We want an end to section 21 ‘no fault evictions’. Renters have the right to secure and affordable homes that they can call their own, where they can put down roots, free from the worry of the upheaval and cost of an unexpected house move. However, this basic right is out of reach for many, and must change.
Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions must be abolished. Renters deserve secure homes that they can call their own, where they can put down roots, free from the worry of the upheaval and cost of an unexpected house move. The new system introduced by the Government must provide tenants with security of tenure.
Once section 21 is abolished, tenancies should be open-ended, providing greater stability and preventing the continuous cycle of moving that many find themselves trapped in. Indefinite tenancies provide both security and flexibility, allowing renters to stay in their homes for as long or as short a period as they need to.
The intention of the Renters’ Reform Bill is to abolish no-fault evictions. The new grounds for possession must ensure this intention is met and do not undermine renters’ security of tenure. Eviction causes renters untold financial hardship, an acute stressor which damages mental health. The new legislation must reduce these risks. No-fault grounds must be used only in extremely limited circumstances, where a landlord can produce a high level of evidence.
The Government must ensure that rent increases are not used to force tenants to leave, operating as a defacto unfair or retaliatory eviction. If a landlord were to increase the rent suddenly to a level above which a tenant could afford, they would have no choice but to leave. The new system must introduce and strengthen measures to prevent this.
The affordability crisis in the private rented sector should be addressed. It is widely accepted that in order to be affordable, housing costs should not take up more than a third of someone’s income. The Government must act to bring rents down so that everyone has a home they can afford to rent where they can live and flourish.
Notice periods should be increased from two months in all but the most serious cases. Finding a new home can be challenging and expensive for tenants, and longer notice periods would minimise this difficulty.
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