Protection for renters and support for levelling up in Queen’s Speech

10 May 2022, Tamara Sandoul

We welcome the UK Government’s commitment to improving housing standards after measures to protect renters and support levelling up were announced during the Queen’s Speech on 10 May.

The long-awaited Renters Reform Bill was announced with a ban on “no-fault” evictions included. This will end the current state where people can be evicted without reason at the end of a fixed-term tenancy agreement, or during a tenancy with no fixed end date. The Bill will also apply the legally-binding Decent Homes Standard in the Private Rented Sector for the first time, aiming to give tenants safer, better quality and better value homes.

There is also a new Social Housing Regulation Bill, which the Government says will increase social housing tenants’ rights to better homes and enhance their ability to hold their landlords to account.

The Government also announced plans for a Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill with the aim of spreading investment and reducing disparities across the UK. The Bill will also strive to simplify planning rules in England.

In addition, the Government also announced plans for an Energy Security Bill containing new powers aimed at boosting renewable energy and creating a market for electric heat pumps.

Tamara Sandoul, Policy and Campaigns Manager at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, said:

“It’s been a long three years since the Government announced its intention to ban no-fault evictions. It’s therefore heartening to see the announcement of a Renters Reform Bill, which should help to protect more tenants from homelessness and living in poor housing conditions. The introduction of a national landlord register in England would also be a game-changer for the private rented sector.

We won’t be able to level up the country without focusing on the fundamentals – improving the places where people live and working to reduce health disparities around the country. Whilst the Energy Security Bill is to be welcomed, we will need more short-term action to insulate as many homes as possible before this Winter to help people weather the energy and cost of living crisis.

As the new legislative programme is announced, it is important to consider how the new laws will be enforced and resourced. It is time that the UK Government began to fully support the environmental health profession, which works tirelessly to protect people and communities as well as enforcing existing rules across housing, food, environmental protection and health and safety.”

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