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Charities urge Sunak not to abandon Renters Reform Bill

The legislation has long been stalled in the House of Commons.

Rishi Sunak has been urged by 30 charities not to abandon legislation that would ban no-fault evictions, as research suggests one renter is ordered to leave their home every three minutes.

The group of charities has written to the Prime Minister to warn that they are “deeply concerned” about the lack of progress in passing the Renters Reform Bill into law.

The legislation was promised in the Tory party manifesto four years ago but there are fears it will never be enacted as it has long been stalled in the House of Commons.

As it stands, the Bill promises to end Section 21 evictions that mean landlords can order tenants to leave their homes without reason and with only two months’ notice.

The letter, co-ordinated by the Shelter housing charity seen by the PA news agency, tells the Prime Minister the legislation should be “at the heart” of his plans.

“We are deeply concerned about the lack of progress of the Renters Reform Bill,” they say.

“Any delay to the Bill’s progress causes more avoidable hardship and suffering, and with it, greater cost to the taxpayer.

“Together we are calling on the Government to commit to progressing the Renters Reform Bill this Parliament, and to pass it into law as promised in the party’s manifesto.”

The letter, sent as the Commons returns from its conference season break on Monday, is also signed by the Child Poverty Action Group, the Trussell Trust and Citizens Advice.

Other signatories include Liberty, the Runnymede Trust, Parkinson’s UK and Disability Rights UK.

Warning Mr Sunak “renters cannot wait any longer”, they shared with him research based on a poll of more than 1,900 private renters in England that suggests one tenant receives a Section 21 notice every three minutes.

The survey said more than 7% had received such a notice in the last three years, suggesting around 543 are issued every day to the more than eight million in privately rented homes.

The Bill was introduced to the Commons in May but no date has been set for its second reading so its progress can continue as time ticks down on the parliamentary session.

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said during the Tory party conference that he was committed to securing a second reading “this autumn”.

Rishi Sunak hosting a policing roundtable
Housing Secretary Michael Gove has said the Bill will receive a second reading ‘this autumn’ (James Manning/PA)

Mr Gove also told a discussion on the future of conservatism that the “remaining part of the mission” for his time in Government includes passing the Bill.

Angela Rayner, the shadow housing secretary and shadow deputy prime minister, suggested that “Tory infighting” and “weak leadership” from Rishi Sunak were behind the delay to the promised reforms.

“This shambolic Government have utterly failed to explain why four years after pledging to ban no-fault evictions, and months after publishing their proposals, nothing has been done,” she said.

“While the Tories fight amongst themselves and fail to deliver for the British people, Labour stands ready to end no-fault evictions and make renting fairer, more secure and more affordable.”

The Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities insisted that the Bill will progress in the Commons soon.

“The Government will deliver a fairer private rented sector for tenants and landlords through the Renters Reform Bill, which will have its second reading in Parliament shortly,” a spokeswoman said.

“The Bill delivers our manifesto commitment and will abolish Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions to give tenants greater security in their homes.”

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