As a member of the Select Committee for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, as well as the Chairman for the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Private Rented Sector, I have done much work scrutinising the Government’s plans to abolish Section 21 evictions in the upcoming Renters Reform Bill. Many tenants live with the worry of being evicted at short notice or endure poor accommodation for fear they will be asked to leave if they complain about problems with their home. This is a problem that must be tackled. The Government is therefore standing by its manifesto commitment to abolish 'no fault' Section 21 evictions.
Under proposals set out in the 'A Fairer Private Rented Sector' White Paper, all tenants would be moved onto a single system of periodic tenancies. This would offer greater security while retaining the flexibility that attracts many tenants to the private rented sector. A tenancy will only come to an end if the tenant chooses to leave or if the landlord has a valid ground for possession. Tenants would need to give two months’ notice when leaving a tenancy which would ensure that landlords can avoid lengthy void periods.
However, landlords play a vital role in the housing market by providing homes for the more than four million households in the private rented sector. It is important that providing tenants with this greater security is balanced with an assurance that landlords are able to recover their properties where they have valid reason to do so.
This helps ensure the future supply of good-quality housing in the private rented sector. The Government has said it will reform grounds of possession so that the system is comprehensive, fair and effective. Improvements will be made to court processes (section 8) to ensure that disputes are resolved quickly and smoothly.
Just this week, the Government announced plans to make it easier for private landlords to evict anti-social tenants after serving notice, as well as broaden the disruptive and harmful activities that can lead to eviction.
The contents of the Bill will require time and so for a smooth transition to this new system, tenants, landlords and agents will be supported as they adjust.