April 20, 2024

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Charities Express Concerns Regarding Limited Progress on the Renters Reform Bill

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A coalition of 30 charities and non-profit organizations has called on the Prime Minister to enact legislation prohibiting “no-fault” evictions. The Renters Reform Bill aims to eliminate the ability of landlords in England to evict tenants without cause, requiring a minimum notice period of two months.

Charities warned delays risk causing “more avoidable hardship and suffering” and a “greater cost to the taxpayer”.

The government said the bill would resume progress in parliament shortly.

The Conservatives promised “a better deal for renters” – including a ban on no-fault evictions – in its manifesto ahead of the general election four years ago.

In May, the Renters Reform Bill was introduced to Parliament, containing this measure. But it has not yet been brought back for the next parliamentary stage.

There are concerns the bill will not have time to pass through Parliament before the next election, which is expected to take place next year.

Under current housing legislation, known as Section 21, landlords can evict tenants without giving a reason.

After receiving a Section 21 notice, tenants have just two months before their landlord can apply for a court order to evict them.

Shelter, the housing charity which has co-ordinated a letter from 30 organisations to Rishi Sunak, wrote that its research suggested a renter is evicted every three minutes in England under the no-fault rule.

But a third of the 1,900 people it surveyed said that the last time they moved, it took them longer than two months to find somewhere else to live.

“This dire lack of security disproportionately impacts the people we represent,” Shelter said.

Charities Express Concerns Regarding Limited Progress on the Renters Reform Bill

Its letter pointed out that “poor and insecure housing makes people physically sick, and has a well-documented, negative impact on their mental health”.

It added: “It causes social isolation and financial hardship, and traps people in cycles of poverty, struggle and uncertainty that are difficult, sometimes impossible, to break.”

The letter said scrapping no-fault evictions should be “at the heart” of the government’s plans, warning that renters “cannot wait any longer”.

“Together we are calling on the government to commit to progressing the Renters Reform Bill this parliament, and to pass it into law as promised in the party’s manifesto.”

Signatories include Child Poverty Action Group, Citizens Advice, Liberty, the Centre for Mental Health and Disability Rights UK.

A Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities spokesperson said: “The government will deliver a fairer private rented sector for tenants and landlords through the Renters Reform Bill, which will have its second reading in Parliament shortly.

“This bill fulfills our manifesto pledge and will eliminate Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions to provide tenants with enhanced housing security. Additionally, we are resolute in our aim to cut the number of substandard rented properties by 50% by 2030 and to introduce the Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector, marking a historic first.”

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