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Government pledges to “shift the odds in favour of renters”

A government housing minister says the Boris Johnson administration wants to shift the balance of power in the rental sector favour of tenants.

Eddie Hughes, the parliamentary under-secretary of state for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, has told the House of Commons: “The housing market has undoubtedly left thousands of tenants feeling insecure and unprotected. However, this does not need to be the case and it should not be the case. We, the government, want to shift the odds in favour of renters and deliver a better deal for them.”

Hughes made his comments in a debate initiated by Labour MP Catherine West.


She related a story about a block of flats in her north London constituency whose new landlord threatened large numbers of tenants with eviction via a Section 21 notice if they didn’t accept a 30 per cent rise in rents.

West said this behaviour - which was retracted by the landlord after campaigners protested - nonetheless demonstrated why the long-awaited Rental Reform Bill and White Paper were needed.

Hughes backed West’s comments but refused to be drawn on when the legislation would come before Parliament, or when the White Paper would be released for consultation.

He said:  “Millions of responsible tenants are living in homes in the knowledge that they could be uprooted at a moment’s notice and with minimal justification. That is not peace of mind; that is simply wrong. 

“To give people the confidence they need to be able to plan for the future, we are stepping up with the biggest change in legislation for the private rented sector for a generation by abolishing no-fault evictions—section 21s as they are more formally known. 

“This is the centrepiece of our plans to raise standards across the whole of the private rented sector and reflects our determination to drive out rogue and unscrupulous landlords. 

“Our reforms will deliver a fairer, more effective rental market and, later this year, we will publish the White Paper that sets out the blueprint for the whole sector. I appreciate completely that the hon. Lady is very keen for us to progress, but it is important, given this once-in-a-generation change, that we make sure that we have consulted widely with people from across the sector to ensure that we get it right.”

He continued: “We are engaging with the widest possible range of voices, including stakeholders and organisations from across the sector. As much as we sometimes like to pretend, politicians do not always have the answers. 

“Hearing and listening to these views would not only ensure that the White Paper and future legislation actually address the challenges that exist, but help to create a system that works for everyone.”


And later he said in the debate: “We are clear about the fact that it is for landlords and tenants to agree the amount of rent that should be charged at the outset of a tenancy, but the government are keen to avoid any unintended negative consequences related to abolishing section 21. 

“As part of that, we are determined that there should not be any mechanism for landlords to force a tenant to leave a property by including clauses in tenancy agreements which hike up the rent by excessive or unreasonable amounts just before the agreements are due to expire.”

You can see a transcript of the whole debate here.

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  • George Dawes

    Levelling up ? More like dragging everything down

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    When I used to rent, the laws were far less in favour of renters than they are now. I never felt vulnerable, or at risk of being evicted. I paid my rent on time and looked after any property I rented - and because if this, no landlord had any interest in evicting me.

  • Robert Nottingham

    I think that the coffin maker is using a pneumatic nail gun….. it’s hard to keep up. Farewell PRS ;)

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    Landlords put large sums of money into their properties, either earned & taxed or borrowed and paid for with risk accepted. Renters pay 5 weeks deposit and a month upfront. Does this sound like an equal partnership?

    LLs have more to lose than tenants so why is it that tenants need protecting? Tenants can vote with their feet - if you don't like your LL, leave; but LLs are now being told if you don't like your tenant, tough!

    Decent tenants who pay their rent & look after their home generally have little to fear from S21. I agree that 2 months notice when you have lived in your home for many years is tough, so perhaps the length of notice could be looked at, but tipping the whole PRS in favour of tenants is going to result in more LLs leaving and the people who will suffer most is.......tenants!

    Until Govts do something about the lack of social & affordable housing the PRS is a necessary part of the landscape and the constant LL bashing is making things worse for tenants not better.

    I am leaving the sector 10 years earlier than planned due to pressures on LLs and I don't believe I am alone. My properties will probably go mostly to FTBs - great for them but less so for other people coming into the rental market. The PRS is being squeezed and soon tenants will have a shed load of protection but nowhere to rent!


    well said - I'm on the way out too but not sure where to reinvest - any ideas for similar capital appreciation and income?!


    Hugh, how about stocks and shares isas. My son get's around 7-10% interest. This is tax free, no hassles, no work.

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    If Section 21 is abolished how are landlords going to be able to evict their tenants so they can do the solid floor and internal wall insulation so many EPC assessors insist we need?
    If they can't evict them to do the work to bring the EPC up to the required standard how are they going to evict them when it becomes illegal to let a property with an insufficient EPC score?

    Theodor Cable

    How can you do internal wall insulation?
    A few of my properties have internal walls that are internal, and at the same time they are supporting walls?


