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Graham Awards


Renters Reform Bill - politicians demand series of extra restrictions

The co-leader of the Green Party wants the Renters Reform Bill to go further in restricting the powers of private landlords.

Carla Denyer says she welcomes the government’s plans to end no fault evictions but urges Housing Secretary Michael Gove to “go much further to protect those facing unaffordable rent increases” in the middle of a cost of living crisis.

She says: “Everyone deserves a place to call home, and so I welcome the government’s plans to end no fault evictions, but this is an opportunity to go much further and help the thousands of people who are trapped in the private rental market by spiralling rents that bear no relationship to incomes.


“In the short term we need to see an immediate rent freeze, to go alongside an eviction ban, to prevent people being made homeless during this cost of living crisis.

“And then in the longer term, I want to see councils being given the power to bring in rent controls in areas where the housing market is overheated. 

“At the same time, we need much stricter controls on the type of new homes being built to include more affordable and social housing for buying and renting.”

In Scotland the Green Party is in a loose alliance with the Scottish National Party to form a majority in the Scottish Parliament, and it is the Greens who are the driving force behind the rent freeze and rent controls which have hit the private rental sector there over the past nine months or so.

Research by letting agents’ trade body Propertymark has shown that increasing numbers of Scottish landlords are looking to exit the market. 

In November 2022, 69 per cent of agents said they had seen an increase in notices to sell, this had risen to a shocking 97 per cent by earlier this month.

The trade body says that with each available rental property across the UK receiving an average of 10 applications, the issue of lack of supply and rising demand is only getting worse. Propertymark has again called on the Scottish Government to discuss working options with industry professionals, the ongoing temporary nature of the rent controls is causing more instability in an already fractured market.

In April the Scottish Government introduced a higher rental cap of three per cent but Propertymark member agents say this is not nearly enough to cover outgoings, with one landlord seeing an increase in their mortgage payments from £151 to £560, a rise of 270 per cent, due to interest rate rises.

Furthermore, all other services and trades have not been penalised by a cap on their charges, meaning that maintenance, admin and energy bills have all risen, putting further pressure on landlords.

  • icon

    Green by name, green by nature. Will she also suggest a freeze on mortgages or are landlords now supposed to subsidise tenants? Next she will wonder where the rental properties have all gone.

  • Barry X

    Not surprised the Greens want to stick the knife in even further....

    What DOES surprise me though is that none of them have thought yet of "demanding" that landlords stop charging rent and start *paying*tenants to live in their properties "to help the most vulnerable people in society with the cost of living crisis".

    Now THAT would be closer to what they really have in mind and therefore far more honest.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    So they want local councils given rent control and eviction ban powers but not mandated to, I don't know, build more social housing? I really want to support the Greens but absolute batsh*t stuff like this makes it impossible.
    Maybe we should propose that all employers have to increase salaries to ensure rents stay within an affordable ratio and see how quickly there is a kickback on that (apparently its only landlords that should be taxed on revenue AND have fees and repossession controlled by gov).
    I know they have won their first local election but lets not get carried away here folks.

    Barry X

    Gosh @KB... rather surprisingly I actually like and agree with *some* of your post… not enough of it to actually click the button but, even so, enough of it to make the effort to respond by saying so! I think this is a first for us – and hopefully won’t be the last?

    The bit I like is your suggestion that they should “...propose all employers have to increase salaries to ensure rents stay within an affordable ratio…” then see what happens.

    Personally, if it were up to me (which thankfully its not because I’d hate to be in charge of this sinking-ship of a nation and trying to steer it between the rocks as it ploughs ahead, ever lower in the waterline, with all the public service below decks – including rudder and engine controls – all disconnected and rusting away)...

    ...but I digress...

    ...as I was saying; IF it were up to me I’d hold a very special sort of referendum on this... one where *everyone* gets what they wanted! How? By asking them to vote EITHER for an increase in tax to raise a fund to pay-off (on a first come first served basis) tenant rental arrears where the tenant (and I’m sure there will be plenty) can show the arrears were due only to the cost of living crisis OR for a reduction in personal tax. Those that vote for the increase then have to pay more tax and those that vote for the reduction get the reduction they asked for... so everyone is happy and, best of all, all the self-styled Greens can vote for their increased tax, and have the feel-good, holier-than-thou, told-you-so pleasure of paying it, without burdening everyone else with the increased costs of their policy...

    ...anyhow it’s just a thought... what do you think? If the Greens really believed in their own policies they’d have to vote for it and expect all their supporters (or maybe I should call them “believers”) to vote for it too!

  • icon

    It seems that these days most politicians are plain incompetent, but the Greens really excel at it.

    Barry X

    Indeed @JMcK and agreed.

    By the way, it’s been said before that “Nothing exceeds like excess”... so I guess the Greens should do just fine.


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