Minister pushes back date for publication of Renters’ Reform Bill proposals

Eddie Hughes drops references to 'this Spring' in Parliament and says announcement is now due during 'this session' of Parliament.

eddie hughes housing minister

The Renters’ Reform Bill White Paper outlining legislation to abolish Section 21 looks to have been pushed back yet again.

Until recently, Housing Minister Eddie Hughes had been promising to publish the paper ‘this Spring’, but when answering a parliamentary question about the expected timings, he gave no firm date.

“We are absolutely committed to delivering a better deal for renters and will be bringing forward a Renters Reform Bill in this parliamentary session,” said Hughes. “We will publish a White Paper shortly that will set out more detail on our reform proposals.”

As the parliamentary session started last month, the Bill might not get debated now until May 2023 or at the earliest this September.

Rent reforms

In February, the Government promised to publish the long-awaited rent reforms more than two and a half years after they were first announced in November 2019 and referenced in the Queen’s Speech in May 2021.

Housing Secretary Michael Gove announced they would include exploring proposals for new minimum standards for rented homes, introducing a National Landlord Register and taking tough action against rogue landlords.

The Renters’ Reform Bill was mentioned again in the Queen’s Speech in May, when Prince Charles made a passing but significant reference to ‘strengthening the rights of tenants’ and ‘ensuring better quality and safer homes’.

In the official briefing notes, the Government confirmed its commitment to bring a Bill forward to abolish no-fault or Section 21 evictions in the private rented sector, and said that this would be preceded by a White Paper expected in Spring 2022.

Many in the sector expected the announcement before the end of June and Propertymark believes it would be surprising if this doesn’t appear before July’s Summer recess. Once this has been published, Eddie Hughes has promised that the DLUHC will arrange more roundtable industry discussions.

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