Renters (Reform) Bill briefing

The objective of this briefing is to ensure private renters have access to a secure and decent home, and landlords retain confidence to repossess their properties where they have good reason.

The Bill will

  • Abolish s.21 ‘no fault’ evictions and move to simpler tenancy structure where all assured tenancies are periodic, aiming to provide more security for tenants and empower them to challenge poor practice and unfair rent increases without fear of eviction.
  • Reform possession grounds so landlords can recover property and make it easier for landlords to repossess their properties where tenants are at fault such as ASB and repeat rent arrears.
  • New ombudsman that private landlords must join. Intended to provide fair, impartial, and binding resolution to issues and be quicker, cheaper, and less adversarial than courts.
  • Introduce new Property Portal including a database of residential landlords and privately rented properties in England. Will help landlords understand legal obligations and demonstrate compliance, provide better info to tenants enabling informed decisions when entering tenancy agreement and assist in targeting councils’ enforcement activity.
  • Provide stronger protections against backdoor eviction by ensuring tenants are able to appeal above-market rents. Landlords can increase rents to market price.
  • Give tenants right to request pet in their property, landlord must consider and cannot unreasonably refuse. Landlords can require pet insurance to cover damage.

Policy background

  • Private rented sector doubled since 2002, 4.6 million households rent from a private landlord, equivalent to 11 million people and 19 per cent of housing market.
  • Private rented sector has higher proportion of properties that do not meet standards than other housing tenures. 2022 English Housing Survey, 23 per cent of privately rented properties do not meet Decent Homes Standard, compared to 12 per cent in social rented sector. Hazards that present imminent risk to health in 13 percent of properties compared to 5 per cent in social rented sector. Hazards estimated to cost NHS £340 million annually.


Abolishing s.21

  • All tenants who previously had assured tenancy or assured shorthold tenancy will move to single system of periodic tenancies. Tenants need to provide two months’ notice when leaving tenancy. Landlords only able to evict in reasonable circumstances.
  • Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) exempt as long as provider is registered for Gov-approved codes.
  • Landlords must provide written statement of terms setting out basic info about tenancy and both parties responsibilities.

Reforming landlord possession grounds

  • Reforms grounds for possession with intention of ensuring they are comprehensive, fair and efficient.
  • New ground for landlords who wish to sell, amends ground for moving in to include close family members- not available to be used in first six months of new tenancy.
  • New mandatory ground for repeated serious rent arrears- evictions mandatory where tenant has been in at least two months rent arrears three times within last 3 years.
  • Increases notice period for existing rent arrears ground to four weeks and retains mandatory ground in cases where tenant has two months arrears.
  • Expands discretionary eviction ground to clarify any behaviour capable of causing nuisance/annoyance can lead to eviction.
  • New grounds for possession for supported housing sector to end tenancies where necessary.
  • New grounds for possession in relation to temporary accommodation for homelessness and for sectors that give accommodation tied to employment.

Rent increases

  • Landlords able to raise rents annually to market prices and must provide two months’ notice of any change. Tenants able to challenge above-market rent increases through first tier tribunal. Seeks to prevent above market rent increases to force tenants to vacate property.

Renting with pets

  • Landlords cannot unreasonably withhold consent when a tenant requests to have pet in their home, with tenant able to challenge a decision. Amends Tenant Fees Act 2019 to include pet insurance as permitted payment.

Landlord redress schemes

  • Bill enables Gov to approve or designate one or more redress schemes which all private landlords rent out property on assured or regulated tenancy in England will be required to join.
  • Membership of approved or designated scheme to be mandatory and for landlords to remain members, for specified period after ceasing to let property. Local councils can take enforcement action against landlords that fail to join scheme, or who are expelled for failure to adhere to member obligations.

Private rented sector database

  • Database- landlords required to sign up and register all properties. Local Authorities can take enforcement action against landlords who do not meet obligations to register. Operator of database will be Secretary of State or organisation appointed by Secretary of State.
  • Regulations for how database will be operated and overseen, info to be collected, details about renewals to be set out.

Lead Enforcement Authority

  • Sec of State has power to appoint a lead enforcement authority or lead enforcement authorities. Functions include providing guidance, info, advice to local housing authorities about how to exercise functions under legislation, helping provisions to be enforced in consistent way. Lead enforcement authority has power to enforce.

Structure of Bill

Part 1: Tenancy reform

  • Chapter 1: Assured Tenancies.
  • Chapter 2: Tenancies that cannot be assured tenancies.
  • Chapter 3: Penalties for unlawful eviction or harassment of occupier.

Part 2: Residential Landlord

  • Chapter 1: meaning of ‘Residential Landlord’
  • Chapter 2: Landlord Redress Schemes
  • Chapter 3 The Private Rented Sector Database
  • Chapter 4- Part 2: Supplementary Provision

Part 3: Enforcement Authorities

Part 4: Supported and Temporary Accommodation

Part 5: General


  • Schedule 1: Changes to grounds for possession
  • Schedule 2: Consequential amendments relating to Part 1
  • Schedule 3: Financial penalties
  • Schedule 4: Application of Chapter 1 Part 1 to existing tenancies: transitional provision

Further information

The Government is also seeking to bring forward legislation at the earliest opportunity to:

  • Apply the Decent Homes Standard to private rented sector. Launched consultation in September 2022 to ensure Decent Homes Standard applied and enforced, will set out next steps in due course.
  • Make it illegal for landlords and agents to have blanket bans on renting to tenants in receipt of benefits or with children.
  • Strengthen local councils’ enforcement powers and introduce requirement for councils to report on enforcement activity to target criminal landlords.