October 24

Labour accuses Tories of ‘foot dragging’ over rental reform


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Angela Rayner, the Shadow Housing Secretary and Labour’s Deputy Leader, has criticized the government for the slow advancement of the Renters Reform Bill, which recently passed its Second Reading in the House of Commons. She emphasized the urgency of putting an end to no-fault evictions, pointing out that tenants have suffered during years of government inaction, particularly as they face the challenges of rising living costs and the threat of homelessness.

“After four and a half years of foot-dragging over Tory promises, there can be no more dither and delay in ending no-fault evictions. At the height of a cost-of-living crisis, tenants have been left paying a heavy price for the Government’s inaction, with tens of thousands threatened with homelessness and receiving visits from the bailiffs.” Rayner’s comments highlight the pressing need for reform in the rental sector, where renters have faced uncertainties and hardships for far too long.

While the Renters Reform Bill is welcomed by the Labour Party, they are determined to enhance it to address the magnitude of the housing crisis they believe the Conservative government has generated. The Bill has been long-awaited, but Labour insists on bolstering it to adequately tackle the housing issues at hand.

Furthermore, London’s Labour Mayor, Sadiq Khan, highlighted that since the Conservative manifesto promise to eliminate Section 21 eviction powers in 2019, approximately 290 London renters have received Section 21 notices every week. This statistic is based on the number of eviction letters leading to a possession claim, but it’s noted that the actual number could be even higher, as not all Section 21 notices progress to this stage.

Sadiq Khan expressed deep concern over the new analysis, highlighting the exploitative nature of no-fault evictions that have left renters vulnerable. He pointed out that despite the government’s vow to ban such evictions four years ago, progress has been slow, and it is inexcusable.

Khan urged ministers to take swift action to strengthen and pass the Renters Reform Bill, emphasizing the need for renters to have the legal protections they urgently require. He also warned that a further six-month delay in the Bill’s progress could put approximately 15,000 more Londoners at risk of facing a Section 21 eviction.

Sadiq Khan is also pushing for an extension of the notice period for tenants facing eviction for non-fault reasons, like when landlords wish to move into the property, from two months to four, aligning with the demands of activist groups.

However, housing minister Rachel Maclean defends the government’s actions, stating, “We are fulfilling our manifesto promise to create a fairer private rented sector for both tenants and landlords. This involves ending no-fault evictions and reinforcing landlords’ rights to possession in cases of anti-social behavior. These steps are part of our comprehensive housing plan.”

She further emphasizes that while Labour voices concerns, it’s the Conservatives who are making the necessary long-term decisions to establish a more secure rental market for tenants and landlords.


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Labour UK, Sadiq Khan Rental Policy

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