members.parliament.uk Michael Gove https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

17 Oct 23

A group of 30 charities and non-profit organisations, led by campaigners at Shelter, have urged the government to get a move on with the Renters Reform Bill.

In May, the Bill was presented to the Commons but has not yet been brought back for its Second Reading, prompting some sceptics to suggest that the measure may not have time to pass through Parliament before the next election, which is expected next year.

Shelter claims that it has evidence suggesting a renter is evicted every three minutes in England under Section 21, which is to be outlawed by the Bill when it becomes law. And a third of the 1,900 tenants it surveyed said that the last time they moved, it took them longer than two months to find somewhere else to live.

“This dire lack of security disproportionately impacts the people we represent” says Shelter, which adds: “Poor and insecure housing makes people physically sick, and has a well-documented, negative impact on their mental health. It causes social isolation and financial hardship, and traps people in cycles of poverty, struggle and uncertainty that are difficult, sometimes impossible, to break.”

Signatories to the letter include Child Poverty Action Group, Citizens Advice, Liberty, the Centre for Mental Health and Disability Rights UK.

Shelter comments: “Together we are calling on the government to commit to progressing the Renters Reform Bill this parliament, and to pass it into law as promised in the party’s manifesto.”

A Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities spokesperson says in response: “The government will deliver a fairer private rented sector for tenants and landlords through the Renters Reform Bill, which will have its second reading in Parliament shortly. The Bill delivers our manifesto commitment and will abolish Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions to give tenants greater security in their homes.

“We are also determined to reduce the number of non-decent rented homes by 50 per cent by 2030, as well as introducing the Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector for the first time.”

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