General election 2024: Renters (Reform) Bill now unlikely to pass

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The Conservatives’ promise to abolish no-fault evictions before the election will not happen, sources have told the BBC.

The Renters (Reform) Bill, which would ban landlords from evicting tenants without a reason, will not become law before parliament is prorogued on Friday.

Rishi Sunak’s flagship bill to eventually ban smoking also looks set to be shelved.

Legislation is being rushed through as Friday is the last day MPs will sit in Parliament before the election.

A separate government bill to reform leaseholds will be debated in the House of Lords on Friday. Labour sources have indicated that while they want to strengthen the bill, they are prepared to back the legislation as it stands.

So the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill could become law on Friday.

But there is no sign of the Renters (Reform) Bill on the parliamentary timetable for Friday.

Sources from both the Conservatives and Labour have told the BBC that despite ongoing negotiations, the bill will not be debated on Friday, meaning it will fall once parliament is dissolved.

Labour sources indicated that although they wanted changes, they would have supported the bill as it currently stood.

But a government source argued amendments from cross-bench, or independent, peers in the House of Lords meant there was not enough time to pass the legislation.

The bill acted on a 2019 Conservative manifesto promise to abolish Section 21 – or no-fault – evictions.

It was first introduced in the House of Commons in May last year. But its progress was delayed by opposition from a number of Conservative MPs who feared it would cause landlords to sell up and who wanted to strengthen protections for landlords.

On Thursday the bill to overturn the convictions of sub-postmasters caught up in the Horizon computer scandal passed.

The Victims and Prisoners Bill, which sets up the compensation scheme for victims of the infected blood scandal, is also likely to be passed on Friday.

There are no signs of other legislation, such as the Football Governance Bill, on Friday’s timetable, meaning it is unlikely it will pass.



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