The activist group Generation Rent is backing a call by MPs for the government to tighten up proposals to scrap Section 21 evictions.
The MPs are in the cross-party Levelling Up, Housing and Communities committee.
Its report – Reforming The Private Rented Sector – expresses concerns that the government’s White Paper, delivered back in June last year, may have a negative impact on the student private rental sector market and highlights what it sees as the threat to the sector of the rise in holiday-lets.
The report warns that the government’s proposed ‘sales and occupations’ grounds for eviction, outlined in the White Paper, could be “too easily exploited by bad landlords and become a backdoor to no-fault evictions”.
The committee recommends a series of changes to the sales and occupation grounds to help combat what it calls “unfair eviction and insecurity of tenure.”
The report welcomes the government’s plans to introduce a legally binding decent homes standard but points to a series of obstacles threatening the ability of local councils to enforce the standard, including precarious local government finances, shortage of qualified enforcement staff, and a lack of reliable data.
The report recommends the government introduce a tougher civil penalties regime in the proposed renters reform bill to ensure councils have the capability to collect financial penalties on landlords who breach standards.
Responding to the report Baroness Alicia Kennedy, the director of Generation Rent, says:
“Private renters will never enjoy stability in their lives or have the power to complain about their home if they can be evicted without the landlord needing a reason.
“The committee is spot on with its warning that the proposed new eviction grounds could be too easily exploited by bad landlords and leave renters vulnerable to unfair evictions.
“When landlords sell up, renters should get more protection from eviction including measures to encourage sales of tenanted properties and longer notice periods.
“The report also shows the increasing political understanding of the need to control the rise of the holiday let sector, which takes homes away from renters in tourist hotspots, and for greater efforts to improve energy efficiency in private rented homes.
“Private renters have been especially exposed to the rising cost of living, with rising rents and draughty homes.”
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