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Extraordinary 200 amendments to Renters Reform Bill in Commons today

There’s a huge number of amendments to the Renters Reform Bill, which has its Third Reading in the House of Commons today.

The less contentious ones are likely to be effectively ‘nodded through’ but a number of more controversial changes will be the subject of debate and a vote.

PropTech supplier Goodlord has waded through the amendments and regards these as the most contentious.


Conservative Amendments

Section 21 evictions - In what appears to be an attempt to delay the ban on these evictions, an amendment proposed by Conservative MP Anthony Mangnall and backed by a large number of others, states that the Secretary of State must commission and publish a review into the operation of residential possession proceedings in the County Courts used by residential landlords and tenants and the enforcement of possession orders, before a date can be set for the introduction of so-called no-fault evictions.  

Tenant notice periods - This new clause, also being proposed by the Conservative MP Anthony Mangnall and backed by a large number of others, means that tenants cannot give notice on their lease until they have lived in the property for four months, unless agreed to by the landlord in writing. This means landlords have the assurance of having a tenant in their property for at least 6 months (i.e. 4 months tenancy plus 2 months notice).

Labour Amendments

Obligation to advertise rental price - A proposed amendment by Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister Matthew Pennycook MP seeks to make it a requirement that landlords or persons acting on their behalf state the proposed rent payable when advertising the premises. 

Preventing bidding wars - A proposed amendment also by Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister Matthew Pennycook MP seeks to prevent landlords or persons acting on their behalf from inviting or encouraging bids that exceed the rental price stated in the advertised price, to discourage bidding wars amongst tenants that escalate prices. 

Prohibition of requirement for rent guarantors - This new clause, being proposed by the Labour MP Alex Sobel, would prohibit landlords from requiring prospective tenants to provide rent guarantors or equivalent upfront payments, and prohibit them from prioritising prospective tenants who offer them over those who do not. 

Academic tenancies (260) - This amendment being proposed by the Labour MP Paul Blomfield, would end the pressure for joint tenancies to be signed too early in the academic year, committing students to accommodation before they are ready. 


Energy performance regulations - This new clause, proposed by the Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, would upgrade the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards for private rental properties to EPC C. 

Oli Sherlock, managing director of insurance at Goodlord, comments: “There are some sensible and logical amendments on track to be debated during the third reading of this Bill. The biggest talking point for most will be regarding Section 21; looking at how and when the government will abolish the measure. It is imperative that our legal system can manage cases effectively and efficiently, however there seems to be little commitment as to how the government will achieve this and, as importantly, the timelines involved.

“At risk of sounding like a broken record, the industry just needs clarity on details and timelines. Landlords, tenants and agents need to know exactly what is changing and when. This legislation was promised as part of the Conservative manifesto and the clock is ticking ahead of a general election, all whilst patience in the market is wearing very thin.”

You can see the full (and very long) list of amendments here.

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    How are we supposed to prevent bidding wars? I never ask for a higher rent, but if someone offers it I have to relay it to the Landlord. And if an unsuccessful applicant says they want to offer a higher rent when told they don't get it, I have to tell the Landlord.

    And the guarantors, we don't require them, but the referencing company will say that they are needed in order to pass the references. And if a tenant has a really bad credit, or their income is borderline then surely one is needed to protect the Landlord?

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    Matthew Hancock , Knows nothing about the Rental Market , wants to make it a requirement that landlords or persons acting on their behalf state the proposed rent payable when advertising the premises. I don't know one agent that advertises a rental property without stating the rent, and required Security deposit , on any portal ?????.....Also , hows he going to stop any agent reporting to a Landlord that they hve received a higher than rent offer than the advertised rent, if that was ever to occur...who will police that ! Also Caroline Lucus wants a minimum C standard for EPC , making a majority of properties not available as most are D or E and also older properties might never get above a D rating ...meaning less stock of rental properties to market ....About time Generation Rent & Shelter together with the Government start buying up properties to rent out themselves instead of landlord/Agent bashing in & outside the House of Commons. By the way , the courts are not geared up to deal with fast evictions the current process is painfully slow and archaic and not fit for purpose , most of theses amendments will just deter Landlords away from the sector ! Also As Country Lass says, which professional reference agency will pass any Tenant/s without a guarantor when required otherwise the Landlord will not be able to qualify for Rent & Legal expense Insurance to protect their asset, in the event of the Tenant/s defaulting payments ! Back to the drawing board please .

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    Carol Lucas is potty - that’s why she is leader of the Green Party

  • Matthew Payne

    Im not actually sure now what this legilsaton actually achieves now its raison detre has been binned.

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    Not so much binned, Matthew, as deferred.


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