The Renters Reform Bill – what  next for Landlords, Tenants and Agents ?

Posted on June 19th, 2024.

The recent news that the Renters (Reform) Bill will not pass before the upcoming general election on July 4 presents a significant development for landlords. The bill, which aimed to end Section 21 no-fault evictions, will not be enacted, leaving many landlords and tenants in a state of uncertainty.

Chris Christodoulou, Director of Ashmore Residential, notes that “the Renters’ Reform Bill’s failure to pass after much debate with 12 amendments drafted, marks the end of its current journey in Parliament. However, with YouGov’s data suggesting a likely Labour victory in the upcoming general election, there is an expectation of a new, potentially stricter, renters’ reform bill. Significantly, Labour’s proposal includes the regulation of property agents (ROPA). The impact of these changes on the housing sector remains to be seen”.

The Current Landscape

The Renters (Reform) Bill was set to introduce major changes, including the abolition of Section 21 evictions and the introduction of a Decent Homes Standard for the private rented sector. The bill’s failure to progress means that these reforms are now off the table, at least for the foreseeable future.

Implications for Landlords

For landlords, this development offers a mix of relief and continued responsibility. While the ability to use Section 21 remains intact, the broader conversation around tenant rights and property standards is far from over. Here’s what landlords should consider in this new context:

Maintain High Standards: Despite the bill’s failure, the demand for quality housing remains. Upholding high property standards can differentiate you in the market and attract reliable tenants.

Understand the Legal Landscape: Familiarise yourself with current regulations and be prepared for future legislative changes. Staying compliant with existing laws ensures smooth operations and minimises risks.

Strengthen Tenant Relationships: Good tenant relations can lead to longer tenancies and fewer disputes. Clear communication, prompt maintenance, and fair treatment are key to fostering positive relationships.

Prepare for Future Changes: While the Renters (Reform) Bill has been scrapped, it’s likely that tenant advocacy will continue to push for reforms. Staying informed and adaptable will be crucial for future-proofing your property management strategies.

The Broader Impact

The government’s decision not to advance the Renters (Reform) Bill affects millions of renters and the broader housing market. It underscores the need for landlords to stay vigilant and proactive in managing their properties and tenant relationships.

Moving Forward with Professional Support

Landlords now have a window to reassess their practices and prepare for what may come next. Working with a professional managing agent can be invaluable in navigating this period of uncertainty and ensuring compliance. Here’s how a managing agent can assist:

Stay Informed: Managing agents are well-versed in the latest housing news and legislative developments. They can keep you updated on any changes and help you anticipate and adapt to new regulations.

Compliance Assurance: Managing agents are experts in property management laws and standards. They can ensure that your properties comply with current regulations, reducing the risk of legal issues and fines.

Streamlined Operations: Professional managing agents handle the day-to-day operations of your properties, from maintenance and repairs to tenant communications. This allows you to focus on strategic decisions while knowing that your properties are managed efficiently and effectively.

Review and Improve Practices: Managing agents can conduct thorough reviews of your current property management practices. They can identify areas for improvement and implement best practices to enhance tenant satisfaction and property performance.

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