Housing Secretary Michael Gove has announced on Sky News that the Renters’ Reform Bill will be published next week a few days after the King’s coronation, marking a significant milestone in the government’s efforts to reform the private rental sector.

The legislation will aim to change the way in which the relationship between landlords and tenants works, providing tenants with new protections that moves legislation in favour of the tenants.

The Renters’ Reform Bill has been in the works for several years, with the government first announcing its proposals in back in 2019. Following a protracted consultation period, suggested measures are set to include:

  • Periodic tenancies to become standard
  • Abolishing Section 21 repossessions
  • Reforming Section 8 grounds for repossession
  • Requiring landlords to meet the Decent Homes Standard
  • Establishing a new ombudsman covering private landlords.

The Renters’ Reform Bill is expected to be implemented in two stages, with the first implementation date announced with at least six months’ notice, at which point all new tenancies will become periodic and governed by the new rules. To prevent a division in the rental sector, all current tenancies will eventually transition to the new system on a second implementation date.

Many in the sector are now bracing themselves in readiness for what the Bill could contain, and which is expected to have a different name. NRLA Chief Executive Ben Beadle commented on Twitter: “Secretary of State Michael Gove confirms that we will see the long awaited Renters’ Reform Bill next week. A fun week ahead beckons!”

Julie Ford, a tenancy expert at PRS Mediation, posted on Twitter: “Crash helmets on people! We’ve got a good idea of what’s going to be in there, we’ve seen the consultation and Bill in its original form and seen the white paper but what it’s actually going to look like, who knows? We know Section 21 will be abolished and we need to get ready for that, but what else is going to be in there? We’ll have to wait and see.”