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Shelter demands “overhaul” of Renters Reform Bill

Campaigning charity Shelter is demanding an overhaul of the Renters Reform Bill, which will shortly begin its passage through the House of Lords.

Having originally been a strong advocate of the Bill, the charity now objects to amendments accepted by the House of Commons last week. The organisation particularly objects to any delay in scrapping Section 21 - the government says that this specific eviction powers cannot be ended until it is clear that the courts can handle subsequent eviction cases.

Shelter chief executive Polly Neate says: “Last week, MPs voted to accept amendments that could indefinitely delay banning Section 21s and reintroduce some fixed term tenancies, prompting Shelter and other renting organisations to say they could no longer support the Bill and call for serious changes to the draft legislation.


“The government cannot stand idly by while a generation of children have their lives blighted by homelessness. Decades of failure to build enough genuinely affordable social homes has left families struggling to cobble together extortionate sums every month to keep a roof over their heads. Those who can’t afford private rents are being thrown into homelessness and then left for months and even years in damaging temporary accommodation because there is nowhere else.

“With a General Election approaching, it’s time for all politicians to show voters they are serious about ending the housing emergency. To dramatically reduce homelessness, we need every party to commit to building 90,000 social homes a year for ten years, and an overhaul of the Renters (Reform) Bill so that it delivers genuine safety and security for private renters.”

Neate’s comments come as government figures show 112,660 households were homeless and living in temporary accommodation at the end of 2023 –  up 12% in a year.

In addition some 317,430 households were accepted as either homeless or at imminent risk of it by their council, last year .

Shelter claims that the loss of a private tenancy remains the leading cause of homelessness in England; and it says some 25,910 households were threatened with homelessness as a result of a Section 21 no fault eviction in 2023. 

The activist group Generation Rent is also blaming the private rental sector for an increase in homelessness, with chief executive Ben Twomey saying: "Abolition of Section 21 evictions has the potential to make a huge difference to renters' lives and reduce the number of us who have to get our council's help to avoid homelessness. 

"But the government's current plans will leave tens of thousands of us exposed to homelessness because of the lack of protection when landlords still have a valid reason to evict us, like selling the property.

"Renters need more time to move than the two months we currently get, and landlords who are uprooting their tenants' lives should support us with the costs of moving. That will both reduce the stress and hardship of an unwanted move, and reduce the homelessness epidemic that is currently shredding councils' finances."

  • jeremy clarke

    Do polly bleat and dim toomy share a single brain cell?

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    I don’t think they have one between them!

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    I demand that Polly Bleat and her faux-charity, Shelter, actually do what is says on the tin and HOUSE sonebody. 🤬

  • Kristjan Byfield

    The only difference the removal of S21 will make is that landlords/agents will be more risk-averse (as repossession will be more complex) making renting harder for many. There will also be a surge in the uptake of Rent5 & Legal expense warranties, which will likely increase with claims escalating in cost due to taking longer to resolve legally. So much change which will lead to so little change.

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    Well, If Shelter are against it, suddenly I feel my support for it growing...

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    The recent debate surrounding the abolition of Section 21 in the UK has sparked a heated discussion among landlords, tenants, and policymakers. While some argue that the removal of this eviction process will lead to an increase in available rental properties and encourage landlords to invest in more properties, others believe that this move will have unintended consequences that may harm both tenants and landlords alike.

    Those who support the abolition of Section 21 often argue that it will lead to a more stable and secure rental market for tenants. They believe that by removing the threat of eviction without cause, tenants will feel more secure in their homes and be more likely to invest in their communities. Additionally, they argue that the removal of Section 21 will encourage landlords to maintain their properties and provide better living conditions for their tenants.

    However, those who oppose the abolition of Section 21 argue that it will have unintended consequences that may harm both tenants and landlords. They point out that social housing is not an option for most people, and that a flexible private rental sector is necessary for people to move freely around the country for employment and educational needs. Additionally, they argue that the main winners of the abolition of Section 21 will be local authorities, who will no longer be mandated to rehouse those who have received Section 21 notices.

    Furthermore, opponents of the abolition of Section 21 argue that the process is never issued for "no reason." In the past, Section 21 notices were used to cover issues such as anti-social behavior, late and persistent rent arrears. Without Section 21, tenants may now receive County Court Judgments (CCJs) and face other barriers to finding suitable accommodation. This may lead to landlords becoming increasingly risk-averse and hesitant to rent out their properties.

    In conclusion, the abolition of Section 21 is a complex issue that requires careful consideration of the potential consequences for both tenants and landlords. While some argue that it will lead to a more stable and secure rental market, others believe that it may have unintended consequences that harm both parties. Ultimately, it is important for policymakers to carefully consider all aspects of this issue before making any decisions that may have far-reaching implications for the rental market in the UK.


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