In their 2019 election platform, the Conservative Party pledged to ban evictions, but Housing Secretary Michael Gove has only just announced the plans.
The English government will announce today its intention to abolish “no-fault” evictions.
The Renters’ (Reform) Bill will be published in the future, three and a half years after the government was elected on a pledge to end the practice.
No-fault evictions, also known as Section 21 evictions, enable landlords to regain possession of a rental unit without providing a reason.
Housing Secretary Michael Gove announced the establishment of a new ombudsman to supervise dispute resolutions.
In addition to putting an end to no-fault evictions, the bill will seek to grant tenants the legal right to request a pet. Landlords must consider these demands before rejecting them.
Mr. Gove stated, “Too many renters are living in damp, unsafe, and cold dwellings, unable to rectify the situation and facing the threat of eviction.”
“This government is committed to addressing these inequities by offering a new deal to those residing in the private rented sector, one that prioritizes quality, affordability, and equity.”
According to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities, the proposals will affect 11 million tenants and 2 million landlords in England.
The government says that landlords will be able to evict antisocial tenants more easily, with shorter notice periods for “irresponsible” renters.
Other provisions of the bill include a prohibition on landlords and agents imposing blanket restrictions on welfare recipients or families with children.
It will also implement private sector home quality standards for the first time.
The Department of Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities has stated in the past that it will implement the respectable Homes Standard to ensure that privately rented homes are “safe and decent.”
Some campaigners have referred to the bill as a “once-in-a-generation” announcement, but there are warnings that some property owners will still find ways to circumvent the law, such as by using large rent increases to evict undesirable tenants.
“Eliminating [no-fault evictions] will reduce the stress of renting and improve communication and trust between tenants and landlords,” said Dan Wilson Craw, acting director of the Generation Rent campaign group.
Siobhan Donnachie, the spokesperson for the London Renters Union, referred to the measure as “long overdue” and stated that “inflation-busting rent” will leave renters feeling insecure.
She cautioned, “A 20% rent increase is simply a no-fault eviction under a different name for the numerous families currently struggling with housing costs.”
If the government is serious about bringing renters’ security into our homes, it must recognize how insecure renters feel when speaking out against unsafe housing or planning for the future with inflation-busting rent increases hovering over our heads.
Battersea Cats and Dogs Home believes that the proposed legislation will significantly reduce the number of animals “needlessly separated from their owners” and could enable millions of future renters to enjoy pet ownership.
And Owen Sharp, the chief executive officer of Dogs Trust, described the reforms as “potentially game-changing” for responsible dog owners who rent.
Lisa Nandy, the shadow housing secretary, stated that Labour would introduce “a four-month notice period for landlords, a national register of landlords, and a host of new rights for tenants, including the right to make alterations to your home, to request prompt repairs, and to have pets.”