Renters Reform White Paper - our verdict
After a consultation, a General Election, three Queen’s Speeches and a pandemic, the government’s plans for reform of the rental market are finally here. The commitment to abolish Section 21 that kicked off this process back in 2019 is still the centrepiece of the reforms, but there are wider changes to landlord regulation as well.Read more
44,000 renters faced homelessness in our wait for eviction reform
In April 2019, the government promised to abolish Section 21 "no fault" evictions. Two years later, we're still waiting for Parliament to change the law.Read more
The cost of unwanted moves
Moving home is expensive - it's even worse when you have no choice in the matter. Unwanted moves are costing private renters in England £229m per year.Read more
700,000 renters hit with unfair eviction notices during pandemic
One in 12 private renters has been given notice to move out without a reason since March 2020, a new poll by Survation reveals today.
The survey, commissioned by us, indicates that as many as 694,000 private tenants have been served with a Section 21 notice during the pandemic, which allows landlords to evict tenants without needing a reason.
The survey also found that one in three private renters fears that they will lose their home in the year ahead – which represents nearly 3 million adults in England.Read more
Heat our homes, not the planet!
Two thirds of private renters need much stronger energy efficiency standards if they are to enjoy warmer homes that are affordable to heat and free of damp and mould. That's what our latest research with the Generation Rent Renters' Panel finds.
Installing insulation and other improvements improves a property's value but landlords are leaving their tenants to put up with cold and draughty homes. Even the £5000 Green Homes Grant the government introduced in September has not nudged landlords into action.
As well as higher legal standards, tenants need incentives to demand improvements. Right now many don’t know if they will stay long enough to benefit from improvements and worry that their landlord would raise the rent if they made improvements. Tenancy reform is needed to give renters confidence to ask for improvements, and the ability to claim back rent if their landlord leaves them with an inefficient home.Read more
Once again, renters are vulnerable to revenge evictions
After six months of no evictions taking place at all, courts have reopened and landlords can resume the legal process of evicting their tenants.
Despite the government's insistence that "the most egregious" cases will be prioritised, tenants can still be booted out without a reason, with no ability to appeal it and only six weeks' grace if they face "extreme hardship".
This is possible because of Section 21, the law that the government promised to abolish last year. Today it is exactly one year since the government closed it's consultation on proposals to change the law, and we are still waiting for it to publish the Renters Reform Bill to make it all happen. Join our campaign to get Section 21 scrapped.
Struggling renters are running out of options
At the end of August, courts were poised to reopen for eviction cases. Tenants who had been served an eviction notice during lockdown would have been left with no more protection from losing their home.
We continued to push the government to make good on its promise to keep people in their homes. One renter, Nichola, who faces eviction with her two daughters, spoke out and started a petition that got nearly 40,000 signatures. At the eleventh hour, the government announced a one-month extension of the evictions ban until 20th September. It also extended the notice that landlords must now give tenants to six months, as of 29 August.
But the respite will be short-lived. Tenants who have been asked to leave are still facing huge uncertainty. And because so many people have lost income in since the pandemic started, prospects are grim.Read more
After the eviction ban: what's next?
The Government recently announced a two month extension to the eviction ban. Renters will be able to safely stay in their homes until the end of August, but what happens next?Read more
Relying on compassion isn't working
The Government have asked landlords to show 'compassion' and work with tenants to accommodate their circumstances, but renters have told us that this is not happening.Read more
How to protect renters affected by coronavirus
The Government must act now.
The pandemic affects us all - but private renters face particular problems. As the situation has escalated, renters have got in touch with us to express concern over self isolating safely in a shared house, and how they will pay their rent if they are forced to stay home, or lose their job. It's not just those who fall ill with coronavirus who are affected - many renters who are self-employed or on zero-hours contracts have already lost work, and many more are nervous about redundancy, unpaid leave or losing hours. Renters spend over 40% of their earnings on rent, and as a result, two thirds of renters have no savings.Read more