The government’s decision to wait until the pandemic ends before introducing its controversial rental reform proposals is at odds with the approach taken with NHS reforms and could harm renters, a leading group of MPs has said.

In the MHCLG Select Committee’s latest report following the inquiry into the impact of Covid on homelessness and the private rented sector, it has called on the government to urgently introduce the proposals, reminding it that the Health Secretary had told the Commons the pandemic made the NHS reforms “more not less urgent”.

The committee says: “The same logic applies to the rental reform proposals and the urgent need to remove section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions.

“If the government does not abolish section 21 before we come out of the pandemic, there will be serious consequences for renters.”

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Government response

In its response, the government says the proposals will be the largest change to renting in 30 years and it is only right that it takes the time to deliver a balanced set of reforms.

It adds: “In the coming months, the government will work with key sector voices to inform reforms of how the private rented sector operates in England, and to learn lessons from our emergency response measures during the pandemic.”

But the government has rebuffed all of the committee’s recommendations, defending its route out of the evictions ban and the decision not to introduce tenant loans.

It adds: “Taken together, the measures we have put in place, including restrictions on evictions and bailiff enforcement, new court rules and financial support have protected some of the most vulnerable in our society.

“However, as highlighted by the committee, we recognise that there is still more to do. We will ensure lasting impact beyond the pandemic to provide clear routes out of homelessness and long-term security for those within the private rented sector.”

Read more about evictions.

4 COMMENTS

  1. I find it offensive as a landlord in the private sector to be told continuously how to run my business. I am first in line to protect innocent parties from rogue landlords and support a lot of the regulations. However private, honest, hard working landlord’s in the private sector have been given a very bad hand since 2015. It is hardly surprising that many of us wish to sell up and move on.
    If the government and the councils are not happy with how the private rental sector works then they should consider building housing for low income and vulnerable people instead of selling off their land and car parks to large developers at the highest bid who then inundate the market with extremely high end unaffordable housing! This is not a myth but reality from 2 faced councils. I have seen it with my own eyes in London.
    Many landlords have suffered a lot during the pandemic with tenants not paying rent and have fallen behind not due to covid related issues but simply have chosen to spend their money on other things. Meanwhile we still are waiting for evictions, back rent that we will most likely never receive and more delays, because the government has been unable to pit into place a fair and simple guidance to the courts to separate legitimate covid related cases from just downright dishonest people choosing not to pay rent. No one has been paying my mortgages and costs and expenses but we are expected to survive, and in addition may in the future no longer be able to decide if and when we want to sell our properties because Section 21 can no longer be served? we also need to survive and make life changing decisions that affect our well being and mental health. And as JC mentions above section 21 are not “no fault evictions”

  2. Well said Helen Boy. I too am sick of landlord bashing! They want to look at the appalling state of housing association properties as highlighted on TV recently, a private landlord would be up in court if they rented out properties in conditions as shown. And don’t get me started on Shelter and their continuous landlord bashing.

  3. When will the idiot anti-LL rhetoric that there is no real tenancy security realise that if course there is NO security!!!

    Tenants have the ability to rent at property at the gift of the LL.

    If the LL chooses not to let then that is what will occur and the tenant will have to vacate.

    Tenants just have to hope that their LL wishes to continue in the AST sector.

    The problem is that due to all the anti-LL legislation many LL are choosing to stop AST lettings.

    That is just TOUGH for tenants.

    A LL may do what they wish with their assets.

    If a LL chooses to not take on AST tenants then that is what will happen.

    No tenant can presume their LL will choose to stay in the AST business.

    Renting privately by it’s very nature will always be justifiably precarious.

    Tenants have homes at the gift of the LL.

    Any further attempts to control what LL do with their private assets will simply result in LL leaving the single household rental sector.

    With the impossibility of being able to get rid of rent defaulting tenants quickly many LL are selling up.

    They are no longer prepared to risk long eviction periods.

    Leveraged LL are particularly vulnerable to feckless rent defaulting tenants.

    Already tenants are finding a shortage of rental property and rents are increasing. This situation will continue.

    Scheduled to become even further exacerbated by further anti-LL regulations.

    Any regulations which prevent or restrict LL from being in control of his assets will result in such LL leaving the normal tenancy sector.

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