Labour’s emergency action plan for renters

by Nick Thompson

9:48 AM, 11th May 2020
About 5 months ago

Labour’s emergency action plan for renters

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Labour’s emergency action plan for renters

Labour has set out a five point emergency coronavirus action plan for renters in their press release below:

Most people in rented accommodation have no savings and when the current freeze on evictions expires in June, an estimated 2.6 million people are likely to be in rent arrears, according to Citizens Advice.

Labour’s measures would use temporary legislation to protect people from bankruptcy and homelessness due to rent arrears, providing the kind of protection to people living in rented homes that is already in place for commercial tenants and owner-occupiers.

Labour’s five-point plan to protect people from eviction:

  1. Extend the temporary ban on evictions for six months or however long is needed to implement the legal changes below.
  2. Give residential tenants the same protections as commercial tenants, by protecting them from being made bankrupt by their landlords for non-payment of rent.
  3. Bring forward the government’s proposal to scrap Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions and outlaw evictions on the grounds of rent arrears if the arrears were accrued because of hardship caused by the coronavirus crisis.
  4. Once evictions are prevented, grant renters at least two years to pay back any arrears accrued during this period.
  5. Speed up and improve the provision of Universal Credit, as Labour recently called for, and consider a temporary increase to the Local Housing Allowance to help prevent risk of homelessness.

Thangam Debbonaire MP, Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary, said:

“Current protections for people renting their homes are woefully inadequate. Unless the Government acts now, many thousands of tenants will be at risk of losing their homes.

“The Government has paused evictions for three months and answered Labour’s call to increase the Local Housing Allowance. Both are welcome, but do not go far enough. It will take time for people to recover from this crisis and they need all the support we can give them to prevent what would be an unprecedented and devastating spike in homelessness.

“In the long term we need to fix the housing crisis with stronger rent regulations and much more affordable and social housing so that everyone has a home that is safe, secure, environmentally sustainable, and that they can afford to live in. What we need right now is an emergency package to set us on that path.

“Every Thursday we clap for key workers but many of them live in homes that are overcrowded, unsafe or expensive. When we emerge from this public health crisis, we cannot go back to business as usual.”


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Comments

Dylan Morris

11:02 AM, 11th May 2020
About 5 months ago

Not quite sure why a Labour are producing an action plan ? Obviously not sunk in yet that they’re not in power and lost the general election.

Jim Fox

11:17 AM, 11th May 2020
About 5 months ago

I would be more than happy to applaud Ms Debbonaire's 5 point action plan, providing she extends it to a 6 point action plan, with point 6 being confirmation that the Government takes over the tenants rent debt, and reimburses the landlord in full for the amount owed.
That way the tenant would have 2 years to repay the debt to the Government, and could even have his/her tax coding adjusted to make the repayments 'seamless'!

Simon Williams

11:34 AM, 11th May 2020
About 5 months ago

As usual, landlords are to be assumed to be all rich and perfectly able to take months of no rent coming in. We have an asset, they will say, but fat lot of good that is in the midst of a downturn bigger than 1929.

Unless the gov. recognises the very precarious position of many private landlords and balances its eventual proposals, there will be large scale mortgage default with potential instability for the whole housing market and wider financial system. A long term crash in supply will also do tenants no good either.

The vast majority of landlords will not seek to evict where a tenant with no previous arrears problems is now having problems which are clearly down to Covid 19. This is for the simple reason that even when it will become legally possible to evict such persons, it will usually be commercially (as well as ethically) unwise. There is little point in a landlord evicting if they cannot find a new tenant who's financial situation is much better than their current tenant. Landlords will be better off working with good tenants.

We are not allowed to say it, but some tenants will take advantage of the current situation, since the plain fact is that tenants have human frailties and temptations just as much as landlords. There has to be a right to evict in appropriate cases.

Chris @ Possession Friend

12:15 PM, 11th May 2020
About 5 months ago

On point 1.
The UK's restrictions are already more onerous for landlords and favourable to tenants than Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
Point 2.
.. same protection as Commercial tenants ! - has Gangham style Debbonaire, extraordinaire not read the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill 2020, which Only postpones Forfeiture of Commercial property for a 3 month period and Restricts that to rent defaults that are Only Covid-19 -related.
( Its has not stayed ALL Possession proceedings )
Point 3.
Many industry commentators, and those that are Not landlords [ Joe Speye ] indicate that if Sec 21 is abolished, there will be mayhem for many more tenants that will be excluded from the PRS.
Point 4.
As Jim said, If the government want to step in and pay the rent back to landlords, guaranteed - even over 2 years, that's something else. What she proposes is known as expropriation of property, or in simple terms for her - Theft.
Point 5.
Is such a rare glimpse of common sense, I think someone outside the Labour party must have suggested the idea.
I heard that Momentum were actually pushing for a lot more than Starmers plan,
wanting Free Netflix, dog-food for their staffies and Tinnies from supermarkets.
Its really a competition for what could destroy this country the quickest, virus or the Labour party ( and my money's on them )

WP

20:18 PM, 15th May 2020
About 5 months ago

errr...hello *knocks on side of head*. You did not get elected. If you think to ensure landlords go into debt themselves to fund tenants arrears with no end date of gaining their own property back, while at the same time initiating rent regulation, then your 'plan' needs to include employing Bob the Builder for a National social house building programme, along with Aladdin's genie to grant three wishes, one of which being to find a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow to fund it all. This leaves Santa and the elves to do what they do best, and ensure everyone gets exactly what they need, where they need it - all done overnight.
Good luck with that.
They all belong to separate unions....

Mick Roberts

10:03 AM, 16th May 2020
About 5 months ago

All this would do is make more Landlords pack up making it worse for tenants.

Borrieboy

10:37 AM, 16th May 2020
About 5 months ago

By all means enact all those points and just watch the law of unintended consequences bite you hard. Then we'll witness the likes of Gangnam-Style try to convince us that she was only following advice and it wasn't really anything to do with her. Do all politicians have a complete lack of self-awareness or is it just the SJW clowns in Labour?


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