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Government 'has given into landlords' claim campaigners

renters reform bill ben twomey

The Renters Reform Bill will be a failure in its current form unless ministers urgently table amendments that better protect renters, a tenant group has warned.

Lobbying group the Renters Reform Coalition (RRC) says its concerns have not been taken seriously, with ministers ‘meeting lobbyists for landlords and estate agents twice as often as they met groups representing renters’, the group complains.

A ‘fundamentally weak’ Bill was further watered down by amendments tabled by Housing Secretary Michael Gove last week that lock renters in for the first six months of a tenancy and indefinitely delay the abolition of section 21, according to the group.

Government backtracking has resulted in a Bill that abolishes section 21 in name only, the RRC believes.

“There is no guarantee it would ever fully abolish section 21, and even then, the new tenancy system set to replace it will be little better,” its statement released today says.

“This legislation is intended to give the impression of improving conditions for renters, but in fact it preserves the central power imbalance at the root of why renting in England is in crisis.”

The coalition has urged ministers to enact its proposals, including giving tenants four months’ notice when they are evicted rather than the proposed two months and protecting renters from eviction under the new landlord circumstances grounds for the first two years of a tenancy, rather than the proposed six months.

It also wants strong safeguards to prevent unscrupulous landlords abusing the new grounds for eviction and a limit on in-tenancy rent increases at the lowest of either inflation or wage growth.

Ben Twomey (main image), chief executive of Generation Rent, adds: “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 Bill and its latest amendments are due to be debated in Parliament today.


Renters reform bill