April 24, 2024 9:11 am

Insert Lead Generation
Nikka Sulton

Today, the Commons is set to deliberate over more than 200 amendments to the Renters Reform Bill, signaling potential shifts in the landscape of rental legislation. Among the amendments under scrutiny, PropTech supplier Goodlord has undertaken a thorough analysis to pinpoint those deemed most contentious. This extensive review underscores the complexity and significance of the proposed changes, highlighting the intricate nature of rental reform in the current legislative environment.

As stakeholders await the outcome of these deliberations, attention is focused on the identified contentious amendments, which are poised to shape the future trajectory of rental regulations. With implications for both landlords and tenants, the outcomes of these debates carry considerable weight in determining the balance of rights and responsibilities within the rental sector. The scrutiny of over 200 proposed amendments underscores the depth of consideration required to navigate the evolving landscape of rental legislation and uphold the interests of all involved parties.


Conservative Amendments

Section 21 evictions – Conservative MP Anthony Mangnall, supported by a significant number of colleagues, has tabled an amendment aiming to postpone the prohibition of Section 21 evictions. The proposal mandates the Secretary of State to conduct and publish a review on the functioning of residential possession proceedings in County Courts, along with the execution of possession orders. Only after this review will a timeline be established for the implementation of no-fault evictions.

Tenant notice periods – Another clause, spearheaded by Conservative MP Anthony Mangnall and enjoying widespread support, stipulates that tenants cannot terminate their lease until they have resided in the property for four months, unless authorized by the landlord in writing. This provision ensures landlords of a minimum tenancy period of six months, comprising four months of occupancy and a two-month notice period.


Labour Amendments

Obligation to advertise rental price – Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister Matthew Pennycook MP has introduced an amendment aiming to mandate landlords or their representatives to disclose the proposed rent when advertising rental properties. This move seeks to enhance transparency in the rental market, ensuring prospective tenants are fully informed about the financial commitments involved.

Preventing bidding wars – In addition, another proposed amendment by Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister Matthew Pennycook MP aims to curb bidding wars among tenants by prohibiting landlords or their representatives from soliciting bids exceeding the advertised rental price. This measure aims to promote fair competition and prevent inflated rental prices resulting from bidding competitions.

Prohibition of requirement for rent guarantors  Furthermore, Labour MP Alex Sobel has proposed a new clause that would prohibit landlords from demanding rent guarantors or similar upfront payments from prospective tenants. This amendment also aims to prevent discrimination against tenants who may not be able to provide such guarantees, promoting equality and accessibility in the rental market.

Academic tenanciesLabour MP Paul Blomfield has proposed an amendment aimed at addressing the issue of academic tenancies. This proposal seeks to eliminate the practice of pressuring students into signing joint tenancy agreements prematurely during the academic year, ensuring that students have sufficient time to make informed decisions about their accommodation.



Energy performance regulations –  The Green Party MP Caroline Lucas has proposed a new clause aimed at enhancing energy performance regulations for private rental properties. This proposal seeks to raise the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards to EPC C.


By way of context, Goodlord cites its latest annual survey of 2,000+ landlords, agents & tenants:

In recent years, there has been a discernible shift in sentiments surrounding the contentious issue of scrapping Section 21. Although still widely unpopular, there has been a gradual evolution in perceptions among stakeholders within the lettings industry.

In 2022, a significant majority of landlords, standing at 71%, expressed apprehensions regarding the potential negative ramifications of abolishing Section 21. However, by 2023, this figure had decreased to 62%, indicating a subtle yet notable change in outlook among property owners.

Conversely, the optimism among letting agents regarding the abolition of Section 21 has waned considerably. In 2022, approximately 27% of letting agents viewed the prospect of abolishing Section 21 positively. However, by 2023, this number had plummeted to a mere 11%, reflecting a stark contrast in perceptions within the industry.

Meanwhile, an analysis conducted by Goodlord reveals an interesting trend in the realm of tenant guarantors. Over the past few years, there has been a steady increase in the number of tenants asked to provide a guarantor. In 2020, approximately 17.73% of all tenants were requested to furnish a guarantor, a figure that climbed to 18.88% by 2023, indicating a notable 6.5% rise in guarantor requests over the period.

The Renters Reform Bill includes a notable provision allowing tenants to keep pets in their rented properties, barring specific restrictions. According to data from Goodlord in 2023, only 5% of tenancies explicitly allowed pets.

Oli Sherlock, managing director of insurance at Goodlord, highlights the significance of the proposed amendments to the Bill. The focal point for many is the discussion around Section 21 and the government’s plans for its abolition. Ensuring the legal system can handle cases with efficacy is crucial, yet there appears to be limited clarity on the government’s strategy and the associated timelines.

“At risk of sounding like a broken record, the industry just needs clarity on details and timelines. Landlords, tenants and agents need to know exactly what is changing and when. This legislation was promised as part of the Conservative manifesto and the clock is ticking ahead of a general election, all whilst patience in the market is wearing very thin.”




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