Clause 27 - Offences

Part of Renters (Reform) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:00 am ar 28 Tachwedd 2023.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Matthew Pennycook Matthew Pennycook Shadow Minister (Levelling Up, Housing, Communities and Local Government) 10:00, 28 Tachwedd 2023

I welcome the Minister’s response. There may be a difference of principle here, in that we feel quite strongly, actually, that rent repayment orders should be extended to non-criminal civil breaches of requirements set out in the Bill. I take the Minister’s point about this being an excessive response to landlord non-compliance for first or minor breaches. I say to him that perhaps the Government could explore a grace period as the schemes are being introduced, where landlords are not caught within an extended rent repayment order scheme, or some sort of get-out from first or minor offences.

We are trying to address a way, once the scheme is bedded in and landlords—without committing a criminal offence—are regularly not complying with mandatory membership of the ombudsman or registering with a portal, for landlords to be further incentivised, so that tenants are aware of their rights and hold their landlords to account. This may be an issue that we will come back to, but I very much welcome the Minister’s assurance that we will continue the dialogue on this point.