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Queen Speech to enable long-awaited protection for tenants


New measures to protect vulnerable renters in England and Wales, which were promised in the 2019 Conservative manifesto, are expected to appear in the Queen’s speech on Tuesday.

The 2019 manifesto required the government to pass a “tenant reform bill” that repeals the orders of Section 21, which allow landlords to evict their tenants in eight weeks without explanation.

The abolition of so-called “no-fault” evictions has been targeted by charities such as Generation Rent and Shelter, which say they are leaving tenants in a difficult position since a government ban on evictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic was lifted.

It is expected that these measures will be included in the Queen’s speech, which defines the policy and legislative program of the government for the next session of Parliament, according to two people who know the situation.

Officials hope that instead of a rental bill, it will be included in a broader “equalization bill,” nominated by Michael Gove, secretary of state for housing and community equalization.

The loss of private employment is a major cause of homelessness in England, according to the government, which in 2019 promised that “private landlords will no longer be able to evict tenants from their homes in a short time and without good reason”.

In the same year, ministers began consultations on repealing Article 21 of the Housing Act, but its suspension was postponed several times.

The move comes at a time when cost of living crisis and rising rents put financial pressure on tenants following the abolition of government support for employees and tenants during a pandemic that showed much more.

According to real estate portal Rightmove, the average asking rental price in London rose 14 per cent for the year to April and more than 10 per cent in the rest of England.

Meanwhile, a report released last month by the House Accounts Committee of the House of Commons found that more than one in eight rented private homes in England poses a serious threat to the health and safety of tenants.

Last week, civil society groups campaigning on behalf of tenants wrote to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging him to pass a bill and address shortcomings in the growing private rental sector.

“With the rising cost of living, there is additional pressure on tenants of all ages and backgrounds,” the groups wrote in a letter. “Rapidly rising rents are squeezing home budgets and pushing ordinary people away from the dream of owning a home.

“The end of the Coronavirus Protection Act means that until Chapter 21 is repealed, renter families live in fear that requests for repairs may be granted by eviction, which uproots their lives and adds extra financial strain. “, – they added.

The Queen’s speech will promulgate about 20 pieces of legislation, including a bill on economic crimes, a bill on financial services and a bill on the media.

However, some of the proposed reforms have been repealed, including a bill to change the rules of audit and corporate governance, as well as competition law give legislative powers to the emerging digital markets sector to develop codes of conduct for technology companies.

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