Housing

Renters Reform Coalition urges tenants to call on MPs to strengthen renter reforms

The Big Issue is among organisations supporting private renters calling on MPs to give tenants a voice in Parliament

Campaigners calling for the Renters Reform Bill

Campaigners held a Renters' Day of Action in March to call for the government to bring forward rent reforms. Image: Renters Reform Coalition

The Renters Reform Bill has begun its journey through Parliament but action is required to ensure it delivers on its promise to be the “once in a generation overhaul of housing laws” tenants desperately need.

The renter reforms were unveiled last month promising to axe no-fault evictions – also known as Section 21 evictions – which allow landlords to evict tenants without giving a reason, as well as giving tenants more power to own a pet and improving the standards of private rented homes.

Renters Reform Coalition members, including organisations and charities in the housing sector and partners including Big Issue, are now urging tenants across England to call on their MPs to throw their weight behind the bill.

The coalition is calling for people to email their MPs urging them to attend a coalition drop-in event on 21 June as well as attending the Renters Reform Bill’s second reading, which will be the first chance MPs have to debate it.

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The campaigners have proposed a series of changes to the bill to strengthen tenants’ rights and ensure it has the “teeth needed for real change”, according to Shelter’s Polly Neate.

The coalition is calling for tenants to be given four months’ notice when they are evicted, rather than the two months’ notice proposed at present.

Renters must also be protected from eviction under new no-fault grounds for the first two years of a tenancy, rather than six months proposed at present. The coalition said this change is no better than the current status quo.

The campaigners also want stronger safeguards to prevent unscrupulous landlords abusing the new grounds for eviction, including a financial incentive for tenants to prevent abuse. They also called one-year ban on re-letting a property after invoking new no-fault grounds for eviction, rather than three months which applies to both notices and possession orders.

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Judges should also be given maximum discretion to identify if there are good reasons why an eviction should not take place. And a cap on in-tenancy rent increases should be introduced at the lowest of either inflation or wage growth to avoid unaffordable rent increases being used as a backdoor eviction method.

For more information on how you can take action, head here

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