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Section 21 will only be scrapped after court reform, govt says

  • 23/10/2023
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Section 21 will only be scrapped after court reform, govt says
The government will not get rid of Section 21 evictions until the court process has been improved, it has said.

Section 21 or ‘no fault’ evictions were to be scrapped as part of the government’s Renters Reform Bill which is undergoing its second reading today. 

In a response to a report by the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee on Reforming the Private Rented Sector, the government said it “will not commence the abolition of section 21 until stronger possession grounds and a new court process is in place”. 

It aims to speed up the courts process so landlords can regain possession of their property if a tenant refuses to move out. 

The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) said landlords would leave the rental market if section 21 was scrapped without a reform of the court process. 

According to the association, where there is good reason for eviction such as anti-social behaviour or arrears, it takes more than six months on average for courts to process possession claims. 

The government said it would “continue [its] work with the judiciary to explore the prioritisation of certain cases, including anti-social behaviour”. 

It will also introduce new grounds for possession in the student rental market after it “reflected carefully” on the impact the removal of section 21 and fixed term tenancies would have. 


Reform needs to work for landlords and tenants

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said: “Reform of the rental market will only work if it has the confidence of responsible landlords every bit as much as tenants. This is especially important given the rental housing supply crisis renters now face.

“Following extensive campaigning by the NRLA, we welcome the approach taken by ministers to ensure court improvements are made before section 21 ends. The government is also right to protect the student housing market. However, more is needed to ensure student landlords are treated the same as providers of purpose-built student accommodation.  

“We will continue to engage positively with all parties as the Bill progresses through Parliament.” 

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