What does the General Election mean for the Renters (Reform) Bill?

28 May 2024

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak unexpectedly announced a general election will be held on 4 July 2024. But what does this mean for the Renters (Reform) Bill?

A general election was unexpectedly announced on 22 May by Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, saying “Now is the moment for Britain to choose its future”. As the election will take place on 4 July, letting agents need to understand how this could affect certain bills and policies both now and in the future.

But what does the general election mean for the Renters (Reform) Bill? As the pivotal legislation is currently in the House of Lords and yet to receive Royal Assent, there are question marks on what will happen to the bill and whether it will be passed in the upcoming week.

This guide will help agents and landlords understand what may happen to the Renters (Reform) Bill before the general election:

Where is the Renters (Reform) Bill currently in parliament?

The Renters (Reform) Bill is currently in the Committee Stage within the House of Lords

Since it passed through the House of Commons in April 2024, the progress of the bill has gone significantly quicker through the House of Lords.

While it was not clear how long it would take for the bill to progress through the House of Lords, there is now uncertainty whether it will be passed before the general election takes place.

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When will parliament close for the general election?

To hold a general election, the Prime Minister must request that the King close parliament, which was done on 22 May. 

It also means that all business in both the House of Commons and Lords must come to an end, this includes any debate and progression of possible legislation.  

Because of this, parliament will be prorogued, which marks the end of the parliamentary session, on 24 May. After this, both the House of Lords and the House of Commons will completely dissolve on Thursday 30 May.

Before it completely closes, there are usually several days when it will be business as usual in parliament. This will be where both the House of Commons and the House of Lords will attempt to complete any outstanding business before 30 May. 

However, if any business, such as the Renters (Reform) Bill is not completed by that time, they won’t enter into law and cannot be continued into the next parliament.

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Will the Renters (Reform) Bill become law before the general election?

It is not clear whether the Renters (Reform) Bill will actually become law in this Government.

The House of Lords will have to pass the Bill through three stages, including finishing the committee stage, the report stage and the final third reading, before it can receive Royal Assent.

Seeing as the Government will be dissolved on 30 May, it is unlikely that the Renters (Reform) Bill will pass in this amount of time.

However, it is not certain, so letting agents should keep an eye on the latest news in the following weeks. 

This article is intended as a guide only and does not constitute legal advice. Visit gov.uk for more information. 

Further reading