min read

Labour report says tenants should be given 'rights charter'

labour report rented sector

A Labour-commissioned review of the private rented sector has called for a new renters’ charter to strengthen tenants’ rights and a mandatory National Landlords Register to help enforce compliance.

Its report - by the Labour Housing Group, one of the party’s affiliated socialist societies - is now being positioned as an independent evidence-based discussion document, in the run-up to the election.

The charter includes promises for tenants to have the right to keep pets, the right to make reasonable alterations to ensure their house feels like a home, and the right to request speedy repairs. It would also end automatic evictions for rent arrears and Section 21 evictions and introduce four-month notice periods for landlords, along with a National Landlords Register and a promise to make deposits more portable, fairer, and more flexible.

Agent licencing

It suggests licensing for letting agents and a new code of practice, ensuring all agents must be sufficiently qualified.

A legally binding ‘Decent Homes Standard 2’ would apply to all PRS buildings including affordable warmth standards, a mission to decarbonise homes, requirements for modern ventilation and reasonable standards for internet connectivity.

A new landlords’ code of conduct would provide a helpful guide to landlords about their rights and responsibilities, detailing required standards that need to be met.

Both the code and the charter would be underpinned by a comprehensive mandatory National Landlords Register to measure required compliance with a series of legally enforced standards.

If landlords were forced to submit compliance data each year, the report says this would reduce the burden of inspection on both good landlords and the authorities charged with enforcement.

It adds, as was leaked last week that rent stabilization measures - that restrict the increase of rent within tenancies but not between them - are essential and should be used to limit increases within tenancies to the lower of local wage growth and CPI.

Read the report in full.


“The Private Rented Sector Commission’s Independent Review into the Private Rented Sector in England sheds light on much needed areas of reform including around increasing standards and improving affordability," says Timothy Douglas (pictured), Head of Policy and Campaigns at Propertymark.

Having provided input into the Commission’s work, Propertymark is pleased to see a focus on professionalising the sector and equalising tax across long and short-term letting... [but the] Review places too much emphasis on rent control or rent stabilisation measures without understanding the impact of rent cap measures we have seen in Scotland.

"Essentially, the way to bring down the cost of renting is to increase the supply of homes to rent."


Rent controls