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Graham Awards


Renters Reform Bill published - full details

The pro-tenant anti-landlord Renters Reform Bill has at last been published by the government which first promised it in 2019.

It has a series of pledges to court favour with renters - it will be harder to evict tenants, easier for renters to have pets, a Decent Homes Standard will be introduced, and landlords will have to join a mandatory Ombudsman scheme.  

The government claims 11m tenants across England will benefit from “safer, fairer and higher quality homes thanks to a once-in-a-generation overhaul of housing laws.”


The Renters’ (Reform) Bill, introduced to Parliament today, delivers the Tories’ 2019 manifesto commitment to abolish section 21 evictions which will - in the government’s words - “empower renters to challenge poor landlords without fear of losing their home. “

 The new Bill also claims to “protect” over two million landlords, making it easier for them to recover properties when they need to – so they can sell their property if they want to, move in a close family member, or when tenants wilfully do not pay rent. 

Notice periods will also be reduced where tenants have been irresponsible – for example breaching their tenancy agreement or causing damage to the property.

The government launch statement says the reforms “will strengthen powers to evict anti-social tenants, broadening the disruptive and harmful activities that can lead to eviction and making it quicker to evict a tenant acting anti-socially.”

There will also be a “reformed courts process … for the minority of evictions that do end up in the courts, more of the process will be digitised – reducing delays.”

  A new mandatory Ombudsman for landlords will be introduced while a new digital Property Portal will list landlords’ obligations “and help tenants make better decisions when signing a new tenancy agreement.”

Housing Secretary Michael Gove says:  “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 government is determined to tackle these injustices by offering a New Deal to those living in the Private Rented Sector; one with quality, affordability, and fairness at its heart. 

“Our new laws introduced to Parliament today 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.” 

Tenants will also be given the legal right to request a pet in their home, which the landlord must consider and cannot unreasonably refuse. 

Landlords will be able to require pet insurance to cover any damage to their property.  

The government will also bring forward legislation as part of the Bill to:  

 - apply the Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector for the first time;

- make it illegal for landlords and agents to have blanket bans on renting to tenants in receipt of benefits or with children:

- strengthen councils’ enforcement powers and introduce a new requirement for councils to report on enforcement activity.

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    Well done government for making it harder for landlords to stay in the market or new ones to come in to the market. Less supply will equal increase in rents.

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    These new regulations on landlords , but which empowers tenants. Will destroy the rental market as landlords sell up. There will be no properties to rent. These are the policies of the left. The government is destroying itself it has turned into a socialist government


    They have not been a Conservative government since Sunak took over.


    @ Fedup Landlord. I'd suggest the rot goes back a lot further than that.

    Barry X

    I agree, @Margaret, but think some of the points you've made need clarifying...

    When you say "there will be no properties to rent" I'm assuming you mean there WILL still be rental properties - because millions of tenants will have become sitting tenants and their landlords will be unable (ordinarily) to get them out (if for any reason they ever wanted to) but there will be very few, if any, properties offered to new tenants, i.e. no *newly available* properties...

    ...the abolition of the s.21 will in effect start the process of returning the PRS to the sate it was in from the late 1960s to the mid 1980s when there was virtually no choice of flexibility for tenants so they generally had to stay put and make do whether they liked it or not and no matter how inconvenient or unattractive the property they were stuck in had become for them.

    When you say "The government ...has turned into a socialist government" firstly this started happening quite a few years ago and secondly they aren't really either a socialist OR conservative government - they are instead just a gang or mob who have gained control of the government and, for their own highly self-interested reasons, are determined to try and hang on to it by adopting and implementing ANY policies that might win them more votes than they lose. They don't care if the policies are socialist leaning or not (because they are unprincipled and unscrupulous - they are certainly NOT idealists or ideologically driven)... their only motive is to win votes to stay in power to perpetuate their gravy train.... numerically there are far more tenants than landlords so they assume that they will get more votes by appeasing tenants at the expense of the smaller number of landlords and even if every single one of their new laws or measures fails or backfires on everyone (including most of the uniformed and easily fooled tenants who voted for them) - all they government is after are "sound bytes" and nice-sounding twaddle to peddle to the gullible irrespective of the real-world consequences.

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    I've just given the Bill a quick scan on the Gov website and it confirms the Conservative Government's intention that all PRS stock will have to meet the Decent Homes Standards. This confirms the 'direction of travel' of EPC Grade C as a minimum for all PRS houses and flats. This spells the end of expensive to heat/fuel poverty EPC Grade D and Grade E housing units. When I checked with my local MP she confirmed that The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard Bill is now almost confirmed as Law, with all domestic rental stock required to to EPC Grade C by December 2028, latest. So we've got 5 1/2 years to insulate the walls, loft or roof and install a cost effective heating system into our units. This is clearly best done when the unit is vacant and in-between tenancies.
    The American Petroleum Institute's Stanford research paper from 1968, confirming that burning fossil fuels causes climate change, would suggest that investing in a new gas combi boiler is not a wise move. Dimplex Quantum electric night storage heaters or Sinclair electric air-con splits (that provide winter heating via simple internal cassettes) seem like the obvious way forward for us. I've commissioned up-to-date draft EPCs from my energy assessor and asked him prepare draft predicted EPCs to find the least expensive pathway to make my rental units both EPC Grade C AND All Electric. It's a cost but so far all pretty straightforward.


