Leasehold reform bill becomes law but renting reforms dropped

Michael Gove's Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill made it through Parliament, although the Renters (Reform) Bill has become a casualty of the General Election.

Michael Gove

Major reform of leasehold and freehold rules has become law just before the door closed on any new legislation.

The Leasehold and Freehold Bill was one of the only law changes that made it through the ‘wash-up’ in Parliament before the General Election.

A ban on leaseholds for new houses will become law, as well as extending the standard lease term to 990 years.  But a controversial cap on ground rent was left out. The bill was championed by Housing Secretary Michael Gove (main picture), who later announed he is standing down as an MP at the election.

Dropped completely

The Renters (Reform) Bill though did not make it and was dropped completely before Parliament wound up on Friday.

It means the expected ban on Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions will not now become law, although Labour has pledged to deliver this if the party wins the election.

There was dismay in the property industry that the bill was lost.

Ben Beadle, CEO, NRLA

Ben Beadle, CEO of the NRLA, says: “If true, it is hugely disappointing that this Bill will not now make it into law. The news comes despite the fact that the Bill was in a state which would work for tenants and responsible landlords.

Critically, the market now faces yet more crippling uncertainty about what the future of the private rented sector looks like.”

“There has been too much dither and delay in government, and a failure to be clear about how to ensure changes would work in practice,” he says.

“Critically, the market now faces yet more crippling uncertainty about what the future of the private rented sector looks like.”

Allison Thompson, LRG National Lettings
Allison Thompson, MD, LRG National Lettings

Allison Thompson, National Lettings MD at Leaders Romans Group, says: “We are deeply disappointed that the much-anticipated Renters (Reform) Bill will not pass into legislation due to the upcoming general election on July 4th.

“The Bill’s failure to pass into law is a significant setback,” she says.

“As the UK faces a housing crisis, it is imperative that the incoming government prioritises housing policies that ensure stability and long-term solutions.”

Tory MPs warn of rebellion over ‘broken’ leasehold reform promises

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