Many landlords are anxiously watching the Renters Reform Bill progress through parliament. And with good reason. If and when it becomes law, no-fault evictions will be scrapped, there’ll be an end to fixed-term tenancies and all properties will have to meet the Decent Homes Standard. In addition, landlords will need to sign up to a national register.
When is the next reading of the Renters Reform Bill?
The Bill got its first reading in the House of Commons on 17th May 2003. This is a formal stage that takes place without any debate.
However, the clock is ticking on the Bill’s second reading. So far, no date for this has been announced. After today, the Commons is only sitting for two further days before going into recess between 20th September and 16th October. This is because it will be party conference season.
If the second reading takes place after 16th October, time will be tight. If it isn’t completed by the King’s Speech on 7th November, the government will have to reintroduce the Bill. This means the whole process has to start again.
Will the Renters Reform Bill progress into law?
Even if the Bill’s second reading takes place before the King’s Speech, it still has a way to go before it becomes law. After the second reading, the Bill progresses to committee stage and then to report stage before its third reading. It then goes to the House of Lords for a similar process. Only then does the Commons consider the Lords’ amendments prior to the Bill receiving royal assent.
Given the next general election is due no later than 28th January 2025 – and is widely expected to happen during 2024 – there are serious doubts whether the Bill will be enacted in time.
What happens if the Bill doesn’t become law?
If the Renters Reform Bill doesn’t become law before the next general election, there could be a number of outcomes. If the Conservative Party wins, it may choose to reintroduce the bill, scrap it, or devise alternative legislation. Should the Labour Party win, it may choose to create legislation of its own for the private rental sector. What happens in a coalition is anyone’s guess!
Is it good news if it doesn’t become law?
In the short term, certainly, it’s good news for landlords if Renters Reform Bill progress grinds to halt. According to an article in LandlordZone, worries over the Bill are encouraging landlords to call it a day. Over the last year, 47% of landlords have tried to sell a property or have considered it. A further 10% of landlords have turned a property into a short-term let.
In addition to these figures, almost half of landlords and lettings agents think that replacing fixed-term tenancies with rolling contracts will have a negative impact. 30% of landlords are pessimistic about the proposed property portal / landlords’ register.
If you are a landlord, it’s worth keeping an eye on the Bill’s progress. If you subscribe to this blog, we’ll ensure you get any updates. But even if we don’t see the Renters Reform Bill progress into law, it may at best be a stay of execution. Whoever wins the next election will probably have private rental sector reform in its sights. Whether the result is a watered down Bill or one with even more teeth remains to be seen.
About Jon Pryse-Jones
Since joining THP in 1978, Jon Pryse-Jones has been hands on with every area of the business. Now specialising in strategy, business planning, and marketing, Jon remains at the forefront of the growth and development at THP.
An ideas man, Jon enjoys getting the most out of all situations, “I act as a catalyst for creative people and encourage them to think outside the box,” he says, “and I’m not afraid of being confrontational. It often leads to a better result for THP and its clients.”
Jon’s appreciation for THP extends to his fellow team members and the board. “They really know how to run a successful business,” he says. He’s keen on IT and systems development as critical to success, and he continues to guide THP to be at the cutting edge and effective.