Martha Mackenzie
Martha Mackenzie

By Martha Mackenzie

A small step for parliament, a big leap for renters

This afternoon, the government gave their backing to Sarah Teather’s bill to end retaliatory eviction in the private rented sector. This is a huge step forward for private renters.

We know that over 200,000 renters across England were evicted or served with an eviction notice in the last year, simply because they complained about a problem in their home.

No one should face eviction for complaining about bad conditions. The government’s – and ultimately Parliament’s – support for Sarah’s Bill could end this practice once and for all.

Giant leap

We must applaud the actions of Sarah and the cross party group of MPs that supported her bill. As well as the Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis. Shelter and housing professionals have been calling for this reform for years. Not only has the government finally acknowledged the impact of retaliatory eviction- for the first time, they are taking concrete action to stamp it out.

We must also give credit to the many organisations that have campaigned alongside Shelter to end retaliatory eviction. Our combined front-line experience has helped to make a strong, well-evidenced case for change.

Not to mention the 17,000 Shelter supporters who have signed their name in support of this cause. And the countless others who shared their own, personal stories- helping us get this far.

Small step

This Bill is small; it might only be a couple of pages long.

It will not propose sweeping reforms to the private rented sector. Rather, it is likely to suggest a few, simple tweaks to existing legislation. But – and it is a big but these tweaks have the potential to transform the lives of renters. They will improve stability and conditions, without placing any additional burden on law abiding landlords.

Sarah’s Bill will be formally debated on the 28th November- and it stands a serious chance of becoming law.

The government’s support for this bill could take England’s 9 million renters one giant leap closer to the stability and conditions they deserve.

5 Responses to A small step for parliament, a big leap for renters

  1. khards says:

    The bill won’t be passed. The government like the insecure rental market as it pushes people into ownership who would otherwise find renting acceptable.
    After all it’s the government who are in charge of laws preventing affordable housing being built and enforcing insecure tenancies on renters.

  2. MrLudd says:

    All this potential tinkering and tweaking is nowhere near enough. What we should be thinking is, how do we organise a national rent strike? There are 9 million renters in the UK, that’s a massive lobby, imagine the impact of that on the financial system, the government would crap it’s pants to overflowing, and I reckon we’d have them by the balls…… I’m a political fantasist I know but… I speak as someone who is being evicted as retaliation for demanding repairs and acceptable standards.

  3. MrLudd says:

    I would go further and say that private rented housing as a national scheme to house people is a failure and should be effectively abolished.

  4. You're making it up says:

    “We know that over 200,000 renters across England were evicted or served with an eviction notice in the last year, simply because they complained about a problem in their home.”

    How can this be when there were less than 40,000 evictions last year from all private and social landlords combined?

    How many of them were up to date with the rent?

    How many were making their neighbours lives hell?

    How many were because the owner wanted to move back in or sell?

    No one should face eviction for complaining about bad conditions but figures like the above just don’t add up and do nothing for your credibility.

  5. Geoff Hardy says:

    I wrote to Shrewsbury’s MP. I had a full reply, saying that he was in support of the Bill, but was unable to attend on 28th November, as he has pre-booked constituency business.
    I am pleased that he is supportive. It is probably the second time that we have found common views! (He supported the Same Sex Marriage Bill).

    However, we could do with returning to the better days of Council Housing! Or, but probably pie in the sky at the present time, a cap on the maximum wage, an increase in the minimum wage, an end to high paid people’s bonuses and a fairer tax system!!