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Update: ban on no-fault evictions will be law ahead of general election

On behalf of Attwaters Jameson Hill posted in Dispute Resolution on Wednesday, February 14th, 2024

Since the Conservative Party pledged to outlaw Section 21 Notices (otherwise known as no-fault eviction) in its 2019 election manifesto, the new legislation has been the subject of much discussion and debate. Charities and bodies acting for tenants have accused the government of not going far enough to make conditions fairer for tenants; buy-to-let landlords have claimed in turn that the proposed reforms, on top of punishing changes to taxation several years back, would render their business unprofitable and force them to sell up.

The reforms

The biggest change proposed by the Renters Reform Bill (RRB) is the abolishment of contentious Section 21 Notices, which currently allow landlords to evict a tenant without giving a reason. The reforms are also set to introduce the right for tenants to keep pets in their properties, make it illegal for landlords to refuse to rent properties to people on benefits or with children, and provide longer notice periods so tenants facing eviction have time to find a new home.

To ensure that landlords can repossess their properties when they need to, the reforms also propose the strengthening of the Section 8 ‘grounds-based’ eviction process. A Section 8 Notice will be landlords’ only route to repossession once the laws have come into force.

Housing secretary reiterates pledge

Tenants have been disappointed by the slow progress of the RRB through parliament, especially when it was announced several months back that the legislation would face further delays while reforms to the court process were carried out.

As pressure on the Conservative Party builds to meet their manifesto pledge, however, Housing Secretary Michael Gove has reiterated the government’s promise to ban no-fault evictions by the next general election.

On the BBC’s Sunday Politics show, Mr Gove told Laura Kuenssberg: “We will have outlawed it and we will put the money into the courts in order to ensure that they can enforce it.”

He continued: “It is the case that there are a small minority of unscrupulous landlords who use the threat of eviction either to jack up rents or to silence people who are complaining about the quality of their homes.”

What next?

Mr Gove’s renewed pledge means that the very latest the reforms can come into effect is 28 January 2025 – the date by which the next general election will take place.

Even then, however, the policies won’t all come into force on day one.

First, the rules will be applied to all new tenancies, with existing tenancies continuing under the old rules. Under the second phase, the rules will apply to all tenancies and Section 21 Notices will be abolished completely. The timings of these phases have yet to be concerned.

Get prepared

At Attwaters Jameson Hill, our experienced Dispute Resolution solicitors act for both landlords and tenants on a wide range of legal matters. Whether you are a tenant concerned about eviction or a landlord worried about the impact of new legislation on your business, we can help. There is still time to make arrangements ahead of the introduction of the Renters Reform Bill, so please don’t delay. Call us on 0203 871 0094  or email drdept@attwaters.co.uk for bespoke legal advice.

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