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Renters reform bill in current form will fail to give renters security

LEGISLATION aimed at protecting renters will fail in its current form to properly abolish Section 21 no-fault evictions and give tenants security in their homes, campaign groups have warned.

The long-delayed Renters (Reform) Bill, which promises to provide renters with protections, is returning to Parliament today following major concessions made to the landlord lobby.

These include the indefinite delay of the no-fault eviction ban, which leaves renters homeless, pending court reforms.

Last week, the London Renters Union (LRU) marked the fifth anniversary of the Tories’ promise to abolish Section 21 by serving a four-metre-high eviction notice to Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Secretary Michael Gove’s front door.

More than 80,000 households have faced homelessness as a result of Section 21 in the years since the government’s pledge, according to analysis of official data by the Renters’ Reform Coalition.

And more than 300,000 renters were forced out of their homes last year by rent increases alone.

LRU campaigns officer Siobhan Donnachie said: “In its current state, the Tories’ Bill will fail to give renters any real security in our homes.

“After five long years, there is still no end in sight to the slew of evictions forcing tens of thousands of us into homelessness.

“Michael Gove has shown more interest in protecting the profits of his mates in the landlord lobby than ensuring everyone in this country has a secure place to call home.

“Renters have had enough of the Tories and their broken promises.”

She also urged Labour to step up and commit to protect renters from “unfair eviction and unaffordable rent hikes.”

Ben Twomey, chief executive of campaign group Generation Rent, backed LRU’s warning, saying that the Bill does not deliver the original promise that landlords will “no longer be able to unexpectedly evict families with only eight weeks’ notice.”

He said: “Everyone deserves to feel secure in their own home, which is why the government committed to end Section 21 no-fault evictions over five years ago.

“Renters were promised once-in-a-generation change, but if this Bill passes in its current form, we could still be just a couple of months away from homelessness, even if we play by all the rules set by landlords.”

The groups said a strengthened Bill would include tenants being protected from eviction under new no-fault grounds — such as when landlords move or sell — for two years, rather than six months, as well as longer notice periods.

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