Cross-party working closes the Tenant Fees Bill loophole
Cross-party working closes the Tenant Fees Bill loophole

In her first party conference speech as Prime Minister, Theresa May vowed to use the ‘power of government’ to step in and repair markets that weren’t working. At the time, we wrote of our hope that this could be good news for renters, a rapidly expanding group of consumers who face a marketplace full of dysfunction.

Just a few weeks later, the Chancellor announced a ban on letting fees to tenants in his Autumn Budget. The aim of the ban … Read more

Letting Agents admit they’ll exploit loophole in draft Tenant Fees Bill
Letting Agents admit they’ll exploit loophole in draft Tenant Fees Bill

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee has published its report on the draft Tenant Fees Bill, which will ban letting fees to tenants. The Committee has been tasked with scrutinising the bill before it’s formally introduced to Parliament and making recommendations about how to strengthen it.

To help do this, the committee received evidence from a wide range of organisations, including letting agents, landlord bodies and tenant groups. We submitted written evidence and then gave oral evidence at the … Read more

Cross-party support sees Fitness Bill safely through second reading

On Friday 19 January, MPs debated the second reading of the Fitness for Human Habitation Bill. The bill passed unanimously after a positive and constructive debate, which saw MPs from all the major parties speak in support of it. We’ve been campaigning hard to get to this point, so were delighted to see the bill clear this important hurdle.

The debate covered some well-trodden ground. MPs took turns to share stories of constituents living in shockingly poor and unsafe accommodation. … Read more

Fitness for Human Habitation: The countdown begins…

Today, Parliament published the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standard) Bill ahead of its Second Reading next week. The countdown has officially begun. This time next week, we will know whether the Bill has progressed to the next stage or not.

For the Bill to pass, it’s crucial that 100 MPs attend the debate next Friday. If they don’t, just one MP could block the Bill. This happened to a previous version of the ‘Fitness’ Bill … Read more

Witness the Fitness: Shelter backs new and improved ‘Fitness for Human Habitation’ Bill

On 19 January 2018, the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Private Members Bill will have its Second Reading in Parliament. At Shelter we support this Bill and will be campaigning to get it passed. You may wonder why I’m telling you this now, almost two months ahead of schedule. But the history of this Bill tells us that we need to get moving now if we have any hopes of seeing it passed.

The Bill revives a clause which … Read more

Conservative Party Conference: Government rallies around renters!

A year ago, Theresa May used her speech at Conservative Party Conference to commit to intervening in markets which aren’t delivering as they should. At the time, we wrote on this blog about how this could potentially be good news for the millions of renters who are battling a dysfunctional rental market. It seems we were right to hopeful. At the weekend the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government announced a range of measures aimed at improving … Read more

Democracy on the doorstep: Housing questions to ask candidates who come a-knocking

With the general election less than a month away, parliamentary candidates up and down the country are currently engaged in a mad scramble to secure every vote possible. Leaflets are being delivered, ideas are being debated and, of course, doors are being knocked on.

Door-knocking is an integral part of any election campaign. Conversations on the doorstep give candidates the opportunity to hear first-hand the priorities and concerns of the people they are hoping to represent; it lets them know … Read more

Bigger fines, better enforcement: even more good news for renters

Measures to help councils crack down on rogue landlords come in to force today. The new powers, which include fines of up to £30,000 for rogue landlords and the extension of Rent Repayment Orders, are great news for renters as they will help councils improve conditions in the private rented sector and give tenants increased protection.

Last week, we told you about some good news for renters coming from the government. Today, we bring you some more: from today onwards, … Read more

Homelessness Reduction Bill: Report and Third Reading

Today, the Homelessness Reduction Bill passed Report Stage and Third Reading in the House of Commons. Shelter supports the overall aims of the Bill, particularly the emphasis on the prevention of homelessness and offering help to more people. However, the Bill alone will not significantly reduce homelessness, even with the new money announced by the Government.

The Homelessness Reduction Bill has come a long way since it was first introduced to the House of Commons last June. Although the … Read more

May’s focus on the power of government is an opportunity for private renters

“We should employ the power of government for the good of the people.” Extraordinary words from a Conservative Prime Minister? Or, the articulation of a clear vision from a true One Nation Tory? Either way, the tone set by Theresa May’s keynote speech at party conference last week might mean good things could lie ahead for England’s private renters.

More and more of ‘May’s people’ rent

Why? Well firstly, in her conference keynote speech Theresa May reaffirmed her commitment to … Read more

The vile exploitation of ‘free rent for sex’ ads

This post was co-authored by John Bibby and Poppy Terry

 “Homeless Females ? Free Rent House Share (Hillingdon)

“As the ad states if there is any Homeless Single stunning Females who are out there seeking to save or seeking to be re-housed by a friendly genuine white britisg guy then look no further I offer a Genuine offer to any young single hot sexy female of any nationality or culture to house share with me free rent free food drinks … Read more

Lessons to be learned from North of the border?

Conservative MP Bob Blackman recently introduced a Private Members Bill to amend and update England’s homelessness legislation. The discussion about the need for legislative change, and what this might look like, has been rumbling on for a little while now. One feature of this debate has been a comparison with England’s neighbouring nations, where approaches to helping homeless people have diverged from ours.

In response to these discussions, Shelter put together a briefing which summarises the recent changes to … Read more