Renters (Reform) Bill – We Take A First Look At The Radical New Legislation

The Renters (Reform) Bill has finally had its first reading in Parliament, promising a fair deal to renters, faster redress for landlords and giving more details on how ‘pets with lets’ will work.

Heralded as a “once-in-a-generation overhaul of housing laws”, the government vows that as well as setting out to protect tenants, it will also protect more than two million landlords, making it easier for them to recover properties, so they can sell up if they want to, move in a close family member, or when tenants wilfully do not pay rent.

The draft legislation details a beefed-up Section 8 to replace Section 21, a new property portal and how all private landlords will be required to join a landlord redress scheme.

It also explains that tenants will be given the legal right to request a pet in their home, which a landlord must consider and cannot unreasonably refuse. The Bill outlines how tenants must make this request in writing and include a description of their pet.

Refuse However, a landlord could reasonably refuse if it would cause the landlord to be in breach of an agreement with a superior landlord.

It explains that the landlord would need to give or refuse consent in writing on or before the 42nd day after the date of the request.

A landlord could insist that their tenant gets insurance to cover the risk of pet damage or instead the tenant would have to pay their reasonable costs of maintaining insurance to cover the risk of pet damage.

Housing Secretary Michael Gove says: “Our new laws introduced to Parliament today will support the vast majority of responsible landlords who provide quality homes to their tenants, while delivering our manifesto commitment to abolish Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions.”

MPs will be able to debate the contents when the Bill gets its second reading tomorrow.

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