Final amendments to renting reforms go live ahead of tomorrow's debate

  • D. WarrenLineas London
  • Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024

Final amendments to renting reforms go live ahead of tomorrow's debate

The final list of amendments to the Renters (Reform) Bill has been published by parliament ahead of tomorrow’s third reading of the legislation, during which each will be discussed and voted on.

Several new amendments have been added which may cause alarm among some BTL investors, while some have been designed to ‘bolster landlord confidence’ as Michael Gove put it recently.

The new ones that will raise eyebrows the most are from Labour. These include banning bidding wars, the latest idea from the party’s shadow housing minister Matthew Pennycook and also prohibiting landlords or agents from insisting on a ‘rent guarantor’, this time from Labour MP Alex Sobel.

Research reveals that approximately a fifth of tenants are asked for a guarantor.

Another somewhat baffling amendment would see student landlords banned from signing up tenants months before the academic year begins, as proposed by MP Paul Blomfield.

And finally, Green MP Caroline Lucas wants to use the legislation to raise the minimum EPC level for all rental properties to a C, a measure Rishi Sunak U-turned on last year.


Existing amendments are also still causing many landlords sleepless nights, including the abolishment of Section 21 no-fault evictions, something two thirds are worried about, a poll by Goodlord reveals.

And less debated but equally momentous is the change proposed for ‘rent-to-rent’ agreements within the Bill.

This will alter the Housing Act 2004 so that both ‘superior’ landlords (i.e. the leaseholder of a flat or freeholder of a house) as well as rent-to-rent companies (who receive the rent in such deals and are the real or ‘immediate’ landlord) can be liable for Rent Repayment Orders.


This change would overturn the landmark Supreme Court ruling in March last year won by landlord Martin Rakusen, who had been facing a huge RRO from tenants after his apartment was rented out via a rent-to-rent agreement organised by the ‘immediate’ landlord, a firm called KPIG.

The new amendment, which is sponsored by the Government and likely to get through, will mean both ‘superior and ‘immediate’ landlords as well as the firms they licence under rent-to-rent agreements, will be liable.

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“There are some sensible and logical amendments on track to be debated during the third reading of this Bill,” says Oli Sherlock, MD of Goodlord (pictured).


“The biggest talking point for most will be regarding Section 21; looking at how and when the government will abolish the measure.

“It is imperative that our legal system can manage cases effectively and efficiently, however there seems to be little commitment as to how the government will achieve this and, as importantly, the timelines involved.”

Main pic credit: BBC


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