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Goodbye to all that?


So, a 4 July general election it is.

Soggy Sunak

Dissolution of Parliament will be on 30 May 2024. If Sunak hasn’t already dissolved. Wash-up – pushing through remaining legislation in the course of going through Parliament, has to be completed by 24 May, when Parliament is prorogued.

What does this mean for some key bits of housing legislation?

The Renters (Reform) Bill is currently awaiting committee stage in the House of Lords (meaning committee, report, and third reading stages in the Lords, plus any ping pong with the House of Commons over amendments to go.)

The Leasehold and Freehold Bill is currently awaiting report stage in the House of Lords (meaning report and third reading to go in the Lords, plus any ping pong with the Commons over amendments. (And so far, the Bill is notably lacking any Govt amendments to bring in restrictions on existing ground rents.)

The ‘wash-up’ process at the end of a Parliament can see bills pushed through at incredible speed. But – big buts – this is a) only if both the Govt and all the opposition parties agree to pass them in this way, with effectively no discussion and certainly no amendments made, and b) if the Govt prioritises them in view of all the other legislation competing for space in wash-up.

Both a) and b) being the case seems to me to be a bit unlikely. We will know very soon. But if either or both of the Bills fall, that means starting from scratch for the incoming post-election government.

The there are the regulations to implement Awaab’s Law – section 10A Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. There has been the consultation, but as yet no consultation response, and no sign of a statutory instrument. Technically, it would be feasible for the regulations to be laid before 30 May, but it has to be said, it seems unlikely.

This too, would then be a decision for the incoming post-election government.

It is quite extraordinary that some of the most seismic changes to landlord & tenant and leasehold law, which were 2019 manifesto commitments, are potentially about to vanish. Even if they don’t, there will be a lot of pieces for any incoming Govt to pick up. But after the last 9 years (at least) of chaotic government, perhaps we should not be surprised.

We’ll know in a couple of days. Then everything will have to wait until 5 July…

(Update 23 May. The Leasehold and Freehold Bill will be considered in the Lords on 24 May. This means it has made wash-up, though we will have to see in what form. Silence on the Renters (Reform) Bill, which does not look hopeful.)

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.


  1. witstert

    It will, surely, depend on what sort of political capital can be “attached” to each matter, e.g. Renters’ Reform Bill will be influenced by the numbers of Renters that can be influenced by its being passed.

    • Giles Peaker

      They’ve got until Friday at best and the opposition parties have to agree.

  2. witstert

    Hmmm! Crunch time!

  3. Suzanne Elaine Smith

    Excellent post Giles. All that energy spent on the Renters Reform Bill and the leasehold reforms….

    The “rent wall” is set to be influential in the election, and who knows what a “full fat” Renters Reform Bill 2.0 would bring. Let’s hope Labour at least deliver on their promise to regulate property agents. I’ll certainly be studying their manifesto very carefully.

  4. Tim Morton

    I was thinking along similar lines Giles. There is a precedent for legislation to be picked up post election, and that was the 1974 Housing Act, drafted by Richard Best if memory serves, under the Heath government and brought back under Wilson’s Labour with some amendments no doubt, but there was considerable cross party consensus as I understand it.

    • Giles Peaker

      I suspect amends would be substantial, certainly to extend the LFB. The question would be legislative time in what is likely to be a busy early period!

  5. Andrew M

    I sense that there is a plane booked for a long holiday as I see no desire to continue. It sounded like a retirement speech. All the preparation is uncertain along with enhancing professionals performance but we can be thankful of the Building Safety Act and Leasehold Reform to squishing the viability of asset managers owning freeholds subject to long leases, which started in the 00s boom.

    • witstert

      Hmmm! Yes, but where? It is said that Rwanda is a “safe” country. No hassles, no genocides, too far from Russia, not that far from the North African-Meditteranean cooast, a short, small boat, cruise to Europe?

  6. David Foster

    Yes Giles thanks for the excellent post. So far as concerns the Labour Party manifesto how about the Proposals for Housing Law Reform from the Society of Labour Lawyers for a start ?

  7. David

    Why would the opposition allow something to be rushed through when they can say they it is not good enough and they have a better version.

    I imagine that there are a number of Conservatives that will put pressure on .Gov to not rush the Renters Reform bill, it seems to have been diluted so much anyway.

  8. Giles Peaker

    Leasehold & Freehold Bill is in wash-up tomorrow (Friday 23 May). Nothing on Renters (Reform) which suggests Govt have killed it.

    • andrew

      I think it is one that won’t be returned to either if they win a majority.


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