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Tenants have already waited two years for reform, warns Baroness

The most vocal campaign group for tenants, Generation Rent, has warned government that renters have already been waiting two years for reform.

Baroness Alicia Kennedy, director of the campaign, has demanded that the government use the coming months - before introducing promised new legislation - to “make sure the private rental market is suitable for all the people who now depend on it.”

Baroness Kennedy’s comments have come in response to the government’s commitment, made in yesterday’s Queen’s Speech, that there will be progress on the Renters’ Reform Bill, first mooted in 2019.


It now appears there will be a White Paper in the autumn, paving the way for legislation after a consultation period. 

The government has indicated its proposals will address Generation Rent’s demand for the scrapping of existing Section 21 eviction powers, improving landlords’ right to possession under Section 8, and introducing so-called lifetime deposits which make it easier and cheaper for tenants to move between rental properties.

Baroness Kennedy says: “While the government’s intentions are positive, renters have already been waiting for tenancy reforms for two years. The government rightly wants to learn the lessons of the pandemic but must use the months ahead to make sure that the private rental market is suitable for all the people who now depend on it.”

She says the pandemic has shown everyone the importance of a secure and decent home but claims “11m private renters just don’t have this, when they can lose their home at their landlord’s whim.”

She continues: “The government’s recommitment to abolishing Section 21 evictions is welcome, and we will work closely with the government to make sure these reforms ensure renters can enjoy long term homes and a better relationship with their landlord.

“Generation Rent has campaigned for a landlord register for years so it is welcome that the government will now consider it. Renters in Scotland and Wales can check online that their landlord is legitimate – introducing this to England would help drive criminal landlords out of the market and give renters a way to complain about mistreatment.

“The government has recommitted to reforming the deposits system, which is one of the biggest barriers to people moving home in the private rented sector. It is difficult to save five weeks’ rent to put down a deposit when your existing one is tied up in the current property. 

“The government must also make sure the process of getting your deposit back is fair, to give renters trust in the system.”

Meanwhile Shelter, the campaigning charity, took to Twitter to say: "The Queens Soeech means we're one step closer to ensuring every private renter can have a decent place to call home, thanks to a promise for a Renter's Reform Bill. We're ready to work with the government to scrap Section 21 'no fault' evictions and introduce a landlord register.

"The pandemic has been unbelievably hard on renters who’ve had to battle poor conditions, illegal evictions and indifferent landlords, without the protections they deserve. The government is doing the right thing by making renting fairer and safer for all."

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    The govt have kicked this piece of regulation into the long grass. “Consultation with industry” and a “white paper” all mean delays. I’m staggered shelter and GR can’t see through this, esp after two years of waiting, all they’ve got is a commitment to look at this area with no mention of a Bill.


    The have already done a consulation, back in 2019 I think

  • jeremy clarke

    Lifetime deposits! At what point could this possibly work? What if tenants have damaged property or are in arrears or haven't cleaned on day of vacation? Who will lose out, current landlord with losses or new landlord with no money left over for deposit? Time for polly to step up and underwrite all deposits, after all she seems to think that all tenants are good and all landlords are the devils.

  • icon

    “Renters can lose their home at a landlord’s whim”. Yes, I often wake up and think which of my tenants can I give notice to today? After all, when they go I just have to spruce up the property, advertise, reference new applicants, do right to rent checks, make sure I have given them the umpteen different pieces of paper the government insists they have, prepare a tenancy agreement, have them checked in by an inventory clerk, protect their deposit and issue the prescribed information. Then there is the worry about will they look after the property as well as the previous tenants did.

    Yes, Alicia, I do enjoy those whims instead of keeping a good tenant who looks after the property and pays rent on time. Alicia, you are, like a lot of politicians, A FOOL.


    • JH
    • 12 May 2021 10:54 AM

    You don't give notice to a good tenant without a good reason but that is simply not true of the market in general. I have worked at letting agencies where tenants have been served notice just to keep the available stock high.
    How many of us can honestly say we have never made an eviction decision prejudiced by our personal dislike for a tenant? No-fault possession has to go, but we need a Section 8 route that actually works.
    The market has changed, tenants are now customers.


    @ JH you say "I have worked at letting agencies where tenants have been served notice just to keep the available stock high."

    Frankly I don't believe you, especially now that there is a ban on tenant fees.


  • icon

    SECTION 21 IS VITAL FOR SHARED HMO'S - Old post but most info still relevant

    Having met my local MP at his surgery I’d encourage all Landlords to do the same - voice your concerns and impact over scrapping section 21!!

    The student and young professional shared HMO rental market needs fixed term tenancies and the vehicle of section 21 to accommodate this, plus give sufficient swift support to deal with antisocial behaviour and other matters if occurring in a HMO. Otherwise the other decent tenants would be continued to be affected and ultimately their safe enjoyment compromised by their antisocial housemate, leading to all sort of other issues.

    Fixed term tenancies and the great benefit they bring to all parties in shared HMO are too long to list here, but fundamentally provide good quality accommodation to young professionals at a competitive price point, allowing them to save and getting on the property ladder themselves.

    S21 is vital for safe and professional management of shared HMO's. Without this a problematic tenant will be able to cause total havoc and destress to their fellow housemates. A lot of anti-social behaviour by problematic tenants would be very difficult to prove in court and it is not fair to the decent housemates that the landlord will not able to deal with matter fairly and swiftly.

    The government need look at the very different rental demographic, all across the UK and not as they have done with the tenant fee ban, role out “one size fits all” changes.

    The proposed changes will again have a detrimental effect on decent tenants in fairly managed shared HMO’s and completely go against the governments goal of providing good quality shared and safe rental accommodation as a fair price!

    The recent S21 consultation completely ignored the HMO shared rental sub market and the Ministry of Housing actually advised that it was more targeted at "single household rentals" and HMO shared rental Landlords would be best to use the "other" box to feed back their response.

    In a government document, there were an estimated 497,000 HMOs in England and Wales at the end of March 2018. How is it possible that so many HMO have not been recognised, or their landlords even encouraged to reply to the consultation?

    This is fundamentally a flawed consultation and strongly suspect that the HMO shared rental students and young professional market will not be excluded from the abolition of S21.

    The Ministry of Housing Confirmed the process would be:-

    1) 12 week consultation
    2) Info analyses and report written to government
    3) Government would decide if to raise a bill
    4) As primary legislation, would require a vote my MP’s in parliament.

    Would urge HMO landlords to contact their MP and also these parties (subject to who currently resides as Housing Secretaries):-

    Robert Jenrick – Housing Secretary

    House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
    Tel: ‪020 7219 7335‬
    Email: robert.jenrick.mp@parliament.uk

    John Healey – Shadow

    House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
    Tel: ‪020 7219 6359‬
    Email: john.healey.mp@parliament.uk

    Plus copy in the NRLA, who currently support this for studenst let

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    JH - How many of us can honestly say we have never made an eviction decision prejudiced by our personal dislike for a tenant?

    Actually I have done when I have an ungrateful moaning tenant. One that is looking for problems in the property to mask their late payments. The ones that say "I'm paying your mortgage off" You know the ones that couldnt get credit to buy a toaster. The ones you dread when you get a missed call off them. When I got rid of those and INSISTED on pleasant people who can communicate without grunting my life was instantly improved. When Section 21 goes any tenant that causes a problem & has a bad attitude & the sale board goes up

  • James B

    Landlords need to up their game now and make homeowner working guarantors standard .. get some proper protection


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