Queen's Speech: what next for rental reform?
This week’s Queen’s Speech announced a white paper outlining the Government’s proposals ahead of legislation to reform the private rented sector. The white paper will come two years after it was originally announced that the Renters’ Reform Bill would be introduced and Section 21 evictions abolished in the 2019 Queen’s Speech.
The speech on Tuesday also revealed that this year the Government will publish its response to its 2019 consultation on the removal of Section 21 as well as strengthening repossession grounds for landlords with valid cause. The Government will also this year outline proposals for a new ‘lifetime’ tenancy deposit model.
What is proposed amounts to some of the biggest changes in the private rented sector for over 30 years.
A white paper - a policy document which provides clear proposals from government about future legislation, will be published on the reform package in the autumn and there will be extensive stakeholder engagement to inform and shape these reforms.
The NRLA have urged Government to use the time to ensure that the reforms are fair and workable for both landlords and tenants.
The package is expected to require all private landlords to belong to a redress scheme, consider further reforms of the private renter sector enforcement system and explore improvements to the possession process in the courts.
The NRLA launched its Renters’ Reform Bill proposals in 2020, following consultation with members and those across the sector. The proposals have been sent to government and we will continue to campaign to shape the planned reforms.
The white paper is due in autumn and we expect to have a clearer sense of the timeline for any bill following this. As outlined above, the future bill is likely to cover very similar ground to the planned Renters’ Reform Bill, which was put on hold due to the impact of the pandemic.
Other sector announcements included:
- Planning Bill – The Bill will create a simpler, faster and more modern planning system to replace the current one that dates back to 1947.
- Leaseholder Reform (Ground Rent) Bill – The Bill will legally set ground rents in residential long leases as a ‘peppercorn rent’ level. It will ensure that leaseholders of new, long residential leases cannot be charged a financial ground rent for no tangible service.
- Building Safety Bill - The Bill will establish the Building Safety Regulator. It will update existing building safety regulation and make provision to support the removal of unsafe cladding, including through a financing scheme to pay for costs and a levy to ensure the development industry meets a fair share of the cost of remediating unsafe cladding.
For more information on the speech please visit https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/985029/Queen_s_Speech_2021_-_Background_Briefing_Notes..pdf