No-fault evictions for renters set to be banned in England

New rights for renters under proposed law
New rights for renters under proposed law
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A planned new law in the UK will mean that landlords can no longer evict renters at short notice without good reason.

The government says that the new rules are there to protect renters from “unethical” landlords and give more long-term security.

At the moment, Section 21 notices give landlords the power to evict tenants without reason as soon as their fixed-term tenancy ends.

Should it come into force, the new law will take this option away from landlords.

Housing Secretary James Brokenshire said that evidence showed Section 21 evictions were among the biggest causes of family homelessness.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the changes would offer more "stability" to the growing number of families renting.

Renters thrown out for complaining about housing

Brokenshire also said it would mean people would not be afraid to make a complaint "because they may be concerned through a no-fault eviction that they may be thrown out".

The changes comes as a study of 2,000 renters by the Citizens Advice Bureau found that tenants who made a formal complaint had a 46 per cent chance of being evicted within the next six months.

Under the new laws, landlords would have to provide a concrete reason, specified in law, as to why they were evicting the tenants.

It would also mean that landlords could no longer give renters as little as eight weeks notice when evicting them.

Why do landlords want Section 21?

Landlords are able to use a Section 8 possession notice in order to evict tenants who have violated the terms of their contract. This includes things like not paying rent.

This can involve the landlord having to pay to take court action if the renters refuse to leave.

However, the National Landlords Association has said that its members often use the Section 21 as they do not have confidence in the courts to deal with Section 8 applications.

NLA chief executive has said that the proposed legislation would simply lead to a problem of indefinite tenancies and that the focus should be on improving Section 8 and the court process instead.

Outstanding victory

The plans have attracted praise from charities that work to tackle homelessness.

Housing charity Shelter’s chief executive Polly Neate said, "Government plans to abolish no-fault evictions represent an outstanding victory for England's 11 million private renters."

Plans for other parts of the UK

First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced similar plans for Wales, while in Scotland new rules requiring landlords to give a reason for ending tenancies were introduced in 2017.

There are no plans in Northern Ireland to end no-fault evictions where a fixed-term tenancy has come to an end.