Next government needs to ‘reset balance’ between landlords and tenants

Citizen’s Advice wants indefinite tenancies introduced in PRS.

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Citizens Advice is calling on the next government to reset the balance of rights and responsibilities between landlords and tenants.

The charity’s 2019 election manifesto wants a new government to prioritise a number of policy areas, including:

  • Abolishing section 21 ‘no-fault’ eviction notices and introducing indefinite tenancies in the private rented sector
  • Creating a national landlord register
  • The introduction of a national housing body responsible for setting consistent standards in the private rented sector and enforcing the rules, including a mandatory requirement for all private landlords to be registered to a redress scheme

“Tenants who have done nothing wrong shouldn’t have to worry about losing their homes,” said Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice.

“The current situation where landlords can exploit section 21 to evict tenants who have made reasonable requests for repairs and maintenance must end.

“But any replacement legislation needs to be watertight, and not allow these so called revenge evictions to continue by the back door.”

Guy continued: “We need a new deal for renting which establishes a fair balance between the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords.

“We think this can best be implemented by the establishment of a new housing body to work as a one-stop shop for the private rented sector, serving both landlords and tenants in setting and enforcing the rules.”

In October, Citizens Advice responded to the government’s consultation on scrapping section 21, saying changes to tenancy rules, aimed at helping renters, could unintentionally leave vulnerable groups at continued risk of being unfairly evicted.

In June, Citizens Advice released its report Getting the House in Order, which argued weak regulation of private renting is leaving hundreds of thousands of tenants living in hazardous homes in England.

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