Labour has unveiled a Charter for Renters which they say will be introduced within 100 days of Labour gaining power at the next General Election.
Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Lisa Nandy MP, confirmed the party will implement policies put forward in the controversial Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper but also give additional powers to tenants.
It was also stated that she wished to help the social rented sector overtake the private rented sector as the second largest housing tenure in the country.
Labour’s Charter for Renters will:
- End Section 21 evictions.
- Further reduce repossession rights of landlords for when tenants are in arrears.
- Increase notice periods to four months.
- Assess ‘portable’ deposits to make it easier and cheaper for tenants to move between properties.
- Enable tenants to have pets.
- Allow renters to make ”reasonable alterations to a property”.
- Introduce a national register of landlords.
- Initiate a legally binding decent homes standard in the private rental sector.
Nandy stated “For private renters we will tilt the balance of power back to you through a powerful new renters’ charter and a new decent homes standard – written into law.
“Because security in your home, the right to make your home your own, and most of all the right to live in a home that isn’t cold, mouldy, damp and unfit for human habitation, is a fundamental right.
“The Tories have turned housing into a racket. They started under Thatcher and now they’ve come back to finish the job. Incentivising speculation and profiteering while millions languish on waiting lists in cold damp homes.”
Nandy’s team have told the Mirror newspaper that there would first be a White Paper and then a statutory consultation period, before legislation would be introduced to Parliament.
Labour’s announcement provoked a strong response from the National Landlords Association. NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle said “It is depressing that the Labour Party is once again demonising all landlords. The vast majority do a good job, providing a fifth of all housing in the country. That is why private tenants are more likely to be satisfied with their accommodation than those in the social rented sector.
“The combined effects of what Labour is proposing, in particular essentially making rent payments an optional extra, will seriously damage confidence and with it, the supply of homes to rent when demand is already high. Tenants will suffer in the long run.”
“The reality is that promises of new social housing at some distant point in the future will do nothing to help renters struggling today.”