The Government’s Renters Reform Bill is unlikely to make progress through parliament until much later this year, housing minister Rachel Maclean has admitted.
Maclean was unable to confirm when the bill would get a second reading during a Q&A with MPs from the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities committee. It is tasked with scrutinising official policy and performance in housing.
Asked by chairman Clive Betts about the legislation’s slow progress through parliament (it was given its first reading on 17th May but has since then ‘got stuck’), Maclean hinted that it was unlikely that it would get a second reading until after the Summer recess.
This is due to start on 20th July and finish on 4th September.
She said her hands were tied by the parliamentary business managers who decide how and when bills pass through parliament, and a quick look at the ‘what’s on’ website for the Commons and Lords shows no time allocated for the bill before the house rises.
Michael Cook, Group MD of Leaders Romans Group, says: “Despite some big announcements recently from Government, it’s unsurprising that the second reading of the Renters Reform Bill is delayed until at least the Autumn.
“As an industry we are concerned that a number of the elements of the Bill are unclear and need amending to make it workable.
“Giving MPs and the Select Committee a bit more time to liaise and engage with all parts of the sector is probably not a bad thing.
“Specifically, and from both the landlords’ and tenants’ point of view, we are concerned about the impact of removing fixed terms. We also question how effective the new housing courts will be, given that we have heard of no clear plan.
“We suspect many MPs will share these concerns. This has possibly been sensed by Government and hence the brakes applied to allow for some of these issues to be addressed.”