Leading Tory ‘reluctantly’ slams own party’s renting reforms

Lord Frost, who is a high profile 'true blue' Tory and Brexiteer, says measures within Bill will make the rental market 'worse not better' and is 'un-Conservative'.

Lord Frost renters reform bill

A leading Tory MP has ‘reluctantly’ slammed his own Government’s renting reforms during a lively debate last night as the Renters (Reform) Bill got its second reading in the Lords.

Lord Frost was one of the most ardent Brexiteers and a ‘true blue Tory’ but this hasn’t stopped him savaging the Bill, saying he opposed it on both practical and philosophical grounds.

He described the legislation as ‘fundamentally un-conservative’ and his comments reveal the problems faced by a weak Sunak Government as it tries to stop ‘grumpy’ pro-landlord MPs from diluting the legislation as it moves towards Royal Assent. This will likely be before the Summer recess starts on 23rd July.

Frost’s criticisms went further – he described the UK overall housing market as not even ‘minimally functional’ and lambasted his own Government for failing to build enough homes for sale or rent over the past 13 years.

He blamed Government’s extra taxation and regulation of landlords for shrinking the private rental market, and said the Renters (Reform) Bill was only accelerating this trend.

Frost also said that his practical concerns about the Bill were that it ties up and restricts the market further and that “this will makes matters worse, not better”.

“I regret that I have to speak in these terms about a Bill that my own government is bringing forward,” he said.

“If we want to help people live in secure, safe and sound housing and reliable tenancies then we need to produce a better market and not distort it with this Bill further.”

Frost is particularly concerned that his own party wants to end fixed-term tenancies – i.e. ASTs – even though it was never a manifesto commitment, unlike abolishing Section 21 no-fault evictions.

“If you abolish Section 21 evictions, then fixed-term tenancies like an AST provide some certainty for landlords but by abolishing those too, it increases the likelihood that landlords will have to go to court to evict tenants – increasing their costs.”

The Bill now has three more stages to complete in the Lords before returning to the Commons.

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