The British government announced it would press ahead with a reform that would in principle only apply to England, aimed at ending the right of landlords to evict their tenants without justification.
The decision by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s conservative government comes amid a housing crisis resulting from a decline in new home construction and exorbitant rental prices.
The reform, which will only apply in England, one of the four nations that make up the kingdom, will respond to one of the main demands of tenant defense groups.
The opposition Labor Party received the government’s plan with reservations and promised, if it came to power within a year and a half, to press ahead with a reform that would see social housing completely replaced by the state to provide affordable housing. or partially allowed to be made.
According to organizations protecting the right to housing, 230,000 low-income tenants have been evicted since April 2019, when the government promised to end evictions without just cause.
The wave of layoffs skyrocketed after authorities lifted restrictions on going ahead with evictions and were in effect during the pandemic. Housing Minister Michael Gove clarified that under the proposed new law, landlords would have to justify a breach of contract and tenants would be able to challenge it.
“This government is determined to address these injustices by presenting a new deal for those living in the private rental sector, one that has quality, affordability and equity at its core,” the official said.
Siobhan Donachie, a spokeswoman for the London tenants’ union, welcomed the “much anticipated” bill, but alleged the reforms outlined by Gove failed to protect tenants from exorbitant rent increases.
“For many families struggling with housing costs right now, a 20% increase in rents is simply no-fault eviction by another name,” he said.
Regulation in the United Kingdom combines tax incentives and regulations through the Vacant Housing Agency, created in 1992. In addition, the measure is complemented by a tax on vacant properties since 2013 and local governments publish annual reports on housing conditions. However, the regulatory framework failed to increase the supply of housing or reduce rental prices.
According to official reports, by 2038, 52% of Britons who spend 40% of their income on rent today will find themselves in trouble when they retire from the labor market, as their incomes will decline. In addition, around 630,000 youth will not be able to afford the rental price. And that too only when the market condition is not bad.