Last-minute changes to the Renters (Reform) Bill will make ‘little difference’

PayProp UK boss Neil Cobbold says planned changes ‘are quite balanced’ and ‘nothing really contentious at all and certainly not a landlord’s charter, as some are claiming’.

Neil Cobbold, PayProp UK

Last-minute amendments to the Renters (Reform) Bill designed to appease some Tory backbenchers will make ‘little material difference’ to the majority of landlords or tenants.

That’s the view of Neil Cobbold, Managing Director of client accounting and automated rental payment specialists PayProp UK.

Anthony Mangnall, MP
Anthony Mangnall, MP

The Neg revealed in January how landlords were backing new amendments to the Bill made by Conservative MP Anthony Mangnall aimed to ensure the controversial legislation ‘works for the private rented sector as a whole’.

Then just before the Easter recess the government announced those that would be tabled included that when fixed term tenancy agreements end, ‘tenants be unable to give two months’ notice to leave until they have been in a property for at least four months’.

Others included reviewing the operation of the courts before ending Section 21 and ensuring all types of student housing – not just HMOs – are covered by the planned ground for possession as well as reviewing the need for local authority licensing schemes if the proposed property portal gets the green light.

But Cobbold says: “These new changes amount to very little in real terms – in fact, the Bill is more or less intact. Nothing substantial in the Renters (Reform) Bill has changed for the majority of tenants and landlords.”

There’s nothing here that is particularly groundbreaking.”

He adds: “There’s nothing here that is particularly groundbreaking. Waiting for reform of the court process before the abolition of Section 21 is something we’ve known about since the Bill was introduced. The abolition of Section 21 has been a policy of every major party since the last election, so it has become a question of whether this government will abolish it or a future one.”

And he says: “Having to wait four months before you can give two months’ notice is effectively a six month wait – well it’s at least a six month wait now if an eviction notice is contested and the matter has to be settled through the legal system.


“The only material difference here is that tenants won’t be able to treat the PRS like an Airbnb lite, giving notice as soon as the tenancy begins to secure cheaper rents for a few months in a new location.

“If the Government didn’t take action there’d be a major problem for the new intake of students at the beginning of the academic year.

The industry is keen to see is the abolition of selective licensing schemes.”

“What the industry is keen to see is the abolition of selective licensing schemes and HMO licences so there is consistency across England – although the question of how enforcement will work is less clear.

“I think these are quite balanced changes that the government is proposing to the Bill – nothing really contentious at all and certainly not a landlord’s charter, as some are claiming.”

MPs return to work on Monday 15 April and the Bill will be scheduled for its Third Reading shortly afterwards before progressing to the House of Lords.

What's your opinion?

Back to top button