Failure to pass Renters’ Reform Bill is a failure of all our MPs

Sheldon Bosley Knight’s associate director, Nik Kyriacou, gives his verdict on the abandonment of the Renters’ Reform Bill.

The failure of MPs to pass the Renters’ Reform Bill is a stain on Parliament.

After eight years talking about it, to a tortuous 12 months since it was first introduced to the House of Commons, it will now not make it on to the statute books, thanks to next month’s snap election.

Had Prime Minister Rishi Sunak held off going to the country by a few weeks, it may have stood a chance, as it was passing through the House of Lords at the time Parliament was prorogued.

Given how long it’s been in development and how important it is to make the sector fair for both landlords and tenants, it is a tragedy it has not been given the same priority as the Leasehold Bill which was at the same stage in the process and was granted approval.

Although it was by no means perfect, with many of the elements of the Bill contentious such as the abolition of periodic tenancies and Section 21, landlords and tenants had been demanding clarity and stability for the private rental sector and have been waiting too long for both.

Amendments as it progressed through the Lords could have addressed these concerns and ensured a favourable outcome for both sides.

It now falls to the next government, likely a Labour one, to resurrect the Bill as a priority and ensure it is as clear and comprehensive as possible.

We need tenants to feel they can challenge rogue landlords and hold them to account whilst at the same time, ensuring responsible landlords are empowered to deal with irresponsible and bad tenants. Crucially we want these good landlords, of which they are the majority, to stay within the sector and continue to provide a roof over the heads of the thousands of tenants in the country.

However the biggest issue is the need for the incoming government to address the chronic under-supply of good quality rental homes.

So, to the next housing minister, please get a grip, put the provision of good quality rental housing and the Renters’ Reform Bill at the top of your to-do list.