Renters Reform Bill must strike balance as Propertymark proposals are carried forward to remaining stages

Propertymark remains committed to ensuring that the Renters Reform Bill strikes a fair and workable balance for both landlords and tenants. Having worked closely with the UK Government and member agents, Propertymark is pleased to see key recommendations now incorporated within proposed amendments to the legislation.

The upcoming Bill enters its remaining stages mid next week with ministers taking onboard substantial concerns highlighted by Propertymark regarding the complete scrapping of fixed term tenancies and the need for robust court reform to handle any unintended consequences regarding the proposed abolition of Section 21.

Having a minimum six-month term will help benefit all parties by providing a secure tenure for tenants and a guaranteed income stream for landlords to cover the financial risks/commitments involved in providing high quality homes.

Propertymark is pleased to see the amended proposals incorporate additional standpoints such as a continued review regarding the implementation of tenancy measures, along with aspects such as a firm commitment to undertake and publish an annual parliamentary update regarding the health of the private rented sector to better understand issues and plan for future provision.

In addition, Propertymark is pleased to see that concerns regarding selective and additional licensing is being addressed within the amendments proposed. It is important there is in depth evaluation on how the Property Portal works alongside existing licensing schemes to avoid any unnecessary duplication of work for agents and landlords.

Propertymark continue to engage with ministers regarding the Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA), a key element first highlighted by Lord Best in 2019 and an element that has been debated at various stages within the Renters Reform Bill as it has progressed though Westminster. Propertymark continue to promote the concept that agents must be expected by law to be fully qualified and operate within a framework that brings industry wide levels of protection for consumers.

Timothy Douglas, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Propertymark, comments:

“Throughout the passage of the Bill, Propertymark has worked hard to highlight the importance of retaining fixed-term tenancies and the need for improvements to the court system if the abolition of Section 21 is to work. Whilst these amendments show that Ministers have listened to our concerns there are still areas that need further clarity.

“We are continuing to engage with officials at DLUHC, the Minister and Parliamentarians as the Bill moves to its next stage.”