted that: “This will give landlords the legal certainty of at least six months’ rent at the start of a tenancy.”  

In addition, 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.”

You can read the BBC News piece in its entirety by clicking here.