Nationwide Foundation welcomes launch of new renters’ coalition

The Nationwide Foundation has welcomed the official launch of the Renters’ Reform Coalition, a group of 20 leading charities, think-tanks, housing and renter organisations of which it is a founding member and funder. The Coalition’s launch coincides with the two-year anniversary of the government’s commitment to end so-called ‘no-fault’ evictions from private rented sector properties.

To mark the launch, a new Survation survey has indicated that 8% of private renters in England (equating to around 694,000 people) have been served a Section 21 ‘no-fault’ eviction notice in the past year, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.  What’s more, the survey reveals that a third of private renters are concerned that they will be asked to move in the coming year, the equivalent of 2.78m people.

The coalition has formed to ensure that the government lives up to its promise and brings forward plans for a redesigned rental system that better serves the nation’s millions of private renters. It will campaign to ensure that private renters have access to a safe, affordable and stable home, where they can live and flourish.

While the initial Section 21 notice is only the first stage of the legal eviction process, a valid notice cannot be overturned in court. That means that many tenants who receive a notice have nothing to gain by challenging it and move out before the case reaches court.

The Renters’ Reform Coalition has outlined its recommendations for the Renters Reform Bill and beyond in its adopted policy principles, available here on its website. These principles call for the necessary reforms needed to end no-fault evictions and deliver stability, affordability and safety for renters.

Bridget Young, Programme Manager for the Nationwide Foundation’s Transforming the Private Rented Sector, said: “We’re proud to be a member of the Renters’ Reform Coalition and are looking forward to working constructively with government on much-needed reform. As a national charity, the Nationwide Foundation believes that everybody should have access to a decent, affordable home and we’ll be glad to play our part to ensure that vision is realised for the nation’s renters.”

Chair of the Renters’ Reform Coalition, Sue James says: “Private renters face high rents, poor living conditions and perpetual instability. This causes needless disruption to people’s lives: their finances, work, health and their children’s education. Renters need certainty to enable them to put down roots in communities and create real homes in rented properties. Having been a front-line legal housing advisor for many years I have seen the difference that good quality, secure housing can make to people’s lives. We need to see people’s homes as more than just terms in a contract.

“The breadth of organisations that have come together to form the coalition highlights the importance of this issue. It is essential that reform of private renting is a key part of the government’s plans to improve the housing system. The Renters’ Reform Coalition has formed to ensure that the government keeps its promise. We welcome the opportunity to work with the government to create a renting system that is fair and fit for the future.”

For more information on the Renters’ Reform Coalition, click here. For further detail on the Nationwide Foundation’s funding of the coalition, click here.

Survation conducted a survey via online panel on 23-25 February. A total of 1008 UK residents aged 18+ who are living in private rented accommodation responded to the survey. Further details can be found here.