National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA)
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Time to get on with Renters (Reform) Bill say landlords

Following the news that the Renters (Reform) Bill will be making its way back to the House of Commons for the report stage of the legislative process, the NRLA has issued a statement setting out why MPs must ensure the Bill makes the transition into law as soon as possible.

The statement coincides with the Government’s publication of the draft amendments to the Bill, which can be read in their entirety here. The Bill will next appear before parliament on Wednesday 24 April.

Responding to this news, Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association said:

“Our focus has been on ensuring that when section 21 repossessions end, the replacement system works and is fair, to both tenants and responsible landlords.

“Tenants should rightly be empowered to hold rogue and criminal landlords to account to root out the minority who bring the sector into disrepute. However, it is vital that the majority of responsible landlords have confidence in the Bill to provide the homes for rent the country needs.

“The amendments proposed by the Government strike that balance.

“It is now important to provide certainty to the market, so it can transition smoothly to the new system.  We therefore call on MPs to ensure swift passage of the Bill through Parliament with the Government’s planned changes. This should be underpinned by action to improve the justice system for renters and landlords alike.” 

Amendments the Government has tabled to the Bill include: 

  • Accepting a proposal by the cross-party housing select committee that when fixed term tenancy agreements end, “tenants be unable to give two months’ notice to leave until they have been in a property for at least four months.” The Committee noted that: “This will give landlords the legal certainty of at least six months’ rent at the start of a tenancy.”  Protections should be in place however to ensure tenants can leave earlier than this where properties are not of a decent standard, and to protect those suffering from domestic abuse.  

  • Reviewing the operation of the courts before ending section 21 for existing tenancies to ensure the justice system can cope with the increased workload. The Select Committee noted that: “Before section 21 can be repealed, landlords must have confidence in their ability to regain possession under section 8, especially in the case of rent arrears and antisocial behaviour. The biggest obstacle to this is the capacity of the courts.”

The Law Society has warned that: “without investment for housing legal aid and the courts, the bill will not achieve its aims and may lead to an increase in backlogs and landlords and tenants alike will be unable to enforce their legal rights.”

  • Ensuring all types of student housing, including one and two bed properties, are covered by the planned ground for possession to protect the annual cycle of the student housing market. This is supported by the Labour-led Local Government Association which noted that it “would give confidence to student landlords, who rent properties not considered as HMOs, that they can offer properties each academic year.”

Notes

  • Details of the Government’s amendments to the Bill to be considered at report stage can be accessed here
  • Further information about the NRLA can be found at www.nrla.org.uk.  It posts on X @NRLAssociation.
  • The NRLA’s press office can be contacted by emailing press@nrla.org.uk or by calling 0300 131 6363.
Channel website: https://www.nrla.org.uk?ref=wg

Original article link: https://www.nrla.org.uk/news-time-to-get-on-with-renters-reform-bill-say-landlords

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