    Theodor. You rip off the skirting, lift the carpets, rip off the coving if you have it. You then line the internal walls with celatex backed plasterboard, replaster and repaint, reinstate the carpets and skirting and coving. Yes, that's what these muppets expect us to do!! And watch the room shrink in size while you're at it


    Don’t forget to redo the plugs, sort out any decorative coving, pull off tiles in bathrooms and kitchens, pull units & baths away from walls, all to score points on a system that measures cost not carbon and is assessed by assessors with minimal training making multiple (and often false) assumptions!


    Let us hope that the internal wall insulation does not make you fall foul of the minimum room sizes.

  •  G romit

    "..............says the Boris Johnson administration wants to shift the balance of power in the rental sector favour of tenants."

    The market is already heavily loaded in favour of Tenants.
    Tenant campaigners won't be happy until handing over the keys includes tile to the propety with no obligation 0s on the tenant (including payment of rent), and every obligation on the landlord not only maintenance, health & safety but also the behaviour of the tenant.

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    The balance of power was already heavily in the Tenants favour before The Levelling up Department was set up. How difficult can it be for Mr Eddy Hughes to achieve something that’s already in existence, he can do more wilful damage of course.

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    Another Tory housing idiot who has no idea how much power tenants have already. As for them still banging on abolishing S21, it’ll be these exact same fools throwing their hands up in despair when anti-social or overcrowding cases can’t be evicted!

    Theodor Cable

    Under what instances will a tenant never be evicted?
    If they are not following the rules, then they can always be evicted.
    And anyway, you can always claim you need your property for personal reasons.

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    At some point soon we will be loosing sec 21, we need a replacement, a quicker easier sec 8 to evict non payers and we need a way to evict tenants when the property becomes illegal to rent as many will in 2028


    There should be a streamlined system for evicting tenants who do no pay the rent. By the time you go through the process, courts etc. it can take a year or more, costs loads and is a nightmare trying to get your entitled rent. Other countries seem to be able to evict for non payment of rent very quickly.

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    In the real World people need somewhere to live and private sector landlords who house 20% of the Housing needs of the Country have on the whole done a very good job. Tenants who pay the rent on time , and look after the property are not usually evicted. I have used section 21 to evict Tenants in every Case there was Considerable rent arrears. And often property damage. I did not use Section 8 because it is not fit for purpose and can involve the Landlord in substantial Costs.
    Government Policy concerning Section 24 Tax , and un realistic, expensive EPC requirements , and constant legislation will force many Landlords to have increase rents or seek possession in order to exit the Market .

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    It seems like there are a number of very vocal 'support' associations for tenants but no groups to shout for landlords. Shouldn't the NRLA be doing more for the PRS? We can complain all we like on this forum but that's not going to get our voices heard in Westminster.
    I, too, am selling up, I was going to hold on till I retire but the straw that broke the camels back was the tenant who hasn't paid any rent since May 21. I finally got him out this month but the state of the place was shocking - dog hairs everywhere, dog poo, laminate ruined, carpets ruined, piles of rubbish, a cooker that is too filthy to ever come clean. It's beyond belief that someone could live like that. Try getting Westminster to listen to those kinds of stories!


    Surely Karen this disrepair must be a figment of your imagination for bad tenants do not exist - ask Polly Neate!


    Ok, if anyone want's to start up a LL support organisations, let me know and I'll sign up!

    • AQ
    • 18 January 2022 15:39 PM

    The NRLA are just the government's mouthpiece. Propertymark do a much better job.

  • Theodor Cable

    NRLA never do anything!!!!!!
    Waste of money.


    I'm not a member, however I am a long standing member of Eastern Landlords Assoc who used to be good, don't know whether I'm going to bother renewing my membership this year though all zoom meetings which I can never connect to, bit of a waste of time now.

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    Jo, its so impossible we had all that with the HMO requirements trying to comply under duress and obstructed. Change for fire doors, locks, hinges, closers, sometimes tames, stops, seals

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    Jo, fire alarms interlinked, emergency lights, second kitchen sink, second cooker (not necessary man bringing food on moped), every room full of their belongings. What time are you coming, how long will it take you, what time are you going, are not finished yet, you are rising dust, you are making too much noise, are you sure you should be doing this, omg what a nightmare how can a LL be expected to suffer so much.
    Jo. I can’t see why you can’t put them up in a Hotel while you are doing the work that would be good wouldn’t it, we are required to do everything else at our own expense.

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    G Dug. Sorry I have a few more problems the kitchen is open plan with the living room and the kitchen units are in the way, also is the Boiler.
    I won’t mention the bath room.
    Let me have a look in the bedroom, those cursed fitted wardrobes..

  • David Saunders

    Sounds like Eddie Hughes is preparing to throw the baby out with the bathwater so last PRS landlord to leave turn the lights out.

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    Hard to keep track of posts on here, the times are all a mixed up, like the HMO’s public record one here there and everywhere.


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