Shelter says tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech should herald the start of a widespread reform of all renting, particularly the private sector.
In a blog setting out a wish list for the speech, Shelter says: “Private renters have been waiting since 2019 for the government to follow through on the promise to scrap Section 21 ‘no fault evictions.’ It was something government said it would do in last year’s Queen’s Speech and is a huge bit of unfinished business.”
The campaigning charity admits it understands the government timetable may have been derailed by Coronavirus but it insists this commitment cannot slip further. “The pandemic has exposed exactly why reform of the private rented sector is so urgently needed. Due to the precarious nature of renting, the government had to step in and ban all evictions from the sector to avoid a wave of homelessness” it says.
“Our latest research shows that over three million private renters have been forced to live in unsafe or unhealthy conditions. The fear of being served with a ‘no-fault’ eviction notice stops renters from complaining about their living conditions, meaning bad landlords are not held to account.”
Shelter claims that in the past 20 years, the sector has doubled in size and that now families and older people are struggling in privately rented homes that offer little security or routes to redress when things go wrong.
“The government has acknowledged the problems in the sector, now they must get on and deliver the solutions.
“Throughout the past 18 months, our homes were meant to have been the first line of defence against coronavirus – the Queen’s Speech must ensure that they are genuinely safe and suitable for those who live in them. It can do that by making sure that renters, both social and private, get reforms to regulation that will make them safer and more secure in their homes. And by making sure that planning reform helps to tackle our shortage of social homes, rather than making it worse.”
The campaign also demands major reform of social renting management, especially to address issues emanating from the Grenfell Tower tragedy. It also wants commitments to improving the availability of social housing.
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