The NHC calls on the government to meet Renters Reform Bill pledges

Last week it was widely reported that the government intend to weaken some elements of Renters Reform Bill, through a series of amendments, when the Bill returns to the House of Commons this month.

Principle among those changes is extending the period within which a tenant cannot give notice that they wish to end their tenancy from two to six months. The government also intends to review existing arrangements around landlord licensing schemes overseen by local authorities in line with the reforms made through the Bill.

Finally, the reports further confirm that the government does not intend to abolish Section 21 or ‘no fault’ evictions until reforms to the court system have been implemented.

The NHC has consistently supported the aims of the Renters Reform Bill, to improve quality in the private rental sector, and to closer align the security of tenancies offered in the private and social rental sectors. We are disappointed that the government intends to water down the proposals in the Bill.

Tracy Harrison, Chief Executive of the Northern Housing Consortium said:

“We are pleased the Renters’ Reform Bill will progress through Parliament, but disappointed by reports it is being watered down. The decision to delay the abolition of Section 21 evictions effectively kicks the issue into the long-grass and could weaken protections for tenants. Government must set a date when the assessment on the impact on the courts of these changes will be complete.

“Government must also continue with its commitment to apply the Decent Homes Standard to the Private Rental Sector and set out a plan for improving the energy efficiency of private rented homes. Across the North bringing all private rent homes to EPC C will cost around £5.4bn.

“Meanwhile a review of local authority licensing schemes aimed at reducing the burden on landlords could weaken one of the few tools available to improve the quality of private rented homes.

“Our recent Living in Fear Report highlighted the negative impacts of living in poor quality private rented housing. One of its key recommendations was the speedy progress of the Renters’ Reform Bill through Parliament.”