Yet campaigners are dismissing it as “meaningless” and “purely cosmetic”.
Putting down roots
Communities secretary James Brokenshire told the BBC:
It is deeply unfair when renters are forced to uproot their lives or find new schools for their children at short notice due to the terms of their rental contract.
Being able to call your rental property your home is vital to putting down roots and building stronger communities.
But private-renting campaigners and groups aren’t impressed by the government’s proposal. The London Renters Union, for example, called the proposal “purely cosmetic”:
— London Renters Union (@LDNRentersUnion) July 2, 2018
Another campaigner, meanwhile, decried the fact that proposals don’t end “no-fault evictions”:
Cos home is just for three years folks. Just as you're actually settling in … here comes a section 21? https://t.co/QEQjhkIxgR You must #endsection21 no-fault evictions @JBrokenshire else this is just tokenism.
— Rent Rebel (@rentrebel) July 1, 2018
And campaign group Generation Rent is fearful that landlords will abuse the ‘six-month break clause’:
Housing Secretary @JBrokenshire has given a speech today about the renting proposals – fine words about scale of the problem, but it's a bit worrying that landlords would be able to end a 3-year tenancy early https://t.co/43sQbAAyWs pic.twitter.com/HiWuWzPgYq
— Generation Rent (@genrentuk) July 2, 2018
Not secure enough
Generation Rent told The Canary that:
Three-year tenancies are a step forward, but would still mean that many tenants – including those with children in school – would have to move every few years.
Regardless of a tenant’s long-term plans, they should not fear being evicted as long as they meet their obligations to the landlord. The government could give England’s 11 million tenants greater security by abolishing Section 21, the law that allows landlords to evict without giving a reason.
Whatever the government’s plans, landlords could still force tenants out by jacking up the rent, so any reform must include restrictions on rent increases.
And shadow housing secretary John Healey reiterated this view:
Any fresh help for renters is welcome but this latest promise is meaningless if landlords can still force tenants out by hiking up the rent.
Elephant in the room
Evictions from private-rented tenancies account for 78% of the rise in homelessness since 2011.
The government’s proposal for longer tenancies is a step in the right direction. But it’s clear that campaigners will not rest until it abolishes no-fault evictions.
– Sign up with Generation Rent to learn more about their campaigns and local renters’ groups.
Featured image via Paul Mison/Flickr
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?