Home / Delay to The Renters Reform Bill
3rd November 2023
The Government announced on 23 October that planned reforms impacting residential tenancies will be indefinitely delayed. There has been significant publicity over the last few years around the intended abolition of “no-fault” evictions. At present, landlords of assured shorthold tenancies can serve Section 21 notices requiring possession of residential premises without any default on the part of the tenant. The huge increase in the private rental sector over the last decade had led to calls for more security for tenants. The planned reforms would mean that landlords would need to seek a court order based on one of the statutory grounds for possession, proving their right to evict.
Landlord groups have voiced concerns that experience of the current court system is slow and expensive, with a large backlog, and that the potential increase in workload caused by the reforms would only add to this. Some agents and industry commentators fear that these uncertain time frames and costs will deter future investors from entering the market, cause the exit of many existing residential landlords and ultimately lead to a decrease in the number of available rental properties in an already high demand sector. The Government had given a nod to these concerns in the bill with reference to setting up a court service that is “modern” with “end-to-end digitisation of the process” and working with the courts to “explore prioritisation of certain cases”. It has now gone one step further and confirmed that court reforms must be made before The Renters Reform Bill proceeds. There is currently no timeframe attached to the court reforms and it remains to be seen how significant this delay to rental reform will be.
If you would like more details of the proposed reforms in the bill, you can view our recent Commercial Property webinar at the following link Kuits Commercial Property Webinar October 2023
Sally Knight, Commercial Property Partner