Landlords will be banned from booting out tenants for no reason, Theresa May reveals

Posted On: 
14th April 2019

Landlords will be banned from turfing tenants out of private rental properties for no reason under a major housing shake-up announced by Theresa May today.

Theresa May announced plans to scrap the controversial Section 21 rules
Credit: 
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The Prime Minister has revealed plans to scrap controversial rules that allow landlords to seize control of their property with just two-months' notice once an initial contract has come to an end.

She said the changes would protect the more than 4 million rented households in England from “unethical behaviour” and "give them the long-term certainty and the peace of mind they deserve”.

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Labour welcomed the announcement but said more must be done to stop landlords driving tenants out through unfair hikes to rent. Landlords urged the Government to ensure their rights are protected.

The Government will launch a consultation on ending controversial 'Section 21' laws that allow for no-fault evictions. Many fear the current rules prevent tenants from complaining to landlords about substandard living conditions.

Evidence shows that the end of tenancies through the Section 21 process is one of the biggest causes of family homelessness.

Mrs May said: “Everyone renting in the private sector has the right to feel secure in their home, settled in their community and able to plan for the future with confidence.

“But millions of responsible tenants could still be uprooted by their landlord with little notice, and often little justification.”

She added: “This important step will not only protect tenants from unethical behaviour, but also give them the long-term certainty and the peace of mind they deserve.”

But Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said the change will be "balanced by ensuring responsible landlords can get their property back where they have proper reason to do so".

Separate law changes will ensure landlords can take back their properties if they wish to move into them or sell them, while the court process for eviction for genuine reasons will be made quicker and easier.

'NEW RIGHTS NEEDED'

Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey welcomed the announcement but warned that the pledge “won't work if landlords can still force tenants out by hiking the rent”.

He added: “For nine years, the Tories have failed to tackle problems facing private renters.

“Tenants need new rights and protections across the board to end costly rent increases and substandard homes as well as to stop unfair evictions.”

'SERIOUS DANGERS'

The Residential Landlords Association meanwhile warned the Government of the “serious dangers of getting such reforms wrong”.

Policy director David Smith said: “With the demand for private rented homes continuing to increase, we need the majority of good landlords to have confidence to invest in new homes.

“This means ensuring they can swiftly repossess properties for legitimate reasons such as rent arrears, tenant anti-social behaviour or wanting to sell them. This needs to happen before any moves are made to end Section 21.”