The government has confirmed that reform of the private rental sector will be a priority for the coming session of Parliament.
A brief reference to the commitment was made this morning by the Queen when she opened the latest Parliamentary session. Her Majesty said that her government would help more people to own their own home while “enhancing the rights of those who rent.”
Although the Renters Reform Bill was not mentioned by name, it has been suggested in advance by the government that this Bill will be the vehicle for reform.
A government White Paper is expected in the autumn ahead of formal legislation starting its route through Parliament.
The Bill is expected to abolish Section 21 eviction powers for landlords and agents, but to strengthen the Section 8 eviction process. It will also introduce the concept of ‘lifetime deposits’, allowing deposit payments made in relation to one property to be converted to another; the aim of this is to speed up and reduce the cost of moving rental properties for tenants.
The Queen also said ministers would establish a new Building Safety Regulator to ensure “the tragedies of the past are never repeated” – a reference to the Grenfell Tower disaster.
The concept of the Renters Reform Bill first appeared in the 2019 Conservative General Election manifesto 18 months ago; it was also included in the Queen’s Speech in late 2019, with the pledge it would be included in the legislative programme for 2020. However, the government has said its timetable was delayed by the pandemic.
This post has originally been featured in Letting Agent Today.