On the anniversary of the Queen’s Speech, 19 leading organisations supporting private renters have formed a new Renters Reform Coalition, which is calling on the government to deliver a fairer housing system for private renters.
Made up of national housing charities, campaigners, renters unions, advice centres and think tanks, the Renters Reform Coalition is calling on the government to use the upcoming Renters’ Reform Bill to end section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions, improve the condition of privately rented homes, and create a system within which renters feel empowered to stand up for their rights.
The coalition argues that the Renters’ Reform Bill is a chance to go beyond tenancy reform and change the landscape of renting for the better.
The coalition believes “everyone needs a safe, affordable and secure home, where they can live and flourish, but for too many private renters, this is out of reach”.
In the midst of a public health crisis, thousands of private renters faced mounting debt, eviction, harassment by their landlords and unsafe homes which put their health at risk, according to the coalition.
Thousands of households are now facing the threat of eviction and millions are worried about how they will pay their rent over the winter months.
Rent arrears have doubled since the onset of the pandemic, and 350,000 households have had their landlord discuss eviction with them already.
The government has banned bailiffs from evicting renters, but these protections come to an end on 11 January.
The coalition is calling for the government to extend these protections to renters under tier two and three restrictions and keep tenants safe for the duration of the pandemic.
The coalition will work with government and others to ensure that the Renters’ Reform Bill redesigns the housing system and ensures all renters have access to a safe, affordable and secure home, where they can live and flourish.
Bridget Young, programme manager at the Nationwide Foundation, said: “The government has pledged to end section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions, and one year ago we welcomed its plans to reform private renting in the upcoming Renters’ Reform Bill.
“This bill is an opportunity to redesign our housing system, creating a fairer balance between renters and landlords.
“Implemented correctly, these reforms are also a chance to improve the safety, security and condition of privately rented homes.
“We are looking forward to working with the government and other partners, to take this opportunity to deliver a more just housing system.
“The coalition is a broad group but we are united in our belief that everyone needs a safe, affordable and secure home, where they can live and flourish.”