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Renters Reform Bill: What This Means for Tenants & Landlords in Doncaster

The Renters Reform Bill is a significant piece of legislation that promises to change the landscape of lettings in the UK. With the aim to deliver safer, fairer, and higher-quality homes, this reform bill will impact both landlords and tenants in Doncaster and across the country. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the key aspects of this bill, its implications on the rental market, and what it means for you.

Introduction to the Renters Reform Bill

The Renters Reform Bill was introduced to the UK Parliament in May 2023, marking a “once-in-a-generation” transformation of the private rented sector (PRS). This legislation seeks to level up housing quality, provide a better deal for renters, and support responsible landlords in providing quality homes to their tenants.

As the bill makes its way through Parliament, it is crucial for landlords and tenants alike to keep up to date with the latest changes and plan accordingly. As Chris Stone, MD of Elite Property in Doncaster, advises, “It’s essential to keep calm, ensure you stay informed about the legislation, and plan for the future.”

Key Components of the Renters Reform Bill

The Renters Reform Bill encompasses several major reforms that will impact the lettings market. In this section, we will discuss each of these components in detail.

  1. Abolition of Section 21 “No Fault” Evictions

One of the most significant changes proposed by the Renters Reform Bill is the abolition of Section 21, which allows landlords to repossess their properties without providing a specific reason. Under the new legislation, landlords will only be able to evict tenants under reasonable circumstances. This change aims to level the playing field between landlords and tenants by empowering renters to challenge poor practices and unjustified rent increases.

Changes to Section 8 Grounds

In place of Section 21, the Bill proposes to strengthen Section 8, which allows landlords to end a tenancy agreement early if they have a legal reason to do so. This includes the introduction of a new mandatory ground for repeated serious arrears, enabling eviction if a tenant has been in at least two months’ rent arrears three times within the previous three years, regardless of the arrears balance at the hearing.

Additionally, a new ground will allow landlords to apply Section 8 if they wish to sell the property or allow family members to move in, provided the tenant has been in the property for at least six months.

Court Process Reforms

The government plans to work closely with the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) to introduce a package of wide-ranging court reforms that will target areas that frustrate and delay possession proceedings.

  1. Introduction of a Single System of Periodic Tenancies

The Renters Reform Bill also aims to simplify existing tenancy structures by moving all Assured Shorthold Tenancies onto a single system of periodic tenancies. Under this new system, all rental agreements will be periodic by default, rolling monthly without a specified end date.

Tenants will be required to provide two months’ notice when leaving a tenancy, ensuring that landlords can recoup the costs of finding a new tenant and avoid lengthy void periods. Landlords will only be able to evict tenants under “reasonable” circumstances.

  1. Doubling Notice Periods for Rent Increases

To address the cost of living crisis, the Renters Reform Bill proposes limiting rent increases to once per year and doubling the minimum notice landlords must provide for rent changes to two months.

Rent Review Clauses

The bill seeks to end the use of rent review clauses, preventing tenants from being locked into automatic rent increases that may not reflect market changes. Tenants would have the confidence to challenge unjustified rent increases through the First-tier Tribunal, which would be prevented from increasing rent beyond the amount initially proposed by the landlord.

  1. Strengthening Tenants’ Rights to Keep Pets

Under the Renters Reform Bill, tenants will have the right to request permission to keep pets in their homes, with landlords unable to unreasonably withhold consent. Landlords must accept or refuse consent within 42 days of the request, extendable by a week if additional information is sought.

Landlord Protection for Tenants with Pets

The bill also requires tenants to provide written confirmation that they have acquired insurance for their pet or are willing to pay the landlord reasonable costs to cover pet-related damages.

  1. Establishment of a New Ombudsman for Private Landlords

The Renters Reform Bill proposes the creation of a government-approved ombudsman scheme to cover all private landlords in England, regardless of whether they use a letting agent. This scheme would enable current or former tenants to file complaints against landlords, which would then be independently investigated.

Ombudsman Powers and Mandatory Membership

The ombudsman would have the power to compel landlords to issue apologies, provide information, take remedial action, and/or pay compensation of up to £25,000. Membership in the ombudsman scheme would be mandatory for landlords, ensuring accountability and access to redress services in any given situation.

  1. Launch of a New Property Portal for Landlords and Tenants

A new digital property portal will be introduced to help landlords understand and demonstrate compliance with their legal requirements. This portal will also support good landlords in attracting prospective tenants by showcasing regulatory compliance.

Functionality and Mandatory Registration

Landlords will be legally required to register their properties on the portal, and local councils will have the authority to take enforcement action against those who fail to do so. The portal aims to increase the councils’ ability to enforce against criminal landlords.

Future Proposed Changes for the Private Rented Sector

In addition to the Renters Reform Bill, the government has indicated plans for further improvements in the private rented sector.

  1. Application of the Decent Home Standard to the Private Rented Sector

The government has expressed its commitment to requiring privately rented homes to meet the Decent Homes Standard for the first time. This standard currently applies only to the social housing sector and mandates that homes be free from serious health and safety hazards while ensuring proper maintenance and cleanliness.

  1. Outlawing Bans on Renting to Families with Children or Those on Benefits

Although not included in the Renters’ Reform Bill at this stage, the government plans to introduce legislation to further protect renters with children or those receiving benefits.


The Renters Reform Bill represents a significant shift in the UK lettings market, with the potential to dramatically change the landscape for landlords and tenants in Doncaster and beyond. As the legislation progresses, it is essential for all parties to stay informed, adapt to the changes, and plan for the future. With the guidance of industry professionals like Elite Property in Doncaster, renters and landlords can navigate these changes confidently and effectively.