Examination of Witness

Part of Renters (Reform) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 12:30 pm ar 16 Tachwedd 2023.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Jacky Peacock:

I should first of all say that we are not happy with the sales ground. If a landlord wants to sell the property, we think that there is no reason that it could not be sold with the tenant in situ. Obviously, if it is sold to another landlord, that is a big advantage because they do not have to have any void periods while the property is going through the process of sale.

I also suggest, whether or not that remains a ground, that tenants should be given the right of first refusal. There is a precedent for that under the Rent Act 1977. Qualifying tenants—in other words, Rent Act tenants and/or non-leaseholders—have that right at the moment under certain circumstances. I will not tire you with the details of that, but as far as I am aware, all the parties are in favour of increasing owner occupation and this seems to be a very sensible way of doing it.

Even if individual tenants could not afford to buy, they may well have a relative that could buy it for them and they could own it eventually or it could be offered to the local authority, a housing co-operative, a housing trust or whatever. I hope that is something that is given serious consideration. It also means that the property is not being lost if landlords leave the sector. Certainly, if we have the portal as we would like to see it, a lot of appallingly bad landlords will be leaving the sector—good riddance—and that property could be bought by someone else, such as the local authority.