In the News
Rental reform - no-fault evictions to be banned
Back in the 1980s the Conservative Government's Right To Buy scheme allowed many low income families to get onto the property ladder by being able to buy their council house at a discounted price. This dream of home ownership seemed out of reach to many, yet suddenly they could own their homes and not spend years and years paying rent and still not feeling secure or having a home to leave to their children when the time had come. It also meant that local governments were no longer responsible for the upkeep of these properties so that meant more money for them. It seemed a win win all round.
However, the Right to Buy scheme also decimated council housing stock. Today the waiting list for council homes is shocking with many people waiting several years to be housed. So in the meantime they are forced into the private rental sector where rents are much higher as landlords are renting for profit. Currently around 11 million people rent properties in the private sector across England, including some of the most vulnerable people in the country.
The new Renters Reform Bill has outlined a number of improvements that should improve the quality of life for those in the private rented sector, including making it illegal for landlords to refuse tenancies to families with children, and making it much harder for landlords for refuse pet ownership. The bill will also make it illegal for landlords to refuse to rent their properties to benefit claimants.
Another important part of the bill is to bring an end to 'no-fault' evictions - where landlords are able to evict tenants without a reason. Over the last 4 years almost 250,000 private renters have been served with no-fault eviction notices, which are usually given after tenants complain about the state of the property and request essential maintenance, or complain about rent hikes.
Landlords are able to serve these eviction notices as they know that there are more people looking for homes to rent than there are homes available, so they will be able to find a new tenant easily, even if there are all sorts of issues with the property. Unfortunately this leaves some of the most vulnerable people in the country paying high rents for substandard properties, with issues such as mould which can have a huge impact on health.
Housing campaigners say that the Renters Reform Bill will give tenants the right to a safe, secure and affordable homes, free from arbitrary evictions and escalating rent increases.
This story is useful for Stratification - particularly looking at the issue of poverty.