Campaigners march to Downing Street to demand protection for renters

·3-min read

Campaigners are to march to Downing Street to demand urgent reform to protect renters as they warn that each day of delay could see another household forced onto the streets.

The Government must immediately introduce the much-delayed Renters’ Reform Bill and bring an end to no-fault evictions, the coalition of campaigners said.

In April 2019, the then-government announced that private landlords “will no longer be able to evict tenants from their homes at short notice and without good reason”.

Later that year the Conservative manifesto promised “a better deal for renters” which included abolishing no-fault evictions.

The Renters’ Reform Coalition – made up of some 20 organisations supporting and representing private renters including homeless and housing charities Shelter and Crisis – said almost 100,000 households have been put at risk of homelessness since then.

Hundreds of private renters from across England are expected to gather in Westminster on Tuesday to lobby MPs for reforms.

A petition is due to be handed in to Downing Street demanding immediate action from the Government to address the situation for renters and ensure safe, secure and affordable homes for all.

They are calling on the Government to ban Section 21 no-fault evictions, which currently allow landlords to quickly evict tenants without having to give a reason.

Campaigners said reforms must give renters genuine security in their homes, the right to challenge landlords to provide a decent standard of home, free from mould, damp and other hazards, and prevent landlords from making unjustified rent increases.

Tom Darling, campaign manager at the Renters’ Reform Coalition, said: “These shocking homelessness figures show just how bad the renting crisis has got for England’s 11 million private renters. It is no wonder so many are coming to London to demand change.

“Every day that the Government continues to put off delivering long awaited promises to scrap Section 21 evictions is another day that a household may be forced onto the streets.

“There can be no more costly delays. The Government must listen to our pleas and immediately introduce a Renters’ Reform Bill that gives everyone the right to a safe, secure and affordable home.”

Campaigners will gather at Old Palace Yard from midday on Tuesday, before meeting MPs at Westminster Hall.

They are due to march on Downing Street at around 3.30pm, and housing minister Rachel Maclean will have a question and answer session with renters at Church House from around 4.15pm.

A spokesman for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities insisted the Government is “absolutely committed to delivering a fairer deal for renters” and will ban Section 21 orders.

“We will bring forward a Renters’ Reform Bill in this Parliament, abolishing ‘no-fault evictions’ so that all tenants have greater security in their homes and are empowered to challenge poor conditions and unreasonable rent rises.

“We are also introducing a Decent Homes Standard for the private rented sector for the first time ever, which will make sure privately rented homes are safe and decent.

“In addition we are providing families with significant support over this year and next – worth on average £3,500 per household – as well as uprating benefits and the state pension by 10% in April.”