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83% of tenants unaware of the Renters Reform Bill

83% of tenants remain unaware of the Renters Reform Bill and its contents, according to the TDS Charitable Foundation’s Voice of the Tenant survey from late 2023.


The Bill proposes significant changes including the removal of Section 21, the introduction of periodic tenancies, the establishment of a new Ombudsman for landlords and a Property Portal to disseminate information to landlords, tenants and local councils. However, the survey, which is carried out with a representative sample of 2000 tenants, suggests that renters’ knowledge about the Government’s plans remains low.


Following an explanation of the details of the Bill, 61% of the survey’s respondents agreed that it will improve tenant rights, and 69% felt that reform of the sector was long overdue.

 

On the proposed removal of section 21 evictions, 60% agreed that this would provide more security and stability, and 45% said it would make them more inclined to engage with the new Ombudsman for private landlords.

 

However, a significant portion of tenants were pessimistic about whether the reforms would be implemented or bring about tangible change. 42% of respondents said the Bill would change very little about the sector, and 37% said they do not believe it will be implemented.

 

Dr Jennifer Harris, Head of Policy and Research at TDS Group said:

 

“The Bill represents the biggest set of changes to the rental market for over 30 years. Given this, it is worrying that so many tenants are unaware of what it is and what it seeks to achieve.

 

“It is vital that tenants feel able to challenge the minority of landlords failing to provide safe housing or a good enough service. This can only be achieved by ensuring renters understand the changes being made and are confident that they will help them to do so.

 

“The TDS Foundation will continue to work to ensure tenants fully understand and make use of their rights to ensure the Bill works. “

 

 

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