As pretty much anyone I've spoken to through the journey of the Renters Reform Bill and anyone receiving our Eightfold Property Newsletter will know, our stance as a business has been to steer clear of the conjecture around what is coming next and prepare in the background as each new raft of changes comes to light.

But we now find ourselves in a rare period of certainty as far as the bill goes, with the recently called snap election having completely halted the progress of the Renters Reform Bill through parliament. This bill was a piece of legislation poised to bring transformative changes to the rental sector. Initially proposed to improve tenant rights and streamline the rental process, the Bill included provisions to abolish "no-fault" evictions under Section 21, establish a "lifetime deposit" system to ease the financial burden on tenants moving properties, and set up a new ombudsman for private landlords.

The announcement of the snap election means that there is insufficient time for the Bill to pass into law in the current parliamentary session. This delay affects millions of renters and landlords who anticipated changes to their rights and responsibilities. The Bill's postponement likely stalls what was poised to be the biggest shakeup of the residential lettings industry for a generation, maintaining the status quo of rental agreements and tenant security.

Ironically, this certainty over the future of the Bill means continued uncertainty for the sector overall. Landlords and tenants must navigate the existing frameworks, which may not adequately address the challenges posed by the current housing market for many individuals. This development underscores the need for stakeholders in the rental industry to stay informed and prepared for eventual reforms, which, while delayed, seem almost certain to reappear after the election.

There had been cross party support for the Bill, so some form of similar legislation appears likely no matter who triumphs in July, but how this will look will likely depend on the incumbent party at number 10. With the end of Section 21 a hot topic, it seems logical that this will be the driving force behind the new legislation being brought forward. Although, we have certainly not seen the same use of Section 21 that appears in the news, as there is little sense in removing good paying tenants without reason. In reality, it is used more as a safety net of certainty for landlords to recover properties from tenants that wouldn't fit the description of good and paying.

We will continue to monitor any changes in the industry and prepare for however the landscape looks going forward. It is unlikely we will wade into the discussion while things remain uncertain, but our clients can be sure of an update and an action plan once clear legislation is in place for rental reforms.


Photo by Hadyn Cutler on Unsplash