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Powerless councils could make or break reforms, says Labour MP

bailiff eviction|

A Labour MP has called on the government to extend notice periods from two to four months to prevent landlords from unjustly evicting tenants.

Yvonne Fovargue, MP for Makerfield in Greater Manchester, believes the notice periods set out in the Renters Reform Bill - with the longest being two months and the shortest two weeks depending on the type of eviction notice used '� are a flaw in the legislation, that also lacks support for authorities to act on injustices.

Enforcement powers

'I would like to see measures in the Bill to strengthen enforcement powers, require councils to report on enforcement activity and allow them to cap the advance rent that local landlords can request,'� she tells Wigan Today. 'The government owes local authorities an explanation of why it has neglected to give them the means to ensure the new legislation is successfully enacted.'�

Fovargue says while landlords who are dealing with antisocial behaviour or even criminal activity from their tenants should be supported in reclaiming their properties, the government must ensure that such exemptions can't be exploited by bad-faith landlords to unjustly evict tenants.

Benefit claimants

'It is also troubling that the Bill does not include a ban on landlords refusing to rent to benefit claimants or those with children,'� she says. 'This oversight should be reviewed and amended.'�

Fovargue adds: 'After years of delay, broken promises and arguments amongst themselves, the private rented sector increasingly resembles the wild west and it's far from clear that this government can deliver.'�

Instead, Labour's Renters' Charter would ban section 21 evictions, end automatic evictions for rent arrears, introduce a national register of landlords, make deposits fairer and more flexible, permit pets, allow tenants to make reasonable alterations to their home, require landlords to give four-month notice periods, and give tenants the right to request speedy repairs.


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