The Renters Reform Bill is on track to get Royal Assent next June, says the NRLA – despite the possibility of a snap May general election.
The government has confirmed that the first debate on the legislation will not take place until at least after party conference season, meaning that due to lack of time, a carry-over motion is likely to be used to introduce the Bill in the next Parliamentary session following the King’s speech on 7th November.
The NRLA called for a timetable for the Bill’s progression through Parliament to tackle uncertainty within the sector during its recent meeting with the Prime Minister’s housing policy unit, but policy director Chris Norris says he is concerned about how it will be implemented, rather than whether the Bill will be enacted.
“We could have a new Labour government or a minority government with their own priorities and they might not agree, so it could fail,” he tells LandlordZONE. “However, that’s unlikely, as is the scenario of the government deciding not to schedule the next stages.”
Along with chief executive Ben Beadle, Norris met civil servants at 10 Downing Street to talk about court reform, how possession cases could be dealt with in a timely manner post-Section 21 and whether more court staff would be employed. They also called for selective licensing to be scrapped when the new property portal is introduced, as the new system will render it redundant.
Another topic was anti-landlord rhetoric within government departments as the NRLA has been disappointed with messages that could undermine the association’s work. Beadle points to the recent announcements on right to rent fines that give the impression landlords were to blame for those living in the country illegally, as well as statements on childminding in rental properties, calling on landlords to be ‘open-minded’ – completely ignoring major barriers including non-negotiable mortgage and insurance conditions.