Industry News Meera Chindooroy 11/04/2024

Rental Reform: What happens next?

Just before Easter, the press reported that the UK Government will amend the Renters (Reform) Bill to ensure it works for both landlords and tenants – including fundamental NRLA calls on certainty for landlords and student tenancies. 

The contents of a leaked letter from the housing minister, Jacob Young, to fellow Conservative MPs outlined key amendments the Government promised to table when Parliament returns from recess next week. 

The NRLA welcomed these rumoured changes – many of which we campaigned for, and which we believe mean that the provisions in the Bill will work for landlords. We have encouraged the Government to progress the Bill – and provide the certainty which the sector needs for investment. 

The Minister’s letter included commitments on key changes we’ve called for, including: 

  • A ‘moratorium’ on tenants serving their two months’ notice in the first four months of a tenancy – with certain exceptions, such as significant hazards in the property, domestic abuse and death of a tenant. This will in effect mean a six-month initial period at the beginning of a tenancy during which both parties are committed 

  • Assessment of the courts and barriers to possession prior to abolishing Section 21 for existing tenancies 

  • Review local licensing schemes with an aim of reducing burdens on landlords, given the introduction of the property portal. This includes both selective and HMO licensing 

  • Ensuring the new mandatory possession ground for student lets applies to any property let to students, rather than just HMOs, provided the landlord includes their intention to use this ground in the tenancy agreement. 

In addition, he said the Government will: 

  • Ensure that properties cannot be used as short-term lets after using the move in or selling grounds for the three-month period during which properties cannot be marketed or relet as long term rentals 

  • Amend local authorities’ homelessness prevention duty, so that it applies where a tenant has been served a valid Section 8 notice 

Finally, the Government committed to a review of the changes to tenure within the Bill within 18 months of implementation for existing tenancies. 

He also committed to his department providing an annual parliamentary update on the private rented sector – including its size, locations of property and the current state of supply. 

What’s next? 

Parliament returns from the Easter recess next week. The next stage of the Renters (Reform) Bill has not yet been scheduled for debate, however the Minister’s leaked letter suggested it may be announced in the coming weeks, along with the Government’s amendments. 

The next stage will be the final opportunity for MPs in the Commons to debate the Bill before it reaches the House of Lords for further discussion. 

The NRLA will continue to campaign to ensure that rental reform works, and is fair, to both tenants and responsible landlords. For more information, see our campaign hub

Meera Chindooroy

Meera Chindooroy Deputy Director of Campaigns, Public Affairs & Policy

Meera is Deputy Director of Campaigns, Public Affairs & Policy at the NRLA. She joined the National Landlords Association (NLA) in May 2018, having previously worked in both policy development and project management for a range of not-for-profit and public sector organisations. Meera provides political insight both internally and for NRLA members, and lobbies in their best interests. Meera has extensive experience of building partnerships with stakeholders across communities, civil society and government, as well as developing collaborative approaches to policy challenges.

Prior to joining to the NLA, Meera provided policy and engagement support to the chief executive of the Big Lottery Fund, the UK’s biggest community funder. She also developed strategic policy at the General Medical Council, the regulator of doctors in the UK.

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