The government has finally published its long-awaited and much promised Renter’s (Reform) Bill setting out its proposed changes to housing law in England.

The Bill will now be scrutinised by parliament and amendments may be made during the parliamentary process, but the main points as currently set out in the Bill, are as below:

Assured shorthold tenancies

These are to be abolished, so that only periodic assured tenancies can be granted. As widely publicised, after the Act comes into force, a landlord will no longer be able to gain possession following service of a Section 21 notice.

Fixed term tenancies

Any fixed term tenancies more than seven years in length will no longer be Assured Tenancies. Therefore the possession regime will be through forfeiture rather than the Grounds for Possession contained in Schedule 2 Housing Act 1988.

Grounds for Possession

The government is proposing a number of amendments to the Grounds of Possession set out in Schedule 2 Housing Act 1988. The most notable amendments to Grounds of Possession will be as follows:

Mandatory Grounds for Possession
  • A new Ground 2ZA will apply where a superior landlord is seeking possession against the immediate landlord of the tenant.
  • A new Ground 5C will apply where the landlord is an employer letting the property to their employee for work related purposes and that employment or purpose has ceased.
  • New Grounds 5E & 5F will apply where landlords can seek possession in specific circumstances where the property is required for supported accommodation.
  • A new Ground 5G will apply where the tenancy was granted pursuant to section 193 Housing Act 1996 and a Local Authority has informed the landlord that the accommodation is no longer required under that provision.
  •  A new Ground 6A will apply where the landlord requires possession because of enforcement action brought by a Local Authority.
  • Ground 8 to be amended to exclude amounts of rent arrears that have arisen because a tenant has not yet received payment of universal credit where they are entitled to an amount for housing as part of an award of universal credit.
  • A new Ground 8A to apply if there are rent arrears equal to more than two months’ or eight weeks’ rent unpaid on at least three separate days in the period of three years before service of a notice on this Ground. Unpaid universal credit payments will be excluded as above for the purposes of this ground too.
Discretionary Grounds for possession
  • Ground 14 to be amended to where landlords will have to prove that a tenant has engaged in conduct which is “capable of” causing nuisance or annoyance instead of “likely to” cause nuisance or annoyance.
  • A new Ground 18 where landlords will be able to seek possession where a tenant of supported accommodation is not engaging with support services.

Notices of Seeking Possession

A new notice of seeking possession (NoSP) will be published by regulations.

Notice Period Provisions

There will be new minimum periods to be specified in NoSPs before proceedings can be issued.

Notably, the Bill shortens the current Notice period of Ground 7A but states that a possession order cannot be made until 14 days have passed since the service of a Notice under either Grounds 14 or 17.


There is to be a term implied into every assured tenancy that a Tenant may keep a pet in the property (with the consent of the landlord, not to be unreasonably withheld).

Pets are defined in the act as an animal kept by a person mainly for personal interest and / or companionship and / or ornamental purposes (whatever this might mean).

Tenants’ Notices to Quit

These will have a standard period of two months (or less if specifically agreed with the landlord). A tenant’s Notice to Quit can be given at any time. Importantly, the tenant will be able to withdraw their Notice to Quit if the tenant and landlord agree in writing to the withdrawal.

How Capsticks can help

The Bill will now progress through parliament and amendments may be made. We will review the progress of the Bill and keep you updated in regards to any Housing Management considerations you should make in respect of your tenancy agreements and allocation considerations.

In the meantime, we can advise you on all aspects of housing management, including tenancy management, complex court injunctions, disrepair issues, claims of discrimination and anti-social behaviour. Our values reflect your priorities – we care about what we do and aim to make a positive difference in people’s lives.

If you have any queries around what's discussed in this article, please speak to Sarah Christy to find out more about how Capsticks can help.