PM launches crackdown on landlords who evict tenants at short notice without reason: Housing shake-up 'will give peace-of-mind to 11mi
PM launches crackdown on landlords who evict tenants at short notice without reason: Housing shake-up ‘will give peace-of-mind to 11million renters’
- Government to announce major housing shake-up to protect vulnerable tenants
- Move would end the practice of giving renters just eight weeks’ notice to leave
- But landlords warn new rules could lead to fewer homes being available to rent
Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary James Brokenshire will launch a consultation on the proposal
Landlords will no longer be able to evict tenants at short notice without good reason under a major housing shake-up to be announced today.
Prime Minister Theresa May said the move would end the threat of so-called ‘no-fault’ evictions which give renters as little as eight weeks’ notice to leave if their fixed-term contracts have ended. But landlords have warned that the move could create ‘indefinite tenancies by the back door’ leading to fewer homes being available in the rental sector.
Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary James Brokenshire, who will today launch a consultation, said the Government was taking action because of evidence 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. This is wrong – and today we’re acting by preventing these unfair evictions.’
At present landlords can evict tenants if they are still occupying their property after the fixed-term contract has come to an end – without specifying a reason.
Prime Minister Theresa May says new system would prevent unfair evictions and help protect vulnerable tenants in the private rental sector [File photo]
The proposals would see landlords having to provide a ‘concrete, evidenced reason already specified in law’ for ending tenancies.
Mr Brokenshire said that the move to abolish these particular kinds of evictions will be ‘balanced by ensuring responsible landlords can get their property back where they have proper reason to do so.’ But David Smith, from the Residential Landlords Association, warned there was a ‘serious danger’ the proposed reforms could lead to a reduction in the supply of rental properties.
He 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.
‘For all the talk of greater security for tenants, that will be nothing if the homes to rent are not there in the first place. We call on the Government to act with caution.’ The plans come after buy-to-let landlords were hit by a rise in stamp duty for those buying a second home.
Richard Lambert, from the National Landlords Association, said: ‘Landlords currently have little choice but to use Section 21.
‘They have no confidence in the ability or the capacity of the courts to deal with possession claims quickly and surely, regardless of the strength of the landlord’s case.
‘This change makes the fixed-term meaningless, and so creates a new system of indefinite tenancies by the back door.’ A Ministry of Housing spokesman said: ‘Court processes will be expedited so landlords are able to swiftly and smoothly regain their property in the rare event of tenants falling into rent arrears or damaging the property.’
Shelter chief executive Polly Neate welcomed the plans as ‘an outstanding victory for England’s 11million private renters’. She said: ‘This change will slam the brakes on unstable short-term tenancies and give tenants everywhere a massive boost in security, for which the Government will deserve great credit.’