London Councils has welcomed a new parliamentary report on reforming the private rented sector, reiterating boroughs’ support for stronger tenant protections and more affordable housing.
The report from the Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities Committee warns that the government’s reforms risk being undermined due to delays in the court system and a lack of resources for local councils to enforce the decent homes standard in the private rented sector.
It points to the precarious state of local government finances, the shortage of qualified enforcement staff, and a lack of reliable data. The report also highlights the need for more affordable housing to tackle the rocketing rental costs many tenants face.
London Councils, which gave evidence to the committee’s inquiry, is urging ministers to prioritise the report’s recommendations.
Cllr Darren Rodwell, London Councils’ Executive Member for Regeneration, Housing & Planning, said:
“Two million Londoners live in private rented sector homes and they all deserve stronger protection. In the face of an ongoing cost-of-living crisis, this issue is as urgent as ever.
“We support the government’s move to ban no-fault evictions. Too often we’ve seen Londoners turfed out of their homes for no good reason and made homeless. But there are concerns about the slow progress in making this ban a reality.
“As the report makes clear, councils will also need strong enforcement powers and new resources to help ensure any changes in the law succeed in helping tenants and improving standards in the private rented sector.
“There remains a chronic shortage of affordable housing in the capital. Boroughs want to see more action from the government in protecting low-income tenants from the risk of homelessness. Ultimately, we need a massive expansion in the delivery of new affordable homes to relieve the pressures across the entire housing system.”