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Renters Reform Bill: here's what Landlords need to know

By Foxtons

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The Renters Reform Bill has been published. Our experts discuss the key highlights and why you shouldn't worry:

Update: The general election has been called, and all the bills that would pass in the 'wash up' have now become law - Renters Reform was not among them. But is that the end? See what future Renters Reform legislation could come in our article: 'Wash up' round up: Leasehold Reform and Renters Reform


Fran: Hi, I'm Fran Giltinan, Managing Director of Property Management.

Gareth: Hello, I'm Gareth Atkins, Managing Director of Lettings.

Fran: The Government has published its draft of the Renters Reform Bill, and it is in line with our expectations. The Bill will have to pass through the various parliamentary processes, undergo scrutiny and possible amendments, before it becomes law. It is unlikely to be finalised this year and may only become law in 2024. We’ve done the hard work for you and, from the 89 pages of the Bill, identified the 6 key highlights that we believe are particularly relevant to you. Here’s why you shouldn’t worry.

The abolition of Assured Shorthold Tenancy

Gareth: The most common type of tenancy is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, or AST, which will be replaced by an open-ended, month-to-month agreement, known as a periodic tenancy. These are already commonplace, when the tenancy rolls on at the end of the initial term.

The abolition of Section 21

Fran: The abolition of Section 21's is the most publicised aspect of the reforms. Section 21 allows a Landlord to regain possession of their property without providing a reason. It is unusual for our Landlords to evict a tenant who is paying rent on time and looking after their property. Landlords will still be able to regain possession based on specific circumstances or grounds for possession.

Landlords' grounds for possession

Gareth: Crucially, Landlords can still evict a tenant when they fall into arrears. And now, there is increased protection for Landlords if the tenant has fallen into repeated arrears. If you want to sell or move back in, you will still be able to do so – just not in the first 6 months of the tenancy. Finally, Landlords’ rights to regain possession based on a tenant’s anti-social behaviour have been strengthened.

Rent increases

Fran: Landlords will still be able to increase rent by giving the tenants two months’ notice. As they do today, the Tenants will have the right to challenge such increases.

Landlord register

Gareth: There are also proposals for a new landlord register. This means tenants will have access to a digital platform and can gain a view of their landlord’s levels of compliance, which we can see from our data will not cause a problem for Foxtons Landlords.


Fran: Tenants will now have a legal right to request to have a pet in the property. As Landlord, you will be able to refuse this under reasonable circumstances, such as restrictions under your superior lease.

What do you need to do next?

Gareth: Currently there is no action for you to take in relation to any of the news reports or media speculation around the bill. There will be multiple consultations and we will be calling on the government to make sure that our Landlords’ interests are well balanced with those of our tenants. We will continue to keep you informed when there are relevant updates.

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