Yvonne Fovargue MP: More rights are needed for tenants

I have long supported calls for more rights and better protections for tenants, including an end to section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions.

I want the balance of power to be tilted towards renters, but I am concerned the Government is not acting with the urgency required, despite committing to introducing reforms to the private rented sector three years ago.

I support calls on the Government to avoid delay and bring forward the Bill as a matter of urgency. I understand that it is currently analysing feedback from a public consultation it ran on its proposals. While I appreciate that reforms need to be considered and properly scrutinised, I believe tenants need protections now.

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That is why I am supporting calls for emergency legislation to abolish ‘no fault’ evictions. I am also supporting calls for a Renters’ Charter that would end automatic evictions for rent arrears; introduce a national register of landlords; make deposits fairer and more flexible; permit pets; allow tenants to make reasonable alterations to their home; require landlords to give four-month notice periods; and give tenants the right to request speedy repairs.

Makerfield MP Yvonne FovargueMakerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue
Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue

More widely, I have serious concerns that private renters continue to face rising rents alongside other increased costs of living. I want to see a serious plan from Ministers to keep people in their homes.

Government plans include proposals to remove rent review clauses and limit rent increases to once per year, but I do not believe these measures are good enough. I will continue to support efforts to press Ministers on protections for private renters.

Fireworks displays run by local charities and organisations can provide a safe and organised way for people to enjoy fireworks, while promoting community cohesion and raising funds for local causes.

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However, I believe it is important to look at how we can better protect people and animals from the misuse of fireworks, and the stress and anxiety it can cause to smaller children, older people and those who suffer from mental health issues.

Since January 2005, the sale of fireworks to the public has been prohibited, except for from licensed traders. However, fireworks can be sold by unlicensed traders for Chinese New Year, Diwali, Bonfire Night celebrations and new year.

On the use of fireworks, under the Fireworks Regulations 2004, it is an offence to use fireworks after 11pm and before 7am without permission, except on permitted fireworks nights, when the times are extended.

I believe when it comes to our firework regulations, the law has not kept pace with developments, and the Government should look at them to determine the changing impact of fireworks and whether any changes are needed.

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It needs, for example, to address the growing calls for fireworks use to be permitted only in public displays or at certain times of year, as well as to look at what can be done to bring down the noise of fireworks.

However, unless these laws are enforced, they are largely meaningless.

I am concerned that a decade of cuts to local authorities, including for example to their trading standards and environmental health teams, has left them without the resources to tackle rogue traders or those breaking the rules.