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Labour unveils five-point plan to protect renters

Labour is calling on the government to unveil new measures to protect renters beyond June after the Bank of England warned the coronavirus crisis will send the UK economy crashing to its biggest recession in more than 300 years. 

Among the measures announced by Labour, the party would like to see the three-month ban on evictions in England and Wales extended and renters given two years to pay back rent arrears accrued because of the coronavirus crisis. 

Thangam Debbonaire, the shadow secretary of state for housing, said: “Current protections for people renting their homes are woefully inadequate. Unless the government acts now, many thousands of tenants will be at risk of losing their homes.”


Labour proposed emergency legislation sets out the following five-point plan due to be presented to the government: 

  1. Extend the temporary ban on evictions for six months or however long is needed to implement the legal changes below.

  2. Give residential tenants the same protections as commercial tenants, by protecting them from being made bankrupt by their landlords for non-payment of rent.

  3. Bring forward the government’s proposal to scrap Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions and outlaw evictions on the grounds of rent arrears if the arrears were accrued because of hardship caused by the coronavirus crisis.

  4. Once evictions are prevented, grant renters at least two years to pay back any arrears accrued during this period.

  5. Speed up and improve the provision of Universal Credit, as Labour recently called for, and consider a temporary increase to the Local Housing Allowance to help prevent risk of homelessness.

More than 4,000 Labour members have signed an open letter calling on the party’s leader, Sir Keir Starmer, to “cancel the rent”. 

The letter accuses the Labour Party of “failing renters”, says its “solutions simply are not good enough”, and concludes that “it’s time for the people’s bailout. Cancel the rent.”

In an email to members, Momentum said: “Over a third of private renters live in poverty and two thirds have no savings. Even before coronavirus, almost half working renters were one pay cheque away from losing their home.

“Now millions of renters are at high risk of losing their jobs. Yet Labour’s new policy would see renters shoulder the cost of the crisis.

“It would require renters to pay back all rent missed during the crisis over a two year period – the equivalent of a 12% rent rise amidst the worst recession for three hundred years.

“Renters deserve better than this. Sign this open letter calling on Labour to back a policy of rent cancellation, not deferral.”

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

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    Quite honestly, as a landlord I’m tired of being looked at as some kind of pariah with a bottomless pit of money.

    I’ve invested hundreds of thousands of pounds to provide rental property to people who want to rent. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement. Their rent is also my income, how do I manage if I have to provide free accommodation.

    Why not recommend Tesco give away their food instead? It’s exactly the same proposition.


    Same here Martin. I'm sick to death of it all and have decided to sell up.. One or two a year.. There goes my pension! I don't see life getting any easier for landlords in the future so I'm bailing out. I didn't invest in property to become a charity and it seems more and more that this is what expected.. Free rent, and hurdles every way you turn when you need to make a genuine eviction.. It's almost impossible... So I've decided it's just not worth the hassle...

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    Why not protect landlords as well?


    Are you kidding?
    Do you think that the Labour Party would even consider such a move?
    They do not look kindly on anyone wishing to make a living out of renting property.
    Imagine if the worse had happened and Labour got elected, we would be subject to a myriad of new regulations and rent controls by now.
    I fear for the PRS and if the effects of this coronavirus are long term, I can see rents declining and with the continuous onslaught against landlords by the government et al, this could well be the 'final nail in the coffin' for the sector as a whole.

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    • N P
    • 11 May 2020 09:34 AM

    Could not have said it better myself. We do not force tenants to rent our properties, if they no longer can or want to rent our properties they have the flexibility and freedom to find alternative accommodation. But do not expect to stay in my properties that I have invested hundreds of thousands of pounds in to provide quality accommodation to decent paying tenants, for free. That is my livelihood. Will you demand the council cancel their tax and provide free services? Will you demand the energy companies for free energy? Will you demand the supermarkets for free food? No. So why would you demand a free roof over your head at another individual’s expense.


    Hi N P.
    The main problem we have is that landlords are not looked upon in the same light as the supermarkets and energy companies, especially by the socialists.
    They are not in the least concerned whether we survive or not.
    Owning property to profit from, is not compatible with their beliefs.

  • David Lester

    A contact is a contract even under the Coronavirus crisis, if Labour or the Government want to change one side of the contract then Landlords should have the right to change their side, i.e that the Government stand Guarantor for all unpaid rent and the interest! We are not a Charity!

