21 Mar 2022

The Mirror newspaper has launched a campaign to “make rented homes safer”.

It says its campaign – called Safe As Houses – demands a national landlord register where those who let out properties would be forced to prove they met essential safety requirements.

“We also want to see an end to no fault evictions, where tenants can be turfed out of their homes if they complain about poor conditions” says the newspaper.

These measures have already effectively been agreed by the government – many months before the Mirror launched its publicity drive on the issues.

The paper, however, claims it has the support of some MPs.

It names Labour Ian Byrne MP, who says: “Shamefully, we have a system that means a private renter has more than a one in 10 chance of living in a home that could kill or seriously harm them or their children.

“Let that fact sink in – how can this be allowed to continue? We must remind ourselves that it is 2022, not 1822.

“During the height of the pandemic, renters were trapped in unsafe housing while the Prime Minister was apparently picking out new wallpaper.”

Byrne continues: “Many renters are fearful of evictions if they raise complaints, because they cannot afford to move house in the middle of this appalling cost of living crisis.

“My constituent told me, ‘Section 21 takes the humanity out of the situation and that’s precisely the problem. We are human and lives are being carelessly destroyed.’

“The power imbalance means that the mental pressures facing renters are built into this broken system. New legislation must have real teeth and be enforceable.

“A renters reform bill must end no-fault evictions and create a national landlord register and licensing scheme to improve accountability and ensure that legal standards are met.”

The Mirror suggests shadow solicitor general Ellie Reeves MP is another backer, who says one of her constituents has been “devastated” by a no fault eviction.

Reeves says: “She wrote to me stating that the whole experience had pushed her to the verge of suicide.

“I know it is difficult to hear, but policy decisions have a very real effect on the hardest hit.”

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