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Shelter responds to ‘once-in-a-generation' Renters’ (Reform) Bill

Posted 17 May 2023

In response to the Housing Secretary, Michael Gove, announcing the Renters’ (Reform) Bill Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Shelter, said: 

“The millions of people renting in England are at last one step closer to fairer, more secure housing. The Renters’ (Reform) Bill is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to finally fix private renting. A strong bill would be a gamechanger, meaning tenants can live without fear their homes could make them sick, families feel able to put down roots in their communities, and worries about being unfairly evicted are a thing of the past. 

“For far too long Shelter’s emergency advisers have helped renters facing anguish and uncertainty, paying sky-high rents in return for poor living conditions, with no protection or security if they complain.  

“The Renters’ (Reform) Bill must truly deliver change for renters when it becomes law, and it should be as strong as possible with every loophole closed, so that no renter can be unfairly evicted. The government must keep renters at the forefront to make sure this bill has the teeth needed for real change.”   


Notes to editors:

Supporting stats:

  • 24,060 households were threatened with homelessness in England as a result of a Section 21 no-fault eviction in 2022 – this is 50% higher than in 2021. (DLUHC May 2023,  Live tables on homelessness, Statutory Homelessness Live Tables, Table A1.) (N.b A ban on bailiff's evictions was in place during the early months of 2021. It ended on the 31 May 2021. Landlords could still serve section 21 notices during this time.) 

  • Over 54,000 section 21 evictions claims have gone through court since Theresa May promised to scrap them in April 2019 (MoJ mortgage and landlord possession statistics, next update May 2023.) (N.b. Most renters move out before the end of their notice period to avoid the eviction claim going to court, so the repossession statistics only show part of a much bigger problem; An eviction ban was in place between March 2020 and May 2021.)  

  • 3 in 4 (76%) private renters have experienced disrepair in the last year (Shelter/YouGov disrepair survey, 2023). 

  • Private renters who complain to their landlord, letting agent or local council are two and a half times (159%) more likely to be evicted than those who did not complain (Shelter/YouGov disrepair survey, 2023). 

  • 45% of private renters say that worrying about how they will pay their rent is making them anxious or depressed (Shelter/YouGov CoL tracker, 2023)