The UK government has finally confirmed the publication of the long-awaited Renters’ Reform Bill, which aims to improve tenants’ rights and change the relationship between landlords and tenants. Housing Secretary Michael Gove confirmed the news in an interview with Sky News, saying: “We’re introducing new legislation, it will be out next week and it will change the way in which the relationship between landlords and tenants work, providing tenants with new protection which should ensure that they’re better protected from arbitrary rent increases.”
The Bill includes a range of proposed reforms, such as the abolition of Section 21 eviction powers for landlords, an apparent strengthening of Section 8 eviction powers, a mandatory landlord register, and the introduction of a Decent Homes Standard for the private sector similar to that in place for social housing providers.
The proposed measures are intended to make the private rented sector “fairer” for tenants. Last summer, the government published an 80-page white paper outlining its plans to ban Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions and introduce the Decent Homes Standard for the private rented sector for the first time.
The government has faced criticism from campaigners for the delay in introducing the Bill into Parliament. The Renters’ Reform Coalition, a group of 20 organisations campaigning for change, tweeted in response to Gove’s statement: “We look forward to this momentous day – four years after the government first promised to end no-fault evictions – and to scrutinising the legislation in full.”
Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, tweeted: “Secretary of State Michael Gove confirms that we will see the long-awaited Renters Reform Bill next week. A fun week ahead beckons!”
The publication of the Bill will reveal which measures can be introduced into law at short notice and which may require primary legislation, which can take up to a year to get through Parliament.