Upcoming Parliamentary Review of Renters (Reform) Bill Sparks Crucial Discussions on Housing Policy

The controversial Renters (Reform) Bill is scheduled for further discussion in the House of Commons on Wednesday 24th April 2024, marking a critical step toward becoming law.

Official parliamentary schedulers have slotted the Bill for its report stage and third reading next Wednesday, a key phase where MPs may propose further amendments. After these stages, the Bill will proceed to the House of Lords for detailed examination. This development follows approval from the Tory party’s 1922 Committee and highlights the government’s commitment to pushing the bill through the legislative process swiftly.

Government’s Commitment and Pressure
A spokesperson from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities (DLUHC) emphasised the government’s dedication to the Bill, stating, “We are absolutely committed to the Renters (Reform) Bill, which will have its remaining stages in the House of Commons next week. This Bill will abolish Section 21 evictions and deliver a fairer rented sector for tenants and landlords.” The government faces a tight deadline to secure Royal Assent for the bill with the summer recess approaching and a general election expected later in the year. The pressure is further compounded by demands from various stakeholders, including housing campaigners and real estate agents, to advance the legislation.

Challenges and Reactions
The bill’s progression is not without its challenges, particularly from nearly 50 Conservative MPs who have expressed reservations. These MPs are calling for concessions, including a delay in banning Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions until the court system is improved, and changes following the introduction of the Property Portal, which will require registration of all landlords and their properties.

Industry experts have also voiced their opinions on the bill’s implications. David Smith, a senior property lawyer at JMW, highlighted the importance of training within the sector, suggesting that “Improving training in the sector would lead to better outcomes from all those using it and would also contribute to better business management and employee retention.” Meanwhile, Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, emphasised the necessity of a fair system post-Section 21, stating, “It is vital that the majority of responsible landlords have confidence in the Bill to provide the homes for rent the country needs. The amendments proposed by the Government strike that balance.”

As the Bill moves forward, its impact on tenants, landlords, and the broader housing market remains a focal point of discussions, with stakeholders across the board calling for a balanced approach to reform.