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Renters Reform Bill measures may be extended - BBC report

The BBC says discussions are underway to extend the Renters Reform Bill to specifically outlaw any rental listing banning families and benefit recipients from applying. 

And the talks include having the same approach in Scotland and Wales in addition to England.

At the moment the Renters Reform Bill would, if it became law, apply only to England.


The BBC quotes Westminster government Housing Secretary Michael Gove as saying a joint approach by all three nations would "send a clear message to providers".

A BBC report says: “Mr Gove has written to Scottish Housing Minister Paul McLennan to offer a joint approach. He said talks had also taken place with the Welsh government.”

And it quotes Gove directly, saying: “We know this is a priority we share with the Scottish government, and would send a clear message to providers across the whole of Great Britain.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson is quoted: "We are aware of the UK government's plans to introduce a ban on excluding those in receipt of benefits and those who have children, and welcome this proposal.

"We will work with the UK government as it develops its plans to consider how best to protect these groups in Scotland."

However, the Scottish Government spokesperson adds that any joint approach “must include a close examination of the UK government's decision to freeze Local Housing Allowance rates at 2020 levels for the third year running", saying affordability was "the far more significant barrier to accessing a privately rented home".

A BBC investigation earlier this week found thousands of adverts for rental homes posted by private landlords and letting agents which said children or pets were not welcome.

Almost a quarter of just under 8,000 ads examined on the OpenRent website said families were not allowed to rent the homes, while 300 on Zoopla explicitly said children were not wanted.

You can see the full BBC report here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-66116194

  • James B

    Just a gesture .. landlord can reject for any reason they wish to provide


    That's right. For me it's Tuesday or the voices in my head think so.

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    A landlord would be very unwise to provide a reason which is discriminatory. However, the reality is when they have multiple potential tenants queuing up, a landlord will simply select the one which meets their criteria. A flawed policy impossible to enforce designed to gain votes not homes.


    The tenants will just lie in application then say you couldn’t discriminate when they’re in.

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    PS: I would also argue advertising a property as 'unsuitable for children' where it genuinely is would be acceptable and could form part of material information

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    Sort your problem by building more social homes. You only want/need the PRT when it suits you.
    In addition sort out the benefits system to ensure payments are made accurately/in full and on time.
    If we are talking about fairness and human rights then remove the policy in Scotland not allowing landlords to sell “their own property” without jumping through 40 bureaucratic hoops!

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    Once again the main point is completely missed ......they are talking about the PRIVATE Rental Sector....The clue is in the name. The PRS is not a sticking plaster to stick on the gaping chasm that is social housing. Private landlords need to be nurtured and supported and not vilified or they will continue leaving in droves meaning even higher rents and fewer homes.

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    It seems they really do want to kill the PRS. They are certainly NOT my type of Conservatives.


    Not mine either and Tony Blair suggesting that people should be encouraged to jump the NHS queue by paying for treatment just shows the way this country is heading for ruin.


    Not mine either and Tony Blair suggesting that people should be encouraged to jump the NHS queue by paying for treatment just shows the way this country is heading for ruin.


    Jo Jo, actually I can see the benefit of that, the NHS would get an influx of cash which can then be ploughed back into providing services. Not by hiring yet more 'managers' but by streamlining and overhauling. I have a friend who is a project manager, she was contracted to several hospitals as they wanted a similar service upgraded or something. She told them if they all did it under one order, there would be significant bulk-discounts available, but as each Trust was planning to do it themselves they would not benefit from those discounts. She tried to point it all out, show them the (significant) savings with no downsides, but the Trust Managers would not do it...

    So if someone CAN afford to pay, then overall it would be helpful in the long run. And as long as the most 'at risk/urgent' patients are not bumped down the list then it makes logical sense...

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Whilst this is an ethical approach, a landlord or letting agent doesn't have to justify which offers they do or do not decide to accept. In a market in short supply, with multiple interests in each property, choice will mean they simply won't be selected. This actually then creates a problem with families and benefit recipients spending time, effort and money viewing properties they will never be able to secure.
    Here's a crazy idea- why doesn't the gov underwrite an insurance product for landlords specifically for family lets & benefit recipients- it should cover excessive wear & tear, major damage, a rent warranty and legal cover for vacant possession. Solve the issues Landlords have with these types of tenancies and you remove the obstacle. For pennies. The tenant could even be made liable for any incurred costs under a claim- so the gov would eventually get any expenditure back.
    Just a thought.

    Matthew Payne

    Nice idea in theory, in pracitce it wont work until someone underwrites genuinely good policies that work. When a tenant leaves as you know, LLs like back to back tenancies, insurance claims to cover dilaps etc will lead to void periods, plus the works needed to rectify, create a load of admin a LL doesnt want or need, successful claims will take weeks, so cash flow will suffer and many claims I suspect will fail. Insurance companies make money by finding reasons not to pay out. Much easier to go for the Alpha employed tenant at market rent, with a cash deposit. Why take any risk at all when you dont need to?

  • Matthew Payne

    He's missing the point that in most places in the South East, LHA rates are about 50% of market rents. They can apply all they want, but other stigmas aside, governments own policies mean they are very unlikely to ever succeed even with an incentive fee. Complete politicking, noone will be helped by this, party election campaigns have already started for next year.

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    Wait until the rent government decide to bring in fair rents and the rent officer sets it. I am sure this is already being discussed by those in or not in power their ideal way to reduce their expenditure oh UC or HB. Mark my words!


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