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    Statistics show that by the end of 2021 a quarter of all household's in the uk will be in the private sector .
    Obviously Labour are targeting this huge pool of potential Labour voters at the expense of the minority landlords .Tories it seems also taking harder measures against us in trying to counter act. In the end I can see with all new legislation and more rights for tenants they'll be little incentive to remain in this sector but neither will be interested that in the end they'll be a shortage of rental accommodation only pushing prices and less property available that will only harm the people they are supposedly trying to protect.


    And only 2500 complaints to TPO, with 2/3 upheld. Just another vote seeking load of propaganda from Labour.


    Labour and Liberals are Socialist parties, encouraging people to live on benefits when there are plenty of jobs available due to EU workers departure.
    They will definitely lose the current pool of Labour voters as well for the next elections. Landlords must ensure not to vote for Labour or Liberal party in local and general elections.

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    • 11 May 2020 10:16 AM

    So much for The Tories of being the Business Party.
    The vote chasing will be their downfall. And it will happen faster then they think...

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    The problem is that for years the general public have been groomed by Labour, the Landlord Hate Group Shelter and others into believing that most Landlords are unscrupulous, money grubbing parasites, providing poor quality housing at extortionate rents, throwing innocent tenants onto the scrapheap for even daring to raise a question about a mouldy patch on a wall.
    The entire blame for this grim state of affairs lies squarely at the feet of agents, ARLA and Landlords associations who have allowed these myths to become accepted fact with barely any kind of response. It is now why the industry is facing all of these draconian changes to the sector. Instead of waiting for the government, ARLA should have been actively policing its members, developing rules for best practice and kicking out those who don't abide, if they had acted when certain agents (You all know who) saw a chance to screw tenants out of hundreds of pounds of grossly inflated fees, then we would never have had the tenants fees ban, which of course then led to much deeper scrutiny of agent behaviour and subsequent legislation. The industry desperately needs to get its act together otherwise we are staring into an abyss that will destroy our business as we know it turning the clock back to the 70's when rents will be capped and the near impossibility of evicting a tenant on any grounds will return. I would start by headhunting Shelters entire campaigns department, they have completely run rings around everyone else so far until the industry employs the same tactics and successfully promotes the truth that there are far more good landlords than bad, negative regulations will continue to be imposed across the board.

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    Guess Labour’s Abbott must have been doing counting for rental arrears to be paid back in 2 years for a 6/9/12/18 months tenancy!!
    It won’t take rogue tenants to figure out to not pay rent, and then disappear in thin air before 2 years rental/court term expiry.
    Or is Labour looking go turn Residential tenancies on par with Commercial- long term tenancies with no protection for landlords who worked hard to save up and buy property/ies?

    If the Govt want UK property sector to remain an attractive investment proposal, they won’t agree to any of Labour’s proposals. No one would want to invest in UK property if there is no protection for landlords-especially international investors will stop inward investments at a time when UK is flying it’s flag as an attractive Real Estate market in international trade negotiations.

    #ProtectLandlords for a thriving
    #ThrowAwayLabourPlans to save #UKEconomy.

  • Peter Meczes

    I absolutely agree with most of comments. We really need to speak to someone With power and influence in the government, who actually understands the private landlords business in order to put clear and concise arguments on our behalf. It’s like nobody looks at the PRS as a small business. How the heck will we be able to make a living if we are continually the fall guys for every back-stabbing protect the tenants legislation that is constantly thrown at us? Like many other PRS landlords, I have completely lost my holiday rentals business due to the Coronavirus and am relying on the few private rentals I operate. If tenants start using new legislation not to pay rent, and we cannot evict them I will go bust!! I’m extremely worried.

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    Agree Tenants do not have to pay me a penny. Rent to be paid to me by the government of the day. No UC no daily curry eaters no single mums no unemployed no pets, no problem. Otherwise all properties will be sold to the first acceptable cash buyer and an increase in homeless or an increase for the likes of Shelter will follow,,happy days all round.

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    • 17 May 2020 10:32 AM

    Great way of thinking.
    Governments never seem to realise that sooner or later all their machinations will land back in their laps and will wreak havoc with the housing market and will potentially force them to lose power.

    Think now, and do not make a whole sector suffer.

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    Hard to imagine they got 4'000 clueless people together to sign the letter, then again it's the Labour Party, so they want to prevent the Tenant from being made Bankrupt by LL but it doesn't matter if the Tenants non-payment of rent makes the LL Bankrupt. The idea of given the Tenant 2 years to pay back rent arrears is a joke if they can't pay it at the time they are certainly not going to pay it later. I smell a rat here its given them 2 years extra where no action can be taken for rent arrears. Go ahead and keep shouting from the roof top through your hind quarters to get rid of section 21 and enjoy the worst recession in living memory.

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    tens of millions of clueless people in london


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