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Rebel MPs on brink of 'pro-landlord' changes to reform bill

renters (reform) bill

The Government has taken on board a list of changes to the Renters (Reform) Bill requested by some 50 rebel Tory MPs, it has been reported

These changes, which were revealed earlier this week, are due to be tabled as amendments to Bill which, although campaign groups have said they would water down the legislation, have been requested by the MPs to make it workable and balance the rights of tenants with those of landlords.

The BBC has reported that a Whatsapp group used by the rebel MPs has been used by Ministers to share the suggested amendments.

LandlordZONE understands these amendments include:

  • Banning section 21 evictions but only when the court system has been upgraded and backlogs have been cleared;
  • Loosening the proof of evidence when evicting anti-social tenants;
  • Getting rid of selective licencing schemes when the national register goes live as the two are basically the same thing;
  • Requiring tenants to commit to at least four months in a property before giving notice;
  • Protecting student HMO landlords from the introduction of periodic tenancies, which are not appropriate to tenants at
  • Universities who have no intention of staying in their properties for long periods.

A Conservative MP from the rebel group, which includes Theresa Villiers and Jacob Rees-Mogg, tells the BBC that “agreement seems to have been reached on almost all the points”.

The Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, when asked to confirm this claim, said: “A spokesperson for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said: "Our landmark Renters (Reform) Bill will deliver a fairer private rented sector for both tenants and landlords. It will abolish section 21 evictions - giving people more security in their homes and empowering them to challenge poor practices.

"We continue to meet regularly with a range of groups, representing all those in the private rented sector."

Zero sum

Ben Beadle (pictured), Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Assocaition (NRLA), says: "We have long accepted that the Government has a mandate to end the use of fixed term tenancies and no-fault repossessions.

"Our focus has, and continues to be, on developing a replacement system that is fair and workable for tenants and responsible landlords. This need not be a zero-sum game between the two.

“The NRLA has consistently campaigned for the Bill to balance the protections promised to tenants and the legitimate business needs of landlords to enable them to continue to provide rented homes.

“If the Government is considering amendments that would provide for assurances to landlords with a six-month minimum term and ensure confidence for all in the court process, then that balance would be struck.

"We now need to see these amendments published in full so that all parties can judge for themselves what is on the table and move on with debating the Bill in public. The lack of progress and uncertainty about the future is destabilising and damaging for those living and working in the private-rented sector.”

BLOG: When landlords talk to their MPs, politicians listen


Renters reform bill