What steps he plans to take to sanction landlords who do not meet their obligations to vulnerable tenants.
In our White Paper, we set out plans to reform the private rented sector, giving renters greater security and safer, higher-quality homes. We will introduce legislation in this Parliament.
I listened to the Minister speak to the Renters’ Reform Coalition last week. She handled the questions very well, and I was pleased to hear her announce that a Bill would be introduced by autumn of this year. But since she gave the speech, 900 people have been served section 21 notices. Every week that we wait means thousands of people being evicted. Today, her Government have announced tougher measures making it easier to evict people. Will she give me assurances that renters will be protected, not forced out, by her new Bill?
I thank the hon. Gentleman very much for his kind words, and I am delighted that he was there to hear me reaffirm the Government’s commitment to abolish section 21 evictions as soon as parliamentary time allows. We are levelling up the private rented sector to produce more safeguards for renters and allow more renters to live in safe and decent homes.
I am grateful to the Minister for her answer. Bracknell is blessed with many people who rent their accommodation from private landlords, and it is really important that we do the best we can for them. But by the same token, good law is balanced law. Will she please outline what is being done to protect landlords against tenants who do not fulfil their responsibilities?
As I said at the public event, good landlords have absolutely nothing to fear from our reforms, which are right, proportionate and balanced. As my hon. Friend is asking, we will strengthen the grounds for landlords to use to regain possession, including when a tenant is at fault. That includes making it easier and quicker to evict tenants who commit antisocial behaviour, as set out in the action plan today.
I call the Chair of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee.
On the answer that the Minister has just given, I should say that the Select Committee recommended that when section 21 goes there has to be a means of dealing speedily with cases of antisocial behaviour. I am pleased that recommendations are made in the antisocial behaviour action plan to prioritise such cases in the courts. But antisocial behaviour also occurs in the social housing sector, and it can often take a year or more to get to court. Will the Minister agree that if we are prioritising such cases in the private rented sector, we should have a similar system for prioritising them for social housing as well?
I thank the hon. Gentleman very much; it was a real pleasure to discuss those issues and many others when we met last week to talk about the renters reform Bill. He has made a very good point, and I have committed to take it away and look at it with my officials.
Blackpool has a significantly higher than average proportion of private rented houses. I am sure that my landlords will be delighted to hear about the increased flexibility that they will have to deal with more problematic tenants. However, has the Minister considered extending the provisions on mould and damp that will now apply to the social rented sector to private rented properties as well, to level up the private rented sector?
I thank my hon. Friend very much for drawing the House’s attention to the issue of damp and mould. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has been extremely active in pushing forward improvements to social rented housing. It is right that we should level that up to private rented housing. We will be bringing forward the decent home standards in the private rented sector in the renters reform Bill.