The Renters’ Reform Bill failed to become law before the election and landlords are wondering when the newly elected Labour Party will deliver on their manifesto pledges to legislate the private rented sector (PRS).

As regards who in the Labour Party will introduce the legislation, Angela Rayner has been appointed Levelling Up Secretary with responsibility for housing. This is a role she has in addition to being Deputy Prime Minister and the position she held in the shadow government. Months before the election Rayner had promised to ban Section 21 from ‘day one’ of the new government but admitted shortly before election day that would not happen.

Matthew Pennycook has been appointed as the Housing Minister. Pennycook, who was re-elected as MP for Greenwich and Woolwich during the general election, has been involved in housing policy since 2021 when he was appointed as Shadow Housing Minister.

During the last parliament Labour had supported the Renters’ Reform Bill but expressed concerns that it did not provide sufficient protection to tenants.

Here is the timetable for the new government:

  • 5 July 2024 – Cabinet ministers and junior ministers appointed.
  • 9 July 2024 – Parliament meets for first time. The new parliament will start with the election of a House of Commons Speaker followed by the swearing in of all MPs.
  • 17 July 2024 – King’s Speech in which where the new government will outline its plans for its first year.

At this stage it will be clear which Labour housing manifesto pledges are being prioritised by the new government. A key date to be announced is when the first fiscal event (either a full Budget or smaller Autumn Statement) will take place. Labour has pledged no emergency Budget over the summer and there is speculation that if elected it may delay any significant fiscal event until early 2025.

Since the election National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) CEO Ben Beadle has suggested that resurrecting the Renters’ Reform Bill is Labour’s best bet to maintain a functioning PRS.

Beadle states on the NRLA website “The version of the Renters Reform Bill before Parliament at the time the election was called – in our view – while far from perfect, struck the right balance between protecting renters and giving you as landlords the confidence you need to continue investing.”

“We were disappointed that the Bill did not pass through the wash-up process, causing more uncertainty for the sector. However, the then-shadow housing minister, Matthew Pennycook, went on record to say that Labour would ‘happily’ have passed that Bill in the last days of the parliament – albeit they may not have agreed with every detail.”