The Renters Renters (Reform) Bill was published on 17 May 2023, and there’s been little tangible progress since then. Despite Michael Gove originally promising it would become law before Christmas, we’re now wondering if even the second reading debate will take place before Christmas.
Bookmark this page for future news, as I keep it regularly updated.
Last updated: 2 October 2023
Quick Links: Renters Reform Bill Timetable
What’s happening with the Renters Reform Bill?
Although the Renters Reform Bill was published on 17 May 2023, it’s still at the “second reading” stage. The Bill is now unlikely to receive Royal Assent until the spring of 2024, and won’t start to come into force until six months later, say October 2024 at the earliest.
As of 2 October 2023, the second reading debate has not been scheduled as it wasn’t on the list of business announced by Penny Mordaunt on 14 September for the period until 20 October.
At a fringe meeting with the Centre for Policy Studies at the Conservative Party conference on 1 October 2023, Michael Gove said “the second reading should be held this autumn”, but did not give reasons for the delay other than adding that the criticisms from “some back bench MPs” were not the view of government.
Given that the official end of autumn is 22 December 2023, and parliament will be in recess for Christmas from 19 December, it’s likely to be mid November at the earliest. One possibility is that it could be slipped in after the King’s Speech on 7 November, but before the the budget on 22 November. Another possibility is that it could be delayed after the budget and budget debate on 22 November, ie early December, which is still technically “autumn”.
There’s been a lot of speculation in the press about the reasons for the delay (for instance in the Daily Telegraph article of 15 September), yet Penny Mordaunt continues say the government is “committed” to the Bill.
As it won’t pass into law until 2024, it won’t be fully implemented before the General Election, which needs to be held by 28 January 2024.
When will the Renters Reform Bill come into force?
Assuming Royal Assent is granted in 2024 (this is when the Bill will become an Act of Parliament), the Renters Reform Bill will come into force at least 6 months after Royal Assent for new tenancies, and 18 months after Royal Assent for tenancies already in place.
As well as being the date for the Renters Reform Bill coming into force for existing tenancies, this “second implementation date” of at least 18 months after Royal Assent, is also when Section 21 would come into effect. This is now unlikely to be before Autumn 2025 at the earliest, but more likely in 2026.
Has the Renters Reform Bill been passed yet?
No, the Renters Reform Bill has not been passed yet. It’s still at a very early stage of its journey through parliament. The earliest date it may be passed into law is probably the spring of 2024. After that, it will take at least 6 months before it comes into force for new tenancies, and 18 months for existing tenancies.
Timeline for the Renters Reform Bill
In the timeline below, I show the key milestones for the Renters (Reform) Bill as it moves towards becoming an Act of Parliament. I have based the timetable for implementation of the Renters’ Reform Bill on statements in the White Paper, A Fairer Private Rented Sector (see pages 31-32).
The Bill has not even had its second reading debate in the House of Commons. With parliament in recess for the party conference season until 16 October, the Bill not being on the order paper for that week, the break for the prorogation of parliament before the King’s Speech on 7 November, the budget scheduled for 22 November, the earliest the Bill will receive its second reading is late November or even early December.
This means the Bill will roll over into the next parliamentary session, and not receive Royal Assent until sometime in 2024 at the earliest.
In the meantime, I’ll keep updating this page to track the Bill’s journey towards implementation, and tick off each completed stage. So far, there’s just one completed stage.
17 May 2023
The name of the bill was read out in the House of Commons
After mid-November 2023
Second Reading Debate
This is the first big step in the bill’s journey through parliament, when the bill will be debated.
A government minister will open the debate and set out the case for the bill, explaining its provisions. The opposition will respond and then other members are free to discuss it. Finally, there’s a vote to proceed to the next stage.
No amendments are made at this stage.
Late autumn/winter 2023
This is a very important stage. A committee of MPs will scrutinise the bill line by line. This is the first opportunity for MPs to propose, debate and vote on suggested amendments and new clauses. The Committee will call for evidence as part of this stage.
Winter 2023 – Spring 2024
Report, Third Reading, Consideration of Changes
These are the final stages.
At the Report Stage, MPs are able to table, debate and, if needed, vote on suggested amendments and new clauses to the bill.
Third Reading: No amendments can be made at this point.
Once the Commons and Lords have agreed on the final version, the RRB can receive Royal Assent.
Once the Bill has been passed by both Houses of Parliament, it becomes law when it receives Royal Assent and this has been signified to Parliament.
It will then become the Renters (Reform) Act.
Autumn 2024 – Spring 2025
First Implementation Date:
This is the date the RRA will apply to new tenancies, apart from Section 21, which is at least 6 months after Royal Assent
12 months later: Autumn 2025 – Spring 2026?
Second Implementation Date:
Existing Tenancies and Section 21*
All existing tenancies would transition to the new system.
At this point, Section 21 would cease to apply to all renters on this date, whether or not their tenancy is already in place.
* Based on transition arrangements outlined in the White Paper
Last updated: 2 October 2023