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Dismay as renting reforms finally hit the buffers

renters reform bill

The Renters (Reform) Bill has been abandoned and must now go back to the drawing board after years of uncertainty and political wrangling.

Much to the dismay of tenant and landlord groups, Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt did not include the Bill as she laid out legislation which could be rushed through by MPs ahead of Parliament being prorogued today, during the ‘wash-up’ period.

Shadow housing minister Matthew Pennycook has pledged that Labour will deliver where the Tories have failed. He says: “The Tories’ decision to cave in to vested interests and abandon the Renters Reform Bill leaves in tatters the promises they made to private tenants five years ago. Labour will pass renters reform legislation that levels decisively the playing field between landlords and tenants.”

Abandoned promise

The Liberal Democrats housing spokesperson Helen Morgan described it as “another Conservative promise abandoned and left in a ditch”.

Generation Rent has slammed the government for failing in its promise to renters at the last election to deliver a fairer tenancy system. Chief executive Ben Twomey says it now falls to the next parliament to start afresh and get it right at the second time of asking. “Whoever forms the next government must make rental reform a key part of their agenda,” asserts Twomey. “This means proper protections from evictions when we have done nothing wrong, and limits on unaffordable rent rises so we can’t be turfed on to the streets at a landlord's whim.”

Crippling uncertainty

NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle says after too much dither and delay in government and a failure to be clear about how to ensure changes would work in practice, the market now faces yet more crippling uncertainty about what the future of the private rented sector looks like.

“Reforming the sector will be an important issue for the next government and we will work constructively with them to ensure changes are fair and workable,” adds Beadle. “That means empowering tenants to challenge rogue and criminal landlords whilst ensuring the confidence of responsible landlords to stay in the market.”


Renters reform bill
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