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All for nothing? General election 'death knell for Tories' renting reforms'

renters reform bill

The Renters (Reform) Bill is almost dead in the water following the announcement of a 4th July general election which probably won’t leave time for it to become law before Parliament is dissolved next Thursday.

The Bill is about to go to the committee stage in the Lords but NRLA policy and campaigns director, Chris Norris, tells LandlordZONE that for it to pass it would need to go through the ‘wash-up process’ via prorogation today.

“This is doable, if an agreement is reached between the respective front benches – it essentially sees legislation waved through its remaining stages,” he says.

“The problem is that there is a lot of incomplete legislation before the house and it’s not certain the Renters (Reform) Bill will be prioritised. It wasn’t in this morning’s business statement, which isn’t a good sign, but the leader of the house did say she may return to the house with updates on other legislation, so it isn’t definitely dead yet.”

However, if it doesn’t pass by prorogation, it is dead irrespective of the form of the next government and whoever forms the next government would have to start again, adds Norris.


The NRLA is frustrated that the time and effort invested in the Bill would be wasted. “Whilst far from perfect, it represents a balance between protecting tenants and providing assurance to landlords. It would be extremely disappointing to have to start again and potentially end up with something worse for our sector.”

Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns at Propertymark, says if the Bill is dropped it will be frustrating for everyone who has worked to shape and prepare for new legislation, and agents who need certainty to plan for the future.

However, he believes the next government will want to legislate for PRS reforms. Douglas adds: “The current government’s recognition of the need for court reform and an acknowledgement of the benefits of retaining fixed term tenancies that Propertymark lobbied for during the passage of the Bill also needs to go further and be retained in future thinking and policy making.


“Furthermore, while the Bill focused on standards and consumer protections, it did nothing to address the supply of much needed homes to rent socially or privately or to buy.”

Allison Thompson, national lettings managing director at Leaders Romans Group (pictured right), is deeply disappointed that the Bill won’t pass into law and says it’s a significant setback. While many of its provisions were contentious, continued dialogue and amendments would have addressed the concerns of all stakeholders, ultimately benefiting the rental market, she says.

“LRG has consistently advocated for a balanced approach that protects both tenants’ rights and landlords’ interests,” adds Thompson. “The failure to pass the Renters Reform Bill highlights the need for comprehensive housing policies that provide stability and address the critical issues facing the sector, principally the undersupply of good-quality rental homes.


“We urge the next administration to place housing at the heart of its agenda, providing the consistency and long-term focus that the sector desperately needs.”

Jennifer Berezai, of pet campaigning group AdvoCATS, tells LandlordZONE she is optimistic that as Labour has promised similar legislation and tenant/pet reforms, its hard work won’t go to waste.

She adds: “We’re already mobilising our supporters and making preparations to lobby the new administration, to ensure the amendment to the TFA’s list of permitted payments that we campaigned for, which would allow a landlord to stipulate pet damage insurance must be held, is included in any future bill."


Renters reform bill