James with Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey on a recent visit to Bury
James with Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey on a recent visit to Bury

Bury North MP James Frith has pledged to protect private renters in Bury from unfair eviction with new ‘indefinite’ tenancies, based on rules currently in place in Germany.

The change – backed by Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary – would revolutionise the private rental market, potentially benefitting over 10,000 households in Bury and 4.5 million households across England. German tenancies last, on average, 11 years, compared to around 4 years in England.

In England, according to a survey of landlords conducted by the Government, landlords or their agents make the decision to end almost one in five tenancies (18%). At present, tenants can be evicted without any reason being given, and despite having done nothing wrong. Nationally, one in three private renters – 1.6m households – have dependent children.

Under the German system, tenancies are effectively open-ended with a tenant only able to be evicted on tightly defined grounds, for example if they don’t pay the rent or commit criminal behaviour in the property.

Labour will now consult widely with landlord and tenant groups on the proper grounds for termination of a tenancy, ahead of the next general election.

James, who is a member of Labour’s shadow housing team, said:

“Private renters in Bury shouldn’t be living in fear of losing their homes.

“The insecurity of renting is a power imbalance at the heart of our broken housing market, where tenants are afraid to report problems in case they are evicted, and families with children are forced to move at short notice.

“Many landlords provide decent homes that tenants are happy with, but the Government is allowing rogue landlords to take advantage of good tenants. Renters deserve better.”

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