I very much appreciate the vital role that landlords play in the housing market by providing homes for 4.6 million households in the private rented sector. That said, I believe it is right to acknowledge the concerns of renters and I am encouraged that the Government is currently analysing feedback on a consultation regarding plans to abolish Section 21 evictions.
I also welcome the proposed Renters’ Reform Bill, announced in the 2019 Queen’s Speech, which will enhance renters’ security and improve protections for short-term tenants by abolishing ‘no-fault’ evictions. Many tenants live with the worry of being evicted at short notice or continue to live in poor accommodation for fear they will be asked to leave if they complain about problems with their home. Section 21 evictions are one of the largest causes of family homelessness and its abolition would provide greater certainty for tenants by establishing a practice of open-ended tenancies.
I recognise that landlords have concerns about the effectiveness of the Section 8 process for evictions. The Government has expressed plans to amend Section 8 to ensure that landlords may end tenancies with confidence where there are legitimate grounds for doing so. Court processes will also be expedited to ensure that disputes are resolved quickly and smoothly.
I would also note that only 6.6 per cent of tenancies ended in 2018 were due to a tenant eviction, and that over half of all landlords responding to the Government’s consultation reported no difficulties repossessing a property through the courts.