As part of the Government’s levelling-up agenda, a manifesto commitment was made in 2019 to do away with no-fault evictions. The idea was to empower renters to challenge poor landlords without the threat of losing the roof over their heads.
Renters (Reform) Bill
In May 2023, the Renters (Reform) Bill proposed a massive shake-up of the private rented sector.
“Eleven million tenants across England will benefit from safer, fairer and higher quality homes thanks to a once-in-a-generation overhaul of housing laws.”
At the time, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove MP, said:
“Too many renters are living in damp, unsafe, cold homes, powerless to put things right, and with the threat of sudden eviction hanging over them. [This Bill] …will support the vast majority of responsible landlords who provide quality homes to their tenants, while delivering our manifesto commitment to abolish Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions. This will ensure that everyone can live somewhere which is decent, safe and secure – a place they’re truly proud to call home.”
However, recent newspaper reports have highlighted that the Bill is absent from the parliamentary business for the current session, announced by the Leader of the House of Commons, Penny Mordaunt MP.
Those same newspaper reports suggest a back-bench revolt against the proposed reforms as being unpalatable to landlords, many of whom occupy those benches. If the Bill doesn’t feature in the King’s Speech on 7 November 2023, it seems unlikely that there will be any significant progress this year.
Next year will be an election year. The focus will be on who occupies one house in central London rent-free rather than renters’ rights across the country. Uncertainty is not helpful for tenants nor their landlords.