Renting laws in England are on the verge of huge change – but only if you have your say.
In a move to tackle our critically unstable rental system, the government is proposing to bring an end to no-fault evictions (also known as section 21 evictions).
If made into law, this will improve renting for every one of the 11 million people living in privately rented homes in this country. It will finally let renters put down roots and make a home. It will also tackle one of our country’s biggest causes of homelessness – eviction from privately rented homes.
They’re also proposing to introduce more stability for people who rent by making Fixed Term or Assured Tenancies the norm, with assurances for landlords that they can regain their property if they want to sell or move into it themselves (known as a section 8 eviction). This would phase out precarious Assured Shorthand Tenancies (ASTs).
But the solutions on the table aren’t perfect. UNISON has consistently opposed section 21 evictions and supports the removal of section 21, which allow landlords to evict tenants without reason at the end of their fixed term.
However, the new Assured Tenancy regime proposed, where tenancies will be protected for only the first two years, falls far short of the open-ended (indefinite) flexible tenancies that UNISON has called for – and which tenants deserve.
Whilst Section 8 is a step in the right direction – landlords must have a reason to evict or repossess their property – UNISON believes the proposals need to be more robust to protect tenants from rogue landlords.
UNISON has produced a briefing on the consultation, which ends on 12 October. The briefing outlines key proposals, the implications on renting and what members can do to influence tenancy reform in England to make sure renters have the security they need.
UNISON, alongside Generation Rent, will be submitting a full national response to the proposals, in which we will call for no time limits to tenancies (open ended tenancies) and for safeguards to prevent tenants from being evicted from their homes when they are not at fault to give them more stability and security in renting.
If you want to see a more secure rental market, and less homelessness, make sure you have your say in the government’s consultation, which closes on 12 October.
WHAT YOU CAN DO