Renting Groups Call for New Government to Support Renters’ Rights

Leading renting and housing organisations have united in a call for stronger renters’ rights policies from political party leaders. A letter, signed by 27 groups including Shelter, Generation Rent, the Chartered Institute for Housing, and the tenant’s union ACORN, highlights the need for urgent action to address the renting crisis in England. It condemns the last parliament’s failure to deliver on renters’ rights, describing it as “a huge disappointment.”

Key Demands

The letter outlines several crucial reforms needed to protect renters:

  1. Abolition of No-Fault Evictions:
    • Reform private tenancies to completely abolish no-fault evictions, including those through rent rises and new possession grounds.
  2. National Register of Private Landlords:
    • Implement a detailed register to improve oversight and accountability of private landlords.
  3. Energy Efficiency Standards:
    • Increase energy efficiency standards for private rented homes to EPC C as soon as possible.
  4. Council Enforcement Funding:
    • Increase funding for councils to enforce existing and new laws, prevent landlord abuses, and eliminate illegal evictions.
  5. Legal Aid for Renters:
    • Boost legal aid funding to ensure all renters have access to timely legal advice.

Political Context

This intervention follows the Liberal Democrats’ manifesto launch on June 10, which includes commitments to end no-fault evictions and establish three-year tenancies as the default rental contract. The Conservative, Green, and Labour parties are expected to release their manifestos soon, detailing their policies for private renters.

Rising Homelessness

Recent Ministry of Justice statistics reveal that nearly 100,000 section 21 no-fault evictions have been processed since the government pledged to abolish the practice in 2019. Last year, councils in England recorded the highest ever number of households threatened with homelessness following a section 21 notice, with 25,910 cases. Council leaders warn of potential bankruptcies due to escalating homelessness costs.

Advocacy Statements

Ben Twomey, Generation Rent Chief Executive: “Politicians often focus on home ownership, overlooking the 12 million renters in England. We need proper protections from evictions and limits on unaffordable rent rises to avoid homelessness and exploitation.”

Anny Cullum, ACORN Political Officer: “Renters have waited five years for necessary changes, including ending no-fault evictions and improving standards. The next government must lift the insecurity burden from 11 million tenants in England.”

Housing as a Top Election Issue

Housing affordability and cost of living consistently rank as top concerns among voters, making the issue pivotal in the upcoming election. The call for reforms reflects the pressing need for a fairer and more secure renting system to prevent further homelessness and instability among renters.

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