Renters (Reform) Bill

– in a Public Bill Committee am ar 21 Tachwedd 2023.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

[James Gray in the Chair]

Photo of James Gray James Gray Chair, Environmental Audit Sub-Committee on Polar Research, Chair, Environmental Audit Sub-Committee on Polar Research 9:25, 21 Tachwedd 2023

I welcome the Committee to its consideration of the Renters (Reform) Bill. It might be helpful if I lay out a few thoughts before we start line-by-line consideration. Most of you will be old hands, so forgive me if I am teaching grannies to suck eggs, but I might as well try for clarity.

First, will you make sure that you let any speaking notes you have go to Hansard, which makes it easier for the Hansard reporter accurately to report what you have said? Secondly, all the rules and conventions that apply in the Chamber apply here, in particular with regard to drinking coffee, leaving your coats lying around and things like that, on which I am rather old-fashioned. Forgive me if you do not agree, but the rules and conventions that we use in the Chamber, including on speaking, will be used here in Committee.

The purpose of the Committee you all know well. The Government have laid down the outline of the Bill as it was debated on Second Reading—it was read a Second time without Division—and the duty of the Committee is now to examine the words of the Bill to ensure that the resulting law is as good as it possibly can be, leaving aside the principle that may lie behind it. Any member of the Committee, including members on the Government side and in particular those in His Majesty’s loyal Opposition, may table as many amendments as they like on as many clauses as they like, bearing in mind that amendments for consideration on a Thursday must be tabled by the Tuesday and that amendments for consideration on a Tuesday must be tabled by the rise of the House on the previous Thursday. If they are tabled later, they will not normally be considered unless there is a particular reason why they should be.

The end result is the amendment paper that you have before you. You will also see the selection list with the grouping of amendments; it is in my name, but is actually done by my learned friend the Clerk. It groups together topics of similar interest, right through the Bill: we might find that an amendment to clause 1 is grouped with an amendment to schedule 23, say, because that makes it easier to debate. We debate the principle behind the changes; the changes are then voted on when we get to that point in the Bill, rather than at the time we debate them. People often find that confusing, but it works more easily that way.

Unless there are any questions on that little “Boy’s Own” introduction, we now come to line-by-line consideration of the Bill.