The Renters Reform Coalition - a collection of some 20 activist groups and charities demanding changes to the private rental sector - claims to have widespread public support.
A poll for the coalition, carried out with a sample of 4,295 voters in England between October 17 and 20, apparently shows strong public support for the proposals in the Renters Reform Bill, with strong majority support for measures that go beyond those contained in the potential legislation.
Some 72 per cent of respondents supporting a ban on Section 21 evictions and 71 per cent backed increasing the notice landlords are required to give tenants from two months, as proposed in the Bill, to four months.
Some 62 per cent of respondents supported measures to protect renters from eviction for the first two years of their tenancy; currently, there is a six-month ‘protected period’ proposed in the Bill.
And the coalition claims the survey shows that 68 per cent support controls to prevent private rents increasing beyond the rate of wage or price inflation.
The results also show the Conservative Party support falling with only 47 per cent of past voters now saying they will back the party at the next General Election, expected next year. Among private renters overall, just 15 per cent intend to vote Tory.
Tom Darling, campaign manager at the RRC, says: “It’s shocking that we are only now at Second Reading of this Bill – in the four years since the promise to end no-fault evictions was first made, more than 100,000 have been put at risk of homelessness as a result of a Section 21.
“If that isn’t a good enough reason for some of these pro-landlord MPs to vote for this bill, then they should be warned that our polling today shows broad public support for pro-renter measures in the bill and even those that go well beyond the legislation – including from Conservative voters.
“And there’s a particular warning for the Conservative party who, perhaps contrary to the received wisdom, had one in four of their voters from 2019 live in the private rented sector. That support is now in freefall.
“So the RRC are calling on all MPs to support this legislation – then we will be working in parliament to strengthen the legislation with longer notice periods, more security, more requirements on landlords to provide decent quality homes, and a measure to restrict in-tenancy rent increases.
“Only then will England’s 11m private renters see the transformation to our housing experience that we so desperately need.”