Prime Minister Liz Truss has committed to abolishing “no-fault” evictions following widespread backlash to reports she planned to scrap the reform.
It emerged on Tuesday that ministers were considering abandoning legislation which would scrap Section 21 evictions and stop landlords from evicting tenants without reason.
But speaking to the House of Commons today, Ms Truss confirmed the rental reforms would go ahead.
During Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday afternoon, Labour MP Graham Stringer warned to renege on the manifesto pledge to end “no-fault” evictions would be “an act of extreme callousness”.
Mr Stringer asked: “Can the Prime Minister reassure the 11 million private renters in this country that she will carry out her commitment to get rid of no-fault evictions?”
To which Ms Truss replied: “I can.”
It follows 24 hours of backlash from charities, MPs and lenders over reports the Prime Minister would put the rental reforms on ice.
Campaigners warned U-turning on Section 21 – which was a 2019 Tory election manifesto promise and the flagship policy of a government white paper on private rental sector drawn up this summer – would be “shameful” and risked homelessness for thousands.
Kiran Ramchandani, of housing charity Crisis, said it had been an “anxious 24 hours” for renters.
She added: “They will be breathing a sigh of relief to hear the Prime Minister reconfirm the Government’s commitment to ending no-fault evictions.
“No one should be needlessly evicted from their home as we head into what will be an extremely challenging winter for thousands.”
Abolishing “no-fault” evictions will be a welcome move for tenants who are battling a chronic housing shortage and soaring rents. But landlords have argued keeping Section 21 would encourage more landlords to stay in the buy-to-let market, help to boost supply and manage price rises.
Section 21 is used as a way to routinely end tenancies without going through the courts – which are bogged down with delays. Often, landlords use Section 21 even in cases of rental arrears or