A leading tenants’ rights campaigner has used a national radio appearance to call on the Government to set a minimum notice period for rental contracts of four months.
Baroness Kennedy (pictured), who is the public face of controversial lobbying group Generation Rent, made the comments yesterday during an interview on Radio 4.
Asked to comment on the Government’s ‘Fairer Private Rented Sector’ White Paper debuted in parliament by housing minister Eddie Hughes which itself contains several radical proposals to reform the private rental sector, Kennedy went much further.
She said the organisation was asking Ministers to set the minimum notice period to four months “because we recognise that there are thre million children living in private rented sector so [if you’re given notice] you have to move schools and usually you don’t want to move in term time”.
“People who are given notice need time to get their life together, organise their circumstances and get the money together to afford a move,” she added.
Winter evictions ban
Kennedy also said Generation Rent would be pressing for evictions to be banned during the winter months, as is the case in several European countries including France.
Renters currently have to be given two months’ notice in most circumstances and the White Paper seems to suggest they will stick to this, but Generation Rent has been successful along with Shelter and Plaid Cymru in persuading the Welsh government to increase its notice period to six months permanently after the pandemic.
In the White Paper, the government says it will increase the notice period for the existing rent arrears eviction ground to four weeks and will retain the mandatory threshold at two months’ arrears at time of serving notice and hearing.
“This will make sure that tenants have a reasonable opportunity to pay off arrears without losing their home,” says Michael Gove.