King’s-Speech-Renters-Reform-Bill

The King’s Speech: The Renters Reform Bill

13/11/2023

Last week marked the King’s first opening of Parliament. In his speech he re-confirmed the Government’s commitment to the Renters Reform Bill.

The Renters Reform Bill was first announced in the Queens Speech in 2019. The act was finally introduced to Parliament in May 2023, and received its second reading in October 2023. We recently covered its progress here.

The Renters Reform Bill will make the following changes:

  • Abolishing Section 21 Notices (no-fault evictions) once a new digital Court process is in place;
  • Adding new mandatory grounds for possession for Section 8 Notices e.g. if the landlord wishes to sell their property or if there are repeated serious rent arrears;
  • Expanding the existing grounds for possession for Section 8 Notices e.g. where close family members wish to move into the property;
  • Introducing stronger powers to evict anti-social tenants by allowing landlords to file possession claims in the court as soon as antisocial behaviour occurs;
  • Broadening the definition of disruptive and harmful activities that can lead to eviction;
  • Giving Tenants the right to request a pet, which landlords cannot unreasonably refuse. Which is balanced by requiring the tenant to have insurance to cover potential damage from pets;
  • Creating a digital Private Rented Property Portal to bring together key information for landlords, tenants, and councils; and
  • Creating a new Private Rented Sector Ombudsman that will provide fair, impartial and binding resolution, reducing the need to go to Court.

The Government also confirmed that they will scrap proposals to require landlords to meet EPC level C by 2025 in their private rented properties.

However, the Government announced last month, the key measure of abolishing Section 21 Notices will not commence until stronger possession grounds and a new digital Court process is in place. The Government confirmed they will start work now designing this new digital process.

It is all but certain that this new digital process will not be in place before the end of this Government’s term. With an election required by January 2025 at the latest, it seems that Section 21 Notices are here to stay for the foreseeable future.

How Pinney Talfourd can help

Pinney Talfourd are experts in commercial and residential property litigation and can advise you on changes to the law so you are given up to date advice.

Please do not hesitate to contact either Oliver-James Topping on 01708 463227 should you wish to discuss anything further.

The above is meant to be only advice and is correct as of the time of posting. This article was written by Oliver-James Topping, Associate in the Residential Property Litigation Team at Pinney Talfourd LLP Solicitors. The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as of November 2023.

13/11/2023

Authors

Oliver-James Topping

Senior Associate

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