The UK government unveiled plans to eliminate “no-fault” evictions in England today, as part of a long-awaited move to provide greater protections for renters. The Renters’ (Reform) Bill, which was published today – 17th May 2023 – comes three-and-a-half years after the government pledged in its election manifesto to put an end to this practice.
No-fault, or Section 21 evictions, currently enable landlords to reclaim possession of their properties from tenants without providing any specific reason. This has sparked widespread criticism from housing advocacy groups, who argue that it leaves renters vulnerable to unfair and arbitrary evictions, causing instability and insecurity in their living situations.
The Renters’ (Reform) Bill intends to address these concerns by requiring landlords to provide legitimate grounds for eviction, such as rent arrears, property damage, or tenancy agreement breaches. This shift toward a more balanced system aims to offer tenants increased security in their homes, while still allowing landlords to protect their interests.
The announcement follows further updates to other areas of property law. Read our previous blog: Government confirms leasehold reforms are on the way
As this major reform is set to reshape the private rental market in England, both landlords and tenants will need to adapt to a new legal framework that is intended to foster greater fairness and stability for all parties involved.
The government will also bring forward legislation as part of the Bill to:
- Apply the Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector for the first time, giving renters safer, higher quality homes and remove the blight of poor-quality homes in local communities. This will help deliver the government’s Levelling Up mission to halve the number of non-decent rented homes by 2030.
- Make it illegal for landlords and agents to have blanket bans on renting to tenants in receipt of benefits or with children – ensuring no family is unjustly discriminated against when looking for a place to live.
- Strengthen councils’ enforcement powers and introduce a new requirement for councils to report on enforcement activity – to help target criminal landlords.
Housing Secretary Michael Gove said:
“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.
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.
Our new laws introduced to Parliament today will support the vast majority of responsible landlords who provide quality homes to their tenants, while delivering our manifesto commitment to abolish Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions.
This will ensure that everyone can live somewhere which is decent, safe and secure – a place they’re truly proud to call home.”
Tenants will also be given the legal right to request a pet in their home, which the landlord must consider and cannot unreasonably refuse. Landlords will be able to require pet insurance to cover any damage to their property.
Landlord and Tenant Solicitors London
Understanding the legal landscape and staying informed about new developments in housing laws is essential for landlords and tenants. Our team of experienced solicitors is dedicated to helping clients navigate these complexities and ensure their rights are protected.
If you require assistance with landlord and tenant issues, lease extensions, freehold acquisitions, or any other aspects of property law, do not hesitate to contact us. We will work diligently to provide you with the necessary guidance and support throughout the entire process, making it as seamless and stress-free as possible.
Please get in touch with one of our specialist landlord and tenant Partners, Ryan Senior & Nick Roots, or any member of our landlord & tenant team to discuss the best way forward for you. We will provide you with further and specific advice tailored to your circumstances.
Remember, this blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice or acted upon without consulting a qualified professional. If you have specific concerns or questions regarding your property or tenancy, we encourage you to reach out to our team of experienced solicitors for tailored advice and assistance.
This blog post is not intended to be taken as advice or acted upon. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our team of solicitors