You may have more protections than you think
The ban on most evictions was lifted this week and the notice period on Section 21 evictions has been reduced from 6 months to 4 months. But if your landlord has failed to provide you with certain documents you could be protected from eviction - up to three quarters of renters, according to our latest research.
Our new research has also revealed the lack of knowledge about rights among private renters, which the first Renters' Rights Awareness Week, taking place on 14-20 June, aims to change.
What are the main parties offering renters in Wales
Today (6th May) voters in Wales will elect 60 members of the Welsh Parliament (Senedd). We have published a manifesto here.
What we're demanding
Renting in Wales needs to be safer, fairer and more secure. Welsh renters can still be evicted for no reason, they need more stability and an end to Section 21 'no fault' evictions. There also needs to be tougher penalties for landlords who break the law. Wales now has a national register of landlords, however, there are still improvements that could be made to protect renters from criminals. Renters in Wales remain vulnerable to rent increases. Even though these can technically be challenged through the Rent Assessment Committee, only three did this in 2019/20. This must change.
What are mayoral candidates offering renters in city regions?
On Thursday, eight city regions elect a Metro Mayor. We have published two manifestos:
- A manifesto for London, which contains 1m private renter households and has had a Mayor for 20 years
- A manifesto for the rest of England. Between them, Greater Manchester, West Midlands, Greater Liverpool, West of England, Cambridge and Peterborough, West Yorkshire and Tees Valley contain around 750,000 private renter households and where the office of Mayor is still relatively new (completely new in the case of West Yorkshire).
Three quarters of tenants in unsafe homes go unprotected
Renters rely on Councils to stand up for them against criminal landlords. When facing dangerous living conditions, mould, damp or disrepair, Councils should step in and force landlords to make their properties legal. However, our new research has revealed that 75% of tenants in unsafe homes go unprotected.
Evictions are hard to stop - even when they're illegal
Although landlords don't need a reason to evict you in England and Wales, they must still follow certain rules. If you don't move out after your notice period ends, the landlord must apply for a possession order in court, then only bailiffs appointed by the court can physically remove you from your home.
If the landlord tries to evict you themselves, it's a criminal offence under the 1977 Protection from Eviction Act. That includes changing the locks, dumping your belongings outside, cutting off the electricity or water supply and other types of harassment. The penalties include paying back up to a year's rent.
Making homes safe and secure in Scotland
As Scotland goes to the polls on Thursday 6 May, we have published our manifesto of policies the next government in Holyrood must adopt to create a fairer rental market.
In recent years Scottish renters have gained a number of new protections, which are currently denied to private tenants in England and Wales. Landlords can no longer evict tenants without a reason, which provides some security, but tenants are still vulnerable to unaffordable rent increases and loopholes that allow landlords ways around this legislation.
Making homes safe and secure in Wales
Private renters in Wales have a rough deal. Landlords can evict without needing a reason, meaning no security over your home, and little confidence to request repairs and improvements. For landlords who break the law, the penalties are not much of a deterrent.
What's worse is that the Welsh government is falling behind other parts of Britain - they do not propose to end evictions without reason (Section 173) as the government in Westminster has promised renters in England.
Generation Rent has published its manifesto for the next Welsh Parliament, which is being elected on Thursday 6 May.