Renters Reform Bill finally published

Wed,17 May 2023
News Housing
After years of campaigning by organisations like Acorn and London Renters Union, the Government is set to introduce landmark reforms to "deliver [a] fairer Private Rented Sector for tenants and landlords".

The Government claims the Bill will be "Once-in-a-generation reforms will deliver safer, fairer and higher quality homes", and it begins its journey into law today (May 17th) more than four years after Tories first promised to axe no-fault evictions.  

The bill is wide-ranging and crucially sets out to abolish Section 21- no-fault evictions, which Shelter – the homelessness charity – says that the loss of a private tenancy is a leading trigger of homelessness in England, and renters have zero rights to appeal under the process. Government figures released in February revealed the number of households living in privately rented homes in England who bailiffs evicted as a result of Section 21 proceedings increased by 143 per cent in a single year.  

The Bill will also: 

  • Introduce a new Ombudsman to "provide quicker and cheaper resolutions to disputes" 

  • Establish a new digital Property Portal to "enable landlords to understand their obligations and help tenants make better decisions when signing a new tenancy agreement" 

DR UK Policy and Campaigns Officer Mikey Erhardt said: 

"We know appropriate housing is key to independent living and creating choice and control no matter your circumstances.  

Disabled people across Britain have been waiting for safe, warm, accessible homes for more than 30 years. The Government must ensure that the Bill tackles the housing crisis.  

We are beyond the point of tinkering, and we urgently need wholesale reforms that create a safer, fairer and more accessible housing system for everyone.  

Although we welcome the abolition of Section 21 and the blanket ban to stop landlords from refusing to rent to those claiming benefits, we are still awaiting changes to make the private rented system fairer and more accessible for Disabled people.  

We will pay close attention to this Bill as it moves through Parliament. We urge the Government to consider using the Bill to improve access to the Disabled Facilities Grant, and to provide a robust Decent Homes Standard that prevents us from living in dangerous homes, as well as to develop new regulations which tackle the ongoing affordability issues across all tenures."