Ground Rent Reform Scrapped

Renters Reform Bill Delayed Again


We have previously commented upon the Renters Reform Bill (the “Bill”) here and here. However, since passing the Committee Stage on 28th November 2023, there is still no set date for the Third Reading of the Bill in the House of Commons. With the Easter recess on 26th March fast approaching, it is likely that the Bill will be pushed back another month, and ever closer to the general election.

The latest delay

This latest delay is in the context of recent reports that almost a third of Tory MPs are attempting to water down or delay the Bill. 47 Conservative MPs have signed amendments that housing campaigners fear will “gut” legislation they see as crucial to improving rights for the one in five households in England who rent privately. 

The proposed amendments include:

  • Requiring an assessment of the operation of County Courts before the ban on Section 21 Notices comes into place;
  • Allowing the fixed term tenancy system to continue in certain circumstances;
  • Requiring tenants to live in a property for a minimum of four months before they can give notice to end their tenancy; and
  • Enabling hearsay evidence to be accepted in the Court when dealing with evictions based upon antisocial behaviour.

Tom Darling, the campaign manager of the Renters’ Reform Coalition, said: “Those making money out of our broken housing system should not be holding up and watering down reforms to give renters more rights.”

Law Society president Nick Emmerson said: ‘The suggested changes would require that the Ministry of Justice should report the impact on courts before “no fault” evictions are banned. While assessing the impact should be part of the implementation process, it should not be written into legislation or used as a reason to further delay the removal of section 21.’

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said: “We have long accepted that the Government has a mandate to end the use of fixed term tenancies and no-fault repossessions. Our focus has, and continues to be, on developing a replacement system that is fair and workable for tenants and responsible landlords. This need not be a zero-sum game between the two.”


Regardless of when the Bill will make progress, the uncertainty of change and the fear of reform appears to be fuelling a surge in Section 21 Notices. Figures for 2023 showed that an additional 30,230 landlords started possession proceedings based upon Section 21 Notices, a 28% rise the previous year. Additionally, in 2023 bailiff evictions after a Section 21 Notice rose by 49% on the previous year to 9,457.

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 March 2024.



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