Renters Reform Coalition Demands Strengthening of Renters Reform Bill

In a renewed effort to address the ongoing challenges in the private rental sector, the Renters Reform Coalition, comprising organizations such as Shelter and Generation Rent, has once again reached out to Housing Secretary Michael Gove. The coalition emphasizes the need to fortify the Renters Reform Bill, stating that Gove risks missing a crucial opportunity to rectify the crisis in private renting.

In their letter to Gove, the coalition contends that the current proposed provisions fall short of adequately protecting tenants. The key demands include extending eviction notice periods from the proposed two months to four months, ensuring tenants are shielded from eviction for the initial two years of their tenancy (as opposed to the existing six months), and raising the threshold for landlords seeking to evict tenants.

The coalition’s letter asserts, “Without these changes, the tenant’s experience post-reform will too often resemble the current situation.” It warns that without such adjustments, renters will remain susceptible to unjust evictions, face frequent and costly relocations, and feel powerless to challenge landlords for basic standards.

Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Shelter, expressed her concern over the government’s perceived weakness in the face of opposition from its own MPs. Neate told the BBC that the delay in implementing the legislation could be attributed to a group of backbenchers on the Tory benches who are landlords and are reluctant to see the Bill progress.

On the other side of the spectrum, the National Residential Landlords Association is advocating for improvements to the court system to expedite the process for landlords legitimately seeking possession of their properties.

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the association, highlighted the urgency of addressing the rental housing supply crisis, stating, “It is vital therefore that plans to reform the rental market secure the confidence of responsible landlords as well as renters.”

In response, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities defends the Renters Reform Bill, emphasizing its commitment to creating a fairer private rented sector for both tenants and landlords. The department asserts that the bill will abolish section 21 evictions, providing more security for residents and empowering them to challenge poor practices.

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