Thank you to all those who contacted me about the private rented sector.

I have long supported calls for more rights and better protections for tenants, including an end to section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions to prevent renters from being uprooted with little notice and minimal justification.

I welcome the introduction of the long-overdue Renters’ Reform Bill to Parliament and look forward to engaging constructively in its development. However, the Bill has made no progress since it was introduced to Parliament in May 2023 and no date has been set for Second Reading. This shows that the Government is still not acting with the urgency required, despite committing to introducing these reforms four years ago.

Moreover, I am concerned about the loopholes in the Bill. Even though the Bill provides steps towards scrapping section 21 evictions, there remain ways for ill-intentioned landlords to remove tenants unjustly. The Government must swiftly take steps to amend that flaw in their legislation. In the short-term, I will press the Government to extend notice periods to a legal minimum of four months, with firm, punitive measures for landlords who do not abide by the law.

The Bill also lacks support for local authorities to act on injustices in their local private rented sector. I would like to see measures in the Bill to strengthen enforcement powers, require councils to report on enforcement activity and allow them to cap the advance rent that local landlords can request. The Government owes local authorities an explanation of why it has neglected to give them the means to ensure the new legislation is successfully enacted.

While landlords who are dealing with antisocial behaviour or even criminal activity from their tenants should be supported in reclaiming their properties, the Government must ensure that such exemptions cannot be exploited by bad-faith landlords to unjustly evict tenants. It is also troubling that the Bill does not include a ban on landlords refusing to rent to benefit claimants or those with children. This oversight should be reviewed and amended.

I support calls for a Renters’ Charter. This would ban section 21 evictions; end automatic evictions for rent arrears; introduce a national register of landlords; make deposits fairer and more flexible; permit pets; allow tenants to make reasonable alterations to their home; require landlords to give 4-month notice periods; and give tenants the right to request speedy repairs. A Renters’ Charter would take real action to make renting fairer, more secure and more affordable.

A row of red model houses on a wooden table
A row of red model houses on a wooden table
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