Author : Ian Barbar
The Renters Reform Bill was the topic of discussion among members of Parliament (MPs) during a session held by the Levelling Up Select Committee on July 10, 2023. This all-party group of MPs is responsible for scrutinising government legislation, and they have dedicated this session specifically to the Renters Reform Bill. However, this discussion doesn't form part of the long and tedious process of the Bill passing through the various regulatory bodies before it becomes law.
Nonetheless, during the session, the committee posed questions to various individuals involved in the housing sector. These included Housing Minister Rachel Maclean, Housing Ombudsman for the social sector Richard Blakeway, and representatives from renters' and landlords' groups, such as Ben Beadle, the Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association.
Senior officials from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities were also present to provide critical insights.
In a statement released ahead of the session, the Select Committee outlined the key areas of focus for the questions. These are likely to revolve around the following:
The implications of introducing a new ombudsman for the private rented sector
The proposed abolition of assured shorthold tenancies
The various aspects of the housing sector that have not been explicitly covered by the Renters Reform Bill, such as housing quality and affordability.
This session provided the much-needed opportunity to examine and discuss the Renters Reform Bill thoroughly. It helped shed light on various perspectives and considerations regarding the proposed reforms to the private rented sector.
The Renters Reform Bill is a proposed legislation presented to the UK Parliament by the government, intending to make significant changes to the laws governing rented homes. The Bill encompasses various provisions, including the abolition of fixed-term assured tenancies and assured shorthold tenancies. It also introduces new obligations to landlords and others involved in the rental housing sector, particularly concerning rented homes, temporary accommodation, and supported housing.
The Bill has been developing for some time, commencing with its first reading on May 17, 2023.
As the Renters Reform Bill continues its journey through Parliament, the Renters Reform Coalition, a collective advocating for renters' rights, is encouraging tenants to contact their MPs and urge them to strengthen the proposed reforms. However, it is crucial to note that the Bill is still in its early stages and must go through both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, receive Royal Assent, and subsequently come into effect as law.
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