Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has used a holiday season interview to repeat his pledge to swing powers back towards private tenants if his party wins power.
In an interview in the online newspaper The Independent, Corbyn says that so-called no-fault evictions - which the party leader claims allows landlords or their agents to evict renters on a whim and without reason – have contributed to rising homelessness.
He says in the interview that families are disrupted by evictions because children have to move schools, while insecurity is rife amongst individual renters and communities are broken up when tenants have to move away from an area.
He told the paper: “I am very committed to housing and dealing with homelessness. I think it’s a moral litmus test for the country: do we just put up with so many rough sleepers or do we do something about it. What we would do is bring in a more regulated private rented system with particular emphasis on longer tenancies.”
Corbyn said that on mainland Europe and elsewhere the powers in the private rental sector were more evenly distributed.
“It’s a power relationship that is not remotely fair. Every other country in Europe has some degree of private sector regulation – most cities in the United States do with the odd one out and this was abolished, basically, by the Thatcher government.”
He continued: ”As you know I’ve spent a lot of my life very concerned about housing and remain so. At the moment we have a largely deregulated private rented sector in Britain and people can be evicted or have their tenancy terminated at the end of six months for no reason whatsoever.
“The stress levels on people concerned is incredible. I get it all the time from constituents because a third of my constituents are private renters. I am very determined to bring some order and stability to their lives by longer tenancies and eviction that can only be there for good reason rather than just what can be retaliatory eviction.”