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Call for national register and indefinite tenancies for rental sector

A charity is calling for a new national body to oversee the private rental sector.

Citizens Advice makes this one of three demands it wants from the forthcoming Renters’ Reform Bill, expected to be introduced into the House of Commons before the summer break.

It wants: 


- a new National Housing Body and register to set consistent standards, give tenants greater protection, and - in its words - “help responsible landlords”;

- an end to Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions as promised by the government in 2019;

- indefinite tenancies used as standard, “to give renters more certainty and flexibility, and reduce their exposure to annual rent increases.”

Alistair Cromwell, acting chief executive of Citizens Advice, says: “The government’s eviction ban helped private tenants feel more secure during the pandemic. But it’s been a case of papering over the cracks.

“Our research paints a disturbing picture of a private rental market in which tenants pay high rents on badly maintained properties, while living in constant fear that any complaint could result in summary eviction.

“The Renters’ Reform Bill is an opportunity to lay better foundations for a more equitable private rental market which provides better quality housing and helps tenants feel more settled in their homes.”

In the first two months of this year, Citizens Advice claims it saw a 40 per cent increase in people seeking one-to-one advice on issues relating to the private rented sector compared to the same period in 2020. 

Polling by Citizens Advice, through its national Tenants’ Voice panel, shows private renters are still concerned by the threat of eviction despite the current ban. A third said they had been worried about the issue in the last three months.

Figures from the charity's website show In the first two months of the year 69,000 people viewed its advice pages dealing with problems related to private tenancies.

Citizens Advice claims also to have helped 16,530 people with one-to-one advice on these issues in the same two-month period. “That’s one every minute during office hours” it says. 

This includes 29 per cent who had problems with repairs or maintenance; nine per cent worried about possession action not related to rent arrears; five per cent who reported harassment by their landlord; and four per cent who wanted help with a possible illegal eviction.

The Tenants’ Voice panel also found two thirds of those surveyed had experienced problems with maintenance or disrepair in the last three months. 

  • jeremy clarke

    Indefinite tenancies are available, it's called public sector housing! More drivel from an organisation that does more harm than good to the PRS.

  • icon

    .......................'Charities' are not part of the democratically elected government........... their interference now needs to be controlled by our democratically elected government............

  • icon

    Perhaps Alistair Cromwell should use some of his "Charidee's" millions to rent some properties out and gt some real experience as a landlord before talking out of the wrong end.

  • Philip Drake

    The article suggests that the respondents in the poll are visitors to the charity’s website. Consequently the data is probably skewed towards tenants and, more so, those tenants who are experiencing an issue with their landlord/tenancy.

    Clearly this skewing will provide in-depth details of issues, however it provides a massively invalid view of the context. ie analysing the 5% of the rental population which have complaints does not reflect the issues of the whole 100% of the total rental population.

    To produce a balanced analysis the poll sample should include a representative population ie include landlords, council/housing association tenants and owner occupiers etc.

    I would suggest that most landlords are fair and it is the small minority of landlords that take advantage of the tenant’s situation.

    If the fair landlords were not taxed as harshly, nor treated with such vilification, as they now are then they would be better able to afford the necessary repairs and would feel more confident in improving the quality of their properties. Indeed, owner occupiers are not subjected to the same housing standards required of the private rental sector. I’m not confident that the public rental sector has the same standards to meet either.

  • Philip Drake

    To fine tune Fedup Landlord’s comment... a charity’s head is better placed to comment if they are, in this case, a landlord with several years experience across a wide spread of geographic, demographic tenancies across economic cycles and has/had experience as a tenant.


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