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The Renters Reform Bill

September 8, 2023


The introduction of the Renter’s Reform Bill (“The Bill”) has been discussed for some time. It was initially part of the Tory Party manifesto prior to the 2019 election, and in December 2019 it was mentioned in the Queen’s Speech that The Bill would be introduced resulting in changing the nature of assured shorthold tenancies.

The COVID-19 Pandemic caused delays to the introduction of The Bill, however the private rent sector white paper published in June 2022 resurrected The Bill. The white paper set out the plans to fundamentally reform the private rented sector and level up housing quality in England.

The Bill will change the law about rented homes, including provisions to abolish fixed term assured tenancies and assured shorthold tenancies. The Bill has been read by the House of Commons and looks set to go ahead subject to changes as it moves through Parliament.

Brief Overview of the Bill:

In the private renting sector, Assured Shorthold Tenancies (“ASTs”) offer tenants no security of tenure. Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 currently enables private landlords to repossess their properties from assured shorthold tenant without having to establish fault of the part of the tenant.

The Bill will bring about significant changes to the private renting sector, by abolishing ASTs and ending of the ‘no fault’ Section 21 evictions. ASTs can still exist if a landlord serves notice and obtain possession before The Bill comes into force.

The removal of no fault evictions serves to provide security for tenants. In the absence of Section 21, The Bill also introduces more comprehensive possession grounds so landlords can still recover their property. Including but not limited to:

  • Where the landlord wishes to sell the property; and
  • Where the landlord (or close family members) wishes to reside in the property as a principal home.

There are comprehensive grounds to make it easier for the landlord to repossess the property due to a tenants fault. These grounds include but not limited to:

  • Tenant’s anti-social behaviour; and
  • Repeated serious arrears with rent – if in the last 3 years there have been at least 2 months of rent arrears on three or more occasions.

Under The Bill, conveyancers should be made aware that in the future all ASTs must now be periodic tenancies with periods of no more than a month. This will provide greater security for tenants.

The National Residential Landlord’s Association have pointed out issues regarding student accommodation, as private landlords risk having their student tenants give notice and move out the accommodation early on in the academic year, which would be disastrous for landlords. Generally speaking, tenant organisations have welcomed in the introduction of The Bill.

The Bill will ensure that landlords do not unreasonably withhold consent when a tenant requests to have a pet in their home, with the tenant able to challenge unfair decisions. Although landlords are concerned over potential damage caused by pets, the Bill allows them to require insurance covering pet damage. This will provide reassurance to the landlord whist supporting responsible pet ownership in the private rented sector.

Finally, the Bill will create a Privately Rented Property Portal to provide a single ‘front door’ to help landlords understand their legal obligations and demonstrate compliance, alongside providing better information to tenants to make informed decisions when entering into tenancy agreements.

For more information, please see the website:

If you are a landlord or tenant and require more information regarding the proposed changes to the private renting sector, please contact us at 0121 705 7571 or at

James Sawyer
Trainee Solicitor – Development Department

This article is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute technical, financial, legal advice or any other type of professional advice and is no substitute for specific advice based on your individual circumstances. We do not accept responsibility or liability for any actions taken based on the information in this article. For more information, please click here.