The Financial Times has reported that the long-awaited Renters (Reform) Bill will have its second reading in the House of Commons on Monday 23rd October, following support from the Prime Minister.

A ‘carry-over motion’ will allow the Bill to make it through into the next parliamentary session that begins with the King’s Speech on November 7.

The Bill proposes to introduce several key changes to the rental sector, including:

  • Delivering the Conservative’s 2019 manifesto commitment to abolish section 21 evictions to “empower renters to challenge poor landlords without fear of losing their home.”
  • Making it easier for the 2 million landlords to recover properties when they need to – so they can sell their property if they want to, move in a close family member, or when tenants wilfully do not pay rent.
  • Reducing notice periods where tenants have been irresponsible, such as breaching their tenancy agreement or causing damage to the property.
    Introducing a “reformed courts process … for the minority of evictions that do end up in the courts, more of the process will be digitised – reducing delays.
  • Introducing a new mandatory Ombudsman for landlords while a new digital Property Portal will list landlords’ obligations “and help tenants make better decisions when signing a new tenancy agreement.”
  • Giving tenants the legal right to request a pet in their home, which the landlord must consider and cannot unreasonably refuse. Landlords will be able to require pet insurance to cover any damage to their property.

The government will also bring forward legislation as part of the Bill to:

  • Apply the Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector for the first time;
  • Make it illegal for landlords and agents to have blanket bans on renting to tenants in receipt of benefits or with children;
  • Strengthen councils’ enforcement powers and introduce a new requirement for councils to report on enforcement activity.

Access the Financial Times article here. [Paywall]

Access the paper outlining the Bill’s provisions here.