The Government has published some 100 amendments to its Renters (Reform) Bill including ‘missing parts’ left out of the first draft lodged with parliament earlier this year.
This includes a new eviction clause within the Bill which will please many student landlords – it gives them the unique right to remove student tenants from properties who refuse to leave after their academic year has finished.
Although a technical move because the vast majority of students usually plan their accommodation well ahead, it will give student landlords certainty given the unique nature of their properties and tenancies.
Student landlords have been lobbying hard for the rules on fixed term tenancies to be amended but, although the latest changes to the Bill does not include this, the changes to eviction detailed here may go some way towards assuaging their worries.
The new eviction clause 4A says the students involved must be full time and renting within an HMO property during the final academic semester – i.e. June to September – to be covered by the amendment.
MP and Levelling Up minister Jacob Young (main image), who has proposed all the amendments to the Bill, says: “This amendment inserts a new ground of possession to allow a landlord to recover possession of a house of multiple occupation let to full-time students at the end of the academic year, in order to let it to students again.”
Although most of the other amendments within the Bill are minor technical changes and clarifications, the document also reveals details of how landlords will be prevented from discriminating against tenants on benefits and with children – i.e. property ads with ‘no dss’ or ‘no families’ within them.
The document also highlights how local authorities will be given powers to fine landlords found to have discriminated against families or those on benefits. It also reveals that the Government intends to overturn the recent Jepsen and others v Rakusen court case (as predicted by property lawyer David Smith in March) which had established that rent repayment orders cannot be against a 'superior landlord'.
The timing of all these amendments has surprised some, as the Bill is going through its scrutiny stage at the moment in parliament.
Tom Darling, campaign manager at the Renters’ Reform Coalition, says: “We have been expecting Government amendments to the Renters (Reform) Bill for a while now as there are key parts of the legislation missing – but to publish them overnight with the important Committee Stage in full swing is not acceptable.”
Housing Secretary Michael Gove (pictured) says: Everyone deserves a home that is safe, warm and decent. But far too many live in conditions that fall well below what is acceptable. As part of our Long-Term Plan for Housing we are improving housing standards across the entire private rented sector, while also ending discrimination against vulnerable people and families who are being unfairly denied access to a home."