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.
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.
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.