    Perhaps you could provide a link to the bill as it hasn't actually been published yet.


    This is a ChatBot - ignore it!

    Barry X

    Martin Gibbons.... whether or not this comment was generated by a chatbot or directly by a human, either way it has no proper analysis, genuine intelligence or real-world knowledge behind it.

    Even if generated by a chatbot (as many here not unreasonably believe) it would still have had to have someone (maliciously and/or in the pay of the government or working for Shelter or Generation Rent or some other similarly militant anti-PRS disorganisation) type-in the natural-language instruction (the "input") to get it to spew out this garbage... probably something like "write me some cuddly-sounding pro-government propaganda in support of the Conservative Governments latest Bill - it doesn't matter whether you tell the truth or not" and then press and a micro-second later out pops this dross.

    Obviously neither you, not *it*, could have "given the Bill a quick scan" (as it hasn't been made public yet) UNLESS perhaps you actually work somewhere in a government backroom drafting this sugar-coated poison for Gove to serve-up and try to make the country swallow.

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    Gibbons, I thought you had already upgraded your properties, to C.

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    would it not be a lot easier just to sell up and put the capital into the bank? 4.5% that sure beats the prs. I'm sure Gibbon will have a different view but just my thought

    Barry X

    Agreed in principle but the problem is inflation will always be eating your capital far higher than the interest earned will replenish/grow it....

    ...AND... in a properly managed PRS, i.e. one left to manage itself free from unnecessary government interference and damage, a landlord would get BOTH capital growth AND income on average over any reasonable period of time. With money on deposit the interest payments could never be capital growth because they will be less than inflation, and are inadequate as income in the long run even if acceptable for the moment as an equivalent "return on capital/investment" because - as I said - inflation will quickly erode the value of the capital.

    As an illustrated example of income WITH capital growth (and please forgive the simplicity of this, but its intentional); imagine a property currently worth £500,000 that currently generates a net yield of 5% and so an income of £25,000. In 5 - 10 years time the property would ordinarily have double in "value", i.e. still be worth exactly the same and no more or less but the number of pounds required to buy it have doubled due to inflation.

    Therefore the property is now "worth" £1m and with a 5% net yield will generate £50,000 a year income before tax.

    Meanwhile if you put £500,000 in the bank and have been earning 5% annual interest ever since then you will still be earning £25,000 assuming you took it out and spent it (because it was your income).

    However if you let it accumulate in the bank (taking none of it out to spend to live off) then you would have had *no income* and only a smaller capital gain, after 5 years your total capital would be about £607k and after 10 years still only £774k (I made an instant spreadsheet to quickly calculate it in a single little column).

    Therefore the is a huge difference between income + capital growth compared to money in the bank... the only real problem is the government has cumulatively eroded our once perfectly viable income + capital growth generator, ie a properly functioning PRS that also hugely benefits our tenants.

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    Just on my way to the properties in Europe after selling many in the UK ,I can't get over how much easier and sensible it is over there ,taxed the same as every other business ,sensible regulations that don't change for years unlike the UK where they change every few weeks depending on which group of extremists are screaming the loudest that week , none of the constant hate propaganda Help and advice is even available from the local town hall
    It is not like being a landlord in a different country, it is more like being a landlord in a different universe
    It is so different to the totally toxic situation in the UK


    Interesting post. Thank you. What countries are you referring to please?


    I’m selling up. What European country have you gone to ?

    Mia M

    I'd be interested to find out where this haven is...

    Barry X

    My daughter lives in France and tells me there are also sorts of laws for rental properties there that sound even worse than here in the UK...

    For example it has been the law for a while now that all rental properties MUST have an EPC rating of C (the UK government has no imagination and is only copying elsewhere) and a more recent measure has been to move that on from being "indicative" to "a guarantee" AND the EPC includes an indication of how much energy (in units and of course only in theory) an average household would consume on average in that property... what that means for landlords is appalling; your tenant is then allowed to use that theoretical and politically rigged EPC as some sort "guarantee" and then take the landlord to court and sue if it turns out the tenant managed to use a lot more energy than the EPC suggested!!!! ....and obviously that sort of ludicrous law will be coming to the UK eventually too.

    I happen to know that in Berlin there's a bit of a crisis in the PRS there due to a number of things including and especially a disastrous attempt to implement rent controls in 2020...

    By law rents were capped and landlords were prohibited from charging what it said in their existing rental agreements if it was higher than the newly imposed cap (that came into force in November 2020).

    However it turned out that the law was imposed by local government only and - amazingly - some landlords were able to challenge it in the national courts and show the law was in contradiction to national law, so in April 2021 it was hastily abolished, but there was a problem: the landlords who had been forced - unlawfully as it turned out - to temporarily reduce their rents were given permission to demand the shortfall as a rental arear from their tenants.

    Some tenants were able to pay, very grudgingly of course, but many pleaded poverty explaining they'd adjusted their finances and already spent the money (typically several thousand Euros each as many had "saved" but now needed to repay two or three hundred Euros a month for 6 months).

    Central government told local government it needed to pay the landlords on behalf of the tenants who couldn't afford to, which the local government had no budget for and absolutely couldn't afford to do... also, as soon as the temporary rent freeze ended in April 2021 most landlords quite rightly immediately increased their rents by around 30%... since then, many landlords have been forced to house refugees (and generally on unfavourable terms to the landlords and at artificially low rents), e.g. more recently from the Ukraine and elsewhere which is further reducing rental property supply (as, perfectly understandably, large numbers of landlords of given up and sold up) and as the population of Berlin significantly increases for these and other reasons there has been virtually no increase in supply from new builds, let alone anyone wanting to actually be stupid enough to turn their property into a rental property... its one huge mess and guess what? Tenants in Berlin have NOT benefited for any of it and most are really struggling to find *anywhere* to rent at any price (affordable or not)!

    And its similar for different reasons in Dublin and many other major cities throughout the EU.

    Hard to say where exactly in the world the safest and most sensible conditions exist for a flourishing private rental market... there must be quite a few places but I can't think for the moment or one that really jumps out at me.

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    Thank you. I'm thinking of buying in Portugal and may well start selling stock here to facilitate the move.

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    Hmmm, I thought this had been bounced out before the coronation, clearly not.

    OK, being positive, this is an opportunity to sell insurances such as Rent & Legal protection to Landlords as they can no longer 'refuse' benefit/universal credit applicants (and therefore the insurers also?) and pet insurance.

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    The herd of elephants in the room is landlords will no longer have any right to a fair trial the ombudsman appointed by government after consultation with tenant activists, will decide all matters there will be no right to a hearing many of these trials will be conducted behind closed doors the appointed ombudsman will decide what evidence the landlord is allowed to present their decision is final with no right of appeal it will be a military style tribunal with no witnesses

    Barry X

    Extremely good points you make @AA - exactly so.

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    Can someone post a link to the actual document please? Any word on the abolition of fixed terms and student exemption in the PRS, as a student letting agency, I'm very anxious to know this.


    Not published yet.

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    The bill will supposedly "protect landlords against tenants who wilfully don't pay rent" - so anyone who loses their job or becomes long term sick can continue to occupy rent free? It may sound harsh, but I'm running a business, not a charity! The answer I guess is to take out rental insurance, but a lot of potential tenants will fail the reference checks, meaning they won't be able to find anywhere to rent (from a reputable landlord at least!)

    Barry X

    Obviously this is exactly the same as the abolition of the s.21 itself...

    The problem is whenever you have to prove anything, because then there is uncertainty and risk. Plus arguments take time and cost money.

    If the tenant has significant rental arears then that should be all that is required to end the tenancy - unless the LA or central government was willing to take over and pay the arrears and future rents for the tenant, but of course they wouldn't be.

    A law that requires landlords to have to consider why a tenant has rental arears and then somehow tolerate and literally still accommodate them is effectively turning us all into unpaid, unsupported charities!

    Another very good reason to give up and get out.

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    How someone above claims to have read it is a mystery. It won’t be published until later after the first reading. For the record, it’s pretty much the same as the white paper and subject to amendments.


    It is the usual gibberish from Gibbons. He is living in a world of his own.


    Gibbons is a ChatBox

    Kristjan Byfield

    It is available but as links cant be posted in comments I cant share it!

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    A further nail in the coffin of the private rental sector. Is the enforcement to have all properties with a EPC rating of C by 2028. A large part of our housing stock are houses built in the 1900’s . No landlord with several of these properties can take on this expense !! The government is living in cloud cookoo land if it expects to retain a rental market !!!

  • Barry X

    @Margaret - once again we're in agreement!

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    Ok, so if I want to get rid of a tenant for "no good reason", but I give notice, stating I need to sell the property, tenant moves out, then I "change my mind" and re-let the property - job's a guddun; what have I missed?!

    If the ex-tenant takes issue, do I have to let the tenant back in on a new agreement on the old terms? Does the tenant have to prove that I had no intention of ever selling? Not rhetorical questions, I'd be interested in views from others.


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