Private Rented Sector — [Andrew Rosindell in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:26 pm on 29th November 2018.

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Photo of Sarah Jones Sarah Jones Shadow Minister (Housing, Communities and Local Government) (Housing) 2:26 pm, 29th November 2018

It is interesting that the hon. Gentleman should say that, because we are looking at developing our policies in this area and have also said that we want to scrap section 21. We need to look at how that would work and what the conditions would be. It is really important to stress, though, that we are not saying that people should have the right to remain in their home indefinitely if, for example, they are not paying their rent or are, in other ways, causing disruption or antisocial behaviour. That is absolutely not the point of what we want to do. There will always be a need for a landlord to be able to evict tenants who are not paying their rent or who, for whatever reason, should not be in the property.

We need to find the middle ground. At the moment, there is a problem, particularly in London, and I have seen it in Croydon. When we talk to renters organisations such as Generation Rent, they talk of a cycle whereby people are being evicted for no obvious reason. For example, a landlord might not be an expert landlord, as we have talked about. Someone may have inherited a property or have moved out of London. They might have a property and not really know what they are doing. They might decide to move back in or they might decide to do something else with the property. Then we have a group of people who are constantly having to move because they are being moved on through section 21 evictions, or we have people who cannot afford the rent increases, so they are also having to leave through section 21. An imbalance of power is our starting point when we are looking at policy development. I hope that that answers the hon. Gentleman’s question.