Renters Reform Bill - politicians demand series of extra restrictions

Posted on Monday, May 22, 2023

The co-leader of the Green Party wants the Renters Reform Bill to go further in restricting the powers of private landlords.

Carla Denyer says she welcomes the government’s plans to end no fault evictions but urges Housing Secretary Michael Gove to “go much further to protect those facing unaffordable rent increases” in the middle of a cost of living crisis.

She says: “Everyone deserves a place to call home, and so I welcome the government’s plans to end no fault evictions, but this is an opportunity to go much further and help the thousands of people who are trapped in the private rental market by spiralling rents that bear no relationship to incomes.

“In the short term we need to see an immediate rent freeze, to go alongside an eviction ban, to prevent people being made homeless during this cost of living crisis.

“And then in the longer term, I want to see councils being given the power to bring in rent controls in areas where the housing market is overheated. 

“At the same time, we need much stricter controls on the type of new homes being built to include more affordable and social housing for buying and renting.”

In Scotland the Green Party is in a loose alliance with the Scottish National Party to form a majority in the Scottish Parliament, and it is the Greens who are the driving force behind the rent freeze and rent controls which have hit the private rental sector there over the past nine months or so.

Research by letting agents’ trade body Propertymark has shown that increasing numbers of Scottish landlords are looking to exit the market. 

In November 2022, 69 per cent of agents said they had seen an increase in notices to sell, this had risen to a shocking 97 per cent by earlier this month.
The trade body says that with each available rental property across the UK receiving an average of 10 applications, the issue of lack of supply and rising demand is only getting worse. Propertymark has again called on the Scottish Government to discuss working options with industry professionals, the ongoing temporary nature of the rent controls is causing more instability in an already fractured market.

In April the Scottish Government introduced a higher rental cap of three per cent but Propertymark member agents say this is not nearly enough to cover outgoings, with one landlord seeing an increase in their mortgage payments from £151 to £560, a rise of 270 per cent, due to interest rate rises.

Furthermore, all other services and trades have not been penalised by a cap on their charges, meaning that maintenance, admin and energy bills have all risen, putting further pressure on landlords.

Via @LettingAgentToday