10 Oct 2022

Shelter wants Truss and Starmer to take rental reform seriously

Private renting voters could be critical in deciding the outcome of the next General Election, according to Shelter.

The campaigning charity – which, like other similarly-minded groups is in the dark on the future of rental reform policies – has been worked with polling organisation Stack Data Strategy to bolster its pro-reform agenda.

The polling of more than 10,000 adults shows what Shelter calls a growing “rent wall” in 38 key constituencies where private tenants could in theory be decisive at the ballot box. 

Shelter says the poll shows that one in three private renters who voted for the Conservative Party in 2019 now plan to vote for another political party. 

Stack’s projection suggests no political party is currently on course to win a majority – quite unlike almost all other recent polls, which show a very substantial Labour lead.

Under the Shelter poll the Conservative Party is predicted to win 266 seats and Labour 298 seats – 55 and 23 seats short of a majority respectively.

The charity goes on to say that the cost of living crisis means the majority of the electorate think it is urgent to fix the country’s housing problems. 

Half say that housing policies will influence which party they vote for at the next General Election. This figure apparently rises to two thirds of private renters.

The survey says private renters are more likely than homeowners or social renters to think that politicians do not care about them. 

A statement from the charity goes on to say: “Shelter is urging all politicians to show they are on the side of tenants by championing the long-promised Renters’ Reform Bill, which will see Section 21 no-fault evictions scrapped in England. It is also calling on every party to prioritise building a new generation of decent social homes with rents pegged to local wages.”

Shelter chief executive Polly Neate says: “Private renters are sick of hollow promises, they want politicians to hurry up and fix renting. This poll should be a loud wake-up call for every party.

“Millions of private renters are fed up of paying through the nose to live in insecure and dangerous homes. Now the cost of living crisis is making the cracks in our broken rental system wider. 

“Yet tenants are powerless to challenge conditions or unfair rent hikes for fear of no-fault evictions.

“Private renting voters will be critical at the next General Election, but they feel let down by politicians who haven’t done enough on housing. 

“By getting the long-promised Renters’ Reform Bill across the line, politicians can show millions of renters and their families that they care. Politicians must act to make private renting safer and fairer before voters get to the ballot box.”

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