For people who are renting their homes, it is reassuring and important to have a good landlord who responds quickly when problems arise. Unfortunately, not all tenants or landlords have that relationship and some tenants delay raising issues fearing eviction.
So last week I was pleased to speak in Parliament during the debate on the Renters Reform Bill which introduces a number of measures ensuring renters get a fairer deal and providing more protections whilst also maintaining landlords’ essential control over their properties. A key part of this legislation is to abolish ‘Section 21’ evictions, otherwise known as “no fault” evictions, that allow landlords to regain possession of their property from tenants without providing a specific reason.
It has been recognised that “no fault” evictions do not provide sufficient protection to tenants, sometimes leaving them homeless and having to find alternative housing in a competitive market where rents have soared. Local housing associations then often have to take the added strain of tenants being added to the social housing waiting list.
Whilst the Renters Reform Bill will improve tenants rights it will also provide necessary reforms to ensure that repossessions where tenants are at fault are easier, such as in cases of repeated, frequent arrears or antisocial behaviour.
Over the summer I have met with and listened to a wide range of businesses and residents to hear their views including tenants, landlords and letting agents like Stuarts Homes in Cheadle who work with tenants and landlords on a daily basis. It is important that we get our renters laws right and have a well-balanced legislation which is fit for the future.
I know that people in Cheadle constituency are animal lovers and so it is good to see that the Bill will give tenants the right to request having a pet in their property. Under the new law, landlords will be required to consider requests and are unable to unreasonably refuse. However, I appreciate that pets can sometimes cause damage and deterioration to a property, so it is right that landlords ask tenants to simply get some pet insurance to cover any damage.
Housing is the cornerstone of our society, and it is therefore so important that everyone has the stability and security which a home provides. I am reassured that the Renters Reform Bill will help improve and strengthen our housing sector and will continue to work to get this legislation right.