No-Fault Evictions To Be Banned In England, Giving More Rights To Tenants
No-fault evictions, which allow private landlords to evict tenants with almost zero notice and no good reason, will now be banned in England.
The government says it wants to protect renters from "unethical" landlords to give them a much-needed extra sense of security.
With more and more millennials struggling to buy their own homes and turning to renting instead, the change will be welcomed by many.
Currently, the section 21 notices allow landlords to evict renters without a reason after their fixed-term tenancy period ends with as little as eight weeks notice. And according to the government, the notoriously hard to challenge section 21 is one of the leading causes of family homelessness.
In the announcement, Theresa May said tenants must feel secure in their homes and have "the peace of mind they deserve".
"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," said the Prime Minister. "But millions of responsible tenants could still be uprooted by their landlord with little notice, and often little justification."
She continued: "This is wrong - and today we're acting by preventing these unfair evictions. Landlords will still be able to end tenancies where they have legitimate reasons to do so, but they will no longer be able to unexpectedly evict families with only eight weeks' notice.
"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."
Housing campaigners have hailed the move as a "a vital first step to ending profiteering from housing".
And homelessness and housing charity Shelter has called the plans "an outstanding victory" that would transform lives.
Shelter's chief executive Polly Neate said: "One in four families now privately rent their home, as do hundreds of thousands of older people. And yet, we frequently hear from people with contracts shorter than your average gym membership, who live in constant fear of being thrown out at the drop of a hat.
"Ending Section 21 evictions will transform these renters' lives - giving them room to breathe and put down roots in a place they can finally call home.
"Getting this new legislation through parliament is critical to people being able to stay in their rented home as long as they need, so we look forward to the government passing this law as quickly as possible."
Ending Section 21 evictions will transform the lives of England's 11 million renters, giving them room to breathe and finally put down roots. One in four families privately rent, as do hundreds of thousands of older people. #EndSection21 pic.twitter.com/LyrsjzkBZf
- Shelter (@Shelter) April 15, 2019
The move will also hopefully bring and end to tenants being evicted for simply complaining about living standards in rented properties.
Landlords will now have to provide "concrete, evidenced reason already specified in law" to end a tenancy.
They'll instead have to use section eight to serve an eviction at the end of a tenancy, which can be challenged by renters in a court of law.
First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced similar scrapping plans for Wales, and Scotland introduced simple rules back in 2017. Northern Ireland has announced no plans to end no-fault evictions.
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