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Is the government deliberately delaying the Renters Reform Bill?

The long-awaited Third Reading of the controversial Renters Reform Bill will not happen this week according to the Leader of the House, Conservative MP Penny Mordaunt.

The Bill - which some claim has been slowed down in its progress in the House of Commons because of its unpopularity with many Tories - completed its Committee Stage on December 6 but has not yet been scheduled for its next stage, the Third Reading.

This week the Commons will consider trade, media, social security and foreign affairs, amongst other issues, but Mordaunt says there is no time scheduled for the rental sector reform legislation. 


The Renters Reform Coalition - a group of tenant activist groups including the controversial Acorn organisation - has protested at what it sees as the unnecessary delay.

It says: “Once again, still no sign of the Renters Reform Bill as @commonsleader @pennymordauntonce announces the order of business for the coming weeks. Homelessness is at record levels, yet the Government is progressing legislation that could help address this at snail's pace.”

Last week Propertymark gave the views and worries of a poll officer 650 letting agents.

The Propertymark report indicates: 

- 73 per cent of agents think that the Bill is fundamentally unfair;

- Over 60 per cent believe the removal of fixed term tenancies will impact tenants negatively;

- 70 per cent agree that student lets should be exempt from the removal of fixed-term tenancies;

- Only around half (54 per cent) believe the government’s new PRS Database will improve PRS standards;

- And 90 per cent agree the following possession grounds should be made mandatory: breach of contract; repeated late payment of rent; securing a let on the basis of false information.    

Key recommendations based on Propertymark members' feedback include expanding the government’s proposed PRS Database and Property Portal to include qualification, registration and regulation requirements for property agents; a tenant should be able to agree to a fixed term tenancy where it is mutually beneficial for both parties; and private landlords should be able to join one of the existing redress schemes for the private rented sector (Property Redress Scheme or The Property Ombudsman). 

Other recommendations say the Bill should introduce a statutory code of practice for the sector to adjudicate against and set out a long-term plan for the introduction of a specialist housing court; if the portal is introduced, the requirement for local licensing schemes should be removed; and inventories and check-in/check-out reports at the beginning and end of tenancy should be added to the Bill to ensure deposits are returned speedily.   

  • Billy the Fish

    1st October, just before the election for all those tenant votes.
    Just like the Tenant Fees Bill

  • David Fulcher

    This bill does look like it's being delayed. IF you haven't followed bills through parliament before, the whole system is designed to maintain status quo. It is not unusual for bills to bounce back and forward in committees before going to the commons and back a few times and then the lords back and forward. Maybe if this happens before various deadlines a bill might be passed. It would be interesting to know what percentage pass. There is a manifesto pledge, a simple enough thought, to increase the penalty for pet theft, that bill is also still bouncing around and I doubt that's because of any great objections as claimed for the renters reform bill, just how things work or more accurately don't.
    If not passed before a change of govt, the Labour party will back down on their constant claim of knowing all the solutions, there will be another select committee and the whole thing starts again.


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