Campaigns Housing Supply and Rents

Corbyn wrong on rented homes

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley


Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, today painted an inaccurate picture of the private rented sector in the House of Commons.

During Prime Minister’s Questions he referenced a woman who had lived in her private rented home for ten years who faced having to leave her property.

He used it to call for three year tenancies and warned that tenants are living in fear of eviction.

Official statistics however show that private sector tenants have lived in their homes for an average of  more than four years.

Figures from the Ministry of Justice also show that in the most recent period for which data is available, sixty two per cent of all claims to repossess a property by landlords were in the social rented sector, compared to 16 per cent in the private rented sector.

Further figures show that just a tenth of all tenancies in the private rented sector are ended by a landlord or letting agent.

RLA Policy Director, David Smith, said: “The figures speak for themselves.

“The vast majority of tenancies are ended by the tenant, and not the landlord and the very fact that the person quoted in today’s exchanges has lived in their rental home for ten years shows the sector is already providing long term stability.

“Many tenants have a perceived fear of eviction because tenancies will often be on the basis of six or one year periods which are, in the vast majority of cases, renewed.

“It is disappointing that the Leader of the Opposition has needlessly played to such fears.

“We welcome the Government’s plans to consult on barriers that make it difficult to offer longer tenancies which will provide an important opportunity especially to address the problem of mortgage lenders preventing landlords from offering them.”

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.


  • Many landlords will be considering ending their tenancies and re-letting their buy to let so – called “investment” properties as a holiday lets or serviced accomodation as a direct result of the Section 24 tax changes implemented by the Tories.
    Jeremy Corbyn should not necessarily be blaming landlords for factors that they have to consider which are completely outside our control.

  • I bet if Jeremy Corbyn rented a property that he owned to a tenant who then totally abused it he may change his tune. This happened to me once but since that unfortunate incident I have 2 properties that the tenants have been in for 6 years & 2 years respectively. These tenancies have the standard 6 Month AST contract.

  • I do think it is true that tenants fear being evicted because of the anti-PRS propaganda.

    I have a tenant who has lived with damp soaking through a wall and no heating for six months rather than tell me. I only discovered it because I pressured him into an inspection. I now am faced with a bill for hacking off the plaster and renewing whereas, if I’d know six months ago it would merely have needed drying out.

    All thanks to rogue landlord documentaries.

  • Jeremy Corbyn is a mad man. He does not live in real world.He him self living in house worth 1.5 million,and he talk about socialism.

    • He is not a mad man, he is a snake oil salesman, – he is playing to people who are renting their homes. He believes in “affordable” homes which, is another word for “subsidised” homes.

      It seems to me that he does not see a place for the PRS, what I would ask, is who is going to pay the subsidy to provide “affordable” homes.

  • I work as a landlord advisor, and I know for a fact that most landlords using section 21 (no fault eviction notice) are falling back on this when they have grounds, because it’s easier to get a possession order than the section 8 (grounds) route. This is adding to the impression that private landlords simply evict on a whim.

  • Jeremy Corbyn is most definitely living in cloud cuckoo land. I have had one bad tenant who ended up owing me £4000 partly my own fault because he became ill and I made extreme allowances but once better he became a nightmare. I ended up evicting him using a section 21. Fortunately he went without too much trouble due to the arrears. We spent money which was really down the drain so we put the house back in a saleable order and got rid of it. Lessons learned we now do our own research on the tenants of our other houses and have had no trouble with them. Landlords are good and bad but in my opinion mostly good as they want good tenants who will remain as my current tenants have. A lot of hard work goes into our houses to make them attractive to good tenants. We may not sell items as in a shop but we still deserve the same tax breaks that shops get when upgrading. We are selling a service and an important one not just an easily replaceable item. I find the Corbyns and governments in general very short sighted and extremely tax them focused without going into the future implications of their short sighted actions.

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