The House of Lords has been quizzing the government on its plans to remove Section 21. Baroness Thornhill raised several points when she asked questions in the House. She wanted to know how this latest consultation would differ from the 2018 consultation that looked at encouraging longer tenancies in the private rental sector.
The government was quick to respond by saying that landlords had nothing to worry about.
Strengthen Section 8
“We concluded that the best way to introduce greater security was to remove Section 21 no-fault evictions, strengthen existing Section 8 eviction grounds and reform court processes,” says Lord Bourne, the Housing Communities and Local Government minister.
“We want to collaborate with landlords and tenants to ensure that these reforms are introduced effectively. We expect to consult on our proposals over the summer.”
Baroness Thornhill asked how quickly the government intended on implementing the measures. She suggested that the government might be forced to delay its proposal under threat of rent hikes and a mass exodus from the private rental sector.
“There is certainly no intention to hang about with this: we want to consult, particularly on Section 8 and what the ground should be for ending tenancies,” reassured Lord Bourne.
He added that responsible landlords had nothing to fear. And the landlords who might be tempted to use retaliatory evictions to remove tenants that dare to complain about anything will be ‘knocked into shape’.
No-Fault Evictions in Scotland a Success
It was pointed out that in Scotland, where no-fault evictions were scrapped a year ago, has experienced no problems at all and the private rental sector is stable.
The Residential Landlords Association has written to peers, stating that it fears landlords will be encouraged to desert the sector with the removal of Section 21. However, the peers felt that providing greater stability for tenants was more important.
“That is why this provision is so welcome, because it ensures security for tenants across the board where previously some have not had it, while doing right by landlords and ensuring that, where appropriate, they can regain premises that are let out,” said Lord Naseby.