The government is set to announce plans to scrap ‘no-fault’ evictions today.
More than three years has passed since the government was elected with a manifesto to stop landlords from evicting tenants without justification.
The Renters’ (Reform) Bill will be published on Wednesday (17 May), which will revise Section 21 – also known as 'no-fault evictions' – which allow landlords to take back possessions from tenants without providing a reason.
The long-awaited change will shake up the private rented sector across the country and aims to help 11 million tenants benefit from safer and better quality homes.
“Too many renters are living in damp, unsafe, cold homes, powerless to put things right and with the threat of sudden eviction hanging over them,” Levelling Up and Housing Secretary Michael Gove said.
“This government is determined to tackle these injustices by offering a new deal to those living in the private rented sector; one with quality, affordability and fairness at its heart.”
A long-running issue in the private rented sector has seen landlords use Section 21 of the Housing Act to break contracts to get new tenants who will pay higher rent.
The Conservative government includes plans to abolish no-fault evictions in their manifesto pledge in 2019, so the revision revealed today has been in the works for a very long time.
The plans – which have been described by the government as a ‘once-in-a-generation overhaul’ of housing law, will also impact two million landlords, according to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
Landlords will be able to evict anti-social tenants with greater ease, the government says, with shorter notice periods for ‘irresponsible’ renters, such as those who repeatedly miss their rent payments.
If a tenant breaches their tenancy agreement or causes damage to the property, the notice period for their eviction will be reduced.
New grounds for repossession will be set out in the Reform Bill for landlords who wish to sell their property, or move in themselves or family members into it.
The bill will also include plans to make it illegal for landlords and agents to have blanket bans on people who claim benefits or families with children.
Home quality standards will apply to the private sector for the first time when the new bill is published. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities previously said it would introduce the 'Decent Homes Standard' to the sector to ensure homes in the private rented sector are ‘safe and decent’.
The government plans to establish a new ombudsman to enforce the policy changes and resolve low-level disputes between tenants and landlords without the need to go to court.
There will also be greater rights for pet owners when seeking a property to rent. Under the bill, tenants will have the right to request to keep a pet in their rented home, although they may have to take out suitable insurance to protect the property from damage.
Landlords must consider all requests and won’t be allowed to refuse their request on unreasonable grounds. If they do so, tenants can challenge the decision.Featured Image Credit: Steven Harrison / Alamy Stock Photo / Dzmitry Kliapitski / Alamy Stock Photo