Will Boris Johnson's resignation delay the Renters' Reform Bill?

11 July 2022

In the wake of Boris Johnson resigning as the UK's Prime Minister, what's in store for the Renters' Reform Bill? Sean Hooker gives his predictions.

The UK has suddenly found itself facing a change in leadership, with Boris Johnson announcing that he would step down as Prime Minister when "the new Prime Minister is in place".

Johnson has confirmed that there will be no new policies implemented while he remains in office - but what does this mean for legislation already in the works, such as the Renters' Reform Bill?

Will the Renters' Reform Bill timeline change?

Any changes to the Renters' Reform Bill timeline will all depend on whether Johnson's forced resignation is a vote of confidence in the government's agenda, or simply a vote against the current leader, according to Sean Hooker, Head of Redress at the Property Redress Scheme - commenting in a Goodlord webinar which took place on the morning that Boris Johnson announced his resignation.

If it's the latter, then "the new leader will sign up to the agenda and it will just be a change of boss, but the government's strategy so far will remain the same," Hooker says.

This may then result in the Renters' Reform Bill being pushed through faster than expected, so that the new leader has something to show for their time in office, Hooker says.

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How will the loss of Michael Gove as Housing Minister affect the bill?

Michael Gove has also been sacked from his position as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, which may have an additional impact on the future trajectory of legislation such as the Renters' Reform Bill.

However, Hooker highlights that this particular government department is used to changes in leadership. "We are now fairly used to the fact that the person at the head of housing changes on a regular basis," says Hooker. "I think the civil servants will be used to that - and they've done a lot of work behind the scenes on this white paper, a lot of consultations."

Will the Renters' Reform Bill white paper proposals change?

This continuation of the work in the background will likely mean that the bill will advance, but there may still be some unexpected developments. "It does mean that subtle changes [to the white paper proposals] may occur," says Hooker.

"In a previous webinar, we said that the proposals weren't set in stone, we said that they could be influenced and modified and changed. It's not going to fundamentally change, but there could still be some surprises in the pipeline on this."

Hooker predicts that around 75 to 80% of the white paper proposals will survive. "I'd say that most of it will go through. I think there will be modifications, but most of it will go through."

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