The Renters Reform Coalition, consisting of advocacy groups Acorn and Renters Rights London, has sent a letter to Rishi Sunak expressing concerns about delays in the Renters Reform Bill. The letter criticizes the government’s swift actions in favor of owner occupiers with the Mortgage Charter, leaving renters exposed to pressing issues affecting the rental sector.
The letter says:
Dear Prime Minister. We write as organisations representing or working with private renters to call on you to urgently address the crisis facing the 11m people in England who live in privately rented homes.
We saw how quickly your government moved to introduce a Mortgage Charter in response to recent rising interest rates, in order to prevent repossessions and ensure mortgage-holders have security in their homes. The government’s record in delivering on security for renters unfortunately stands in stark contrast.
More than two months ago, four years after it was first promised, the government introduced the Renters Reform Bill. We welcomed this but we are now left wondering why the bill hasn’t been seen since.
Moreover, despite many welcome aspects, in order to meet the government’s ambition to create a fairer, more balanced private rented sector, the bill must be strengthened – this legislation is a once in a generation opportunity to fix renting.
With rents rising at record levels, many renters will still be at threat of eviction based on unaffordable rent rises, Your Housing Secretary has said that rent rises of up to 20 per cent and 30 per cent are unacceptable, you the Renters reform Bill will not prevent these increases happening in many instances.
Further the bill retains some unsatisfactory aspects of the current system. Renters can still be served an eviction notice – through no fault of their own – after four months of a tenancy. If renters are to receive anything resembling the security of other tenures, feeling confident to put down roots in their communities, this needs to be considerably longer.
Similarly, as at present, the Renters Reform Bill only provides renters with two months’ notice if they are being evicted. Knowing that at any moment the town-month countdown can begin hangs over renters’ heads. It is simply not long enough and is a major cause of homelessness following evictions from their privately rented homes.
We urge you to take seriously the insecurity that is plaguing private renters and to expedite the Renters Reform Bill’s passage through Parliament, making sure it delivers on the welcome and urgent promises you have made to England’s 11m private renters.
Renters Reform Coalition; Acorn The Union; Shelter; Citizens Advice; Nationwide Foundation; Generation Rent; New Economics Foundation; Renters Rights London; Safer Renting; Law Centres Network; Joseph Rowntree Foundation; Advice for Renters; Z2K; Greater Manchester Tenants Union; Toynbee Hall; NUS UK; Chartered Institute of Housing; art; Independent Age; Positive Money; Big Issue; StepChange; Gingerbread; Loughborough Students Union, The Tenants Association of the National Trust; 38 Degrees; Harrow Law Centre.
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