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Category: renters reform bill

In a recent debate in the House of Commons, the government has failed to make clear when the Renters Reform Bill will be implemented leaving landlords uncertain of the path ahead.

Members of Parliament Natalie Elphicke for the Conservative party and Lloyd Russell-Moyle for Labour, both of whom operate on the periphery of their respective parties, jointly sponsored the debate.

The debate

According to the Under-secretary of state at the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Felicity Buchan, the Renters Reform Bill will go forward in the near future, but did not disclose any details in particular.

She further stated:

“The Government are determined to deliver a new deal for tenants and landlords in the private rented sector. Everyone in our society deserves to live somewhere decent, warm, safe and secure. The Government are determined to make that vision a reality.

“I am proud of the action that the Government have already taken to put things right. We have strengthened local authorities’ enforcement powers by introducing fines of up to £30,000, extending rent repayment orders and introducing banning orders for the most serious and prolific offenders.

“We have introduced new regulations, which require landlords to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and ensure that the electrical installations in their properties are safe.

“We are concluding our overhaul of the housing, health and safety rating system, which is the tool used to assess hazardous conditions in rented homes. That will make it more accessible to tenants and landlords and allow more efficient enforcement.”

A new PRS ombudsman

According to Russell-Moyle, providing a platform for all of the parties involved would be imperative to make a significant change for the better. He says:

“It empowers renters and gives them a body to seek redress, but it also means that landlords know that there is a place where they will be fairly heard. That, combined with the removal of section 21, is a life changer for many. It will give people the ability to complain about poor housing.”

Private rental property platform

The recommended platform would be similar to the one that is currently implemented in Wales and Scotland, but more extensive.

The platform would require all landlords and properties to be registered, consequently creating a large database of all the properties, their respective landlords or agents, and their contact information.

The platform would also provide important information, such as if landlord has failed to comply with the duty to repair and maintain their property, or any breaches of the Decent Homes Standard.

The ombudsman service would allow any disputes to be resolved outside of the court system.

Potential Renters Reform Bill enactment

Whilst the government regathers itself, it is not surprising that enactment of the Renters Reform Bill has been further delayed.

The landlord community may well be hopeful that this leaves the door open for campaigning from landlord groups, to affect positive change in sentiment towards the private rental sector, to gather momentum.

As time passes, the impact of government interference in the industry will only become clearer, which may underline the points being raised and make clear how essential rental homes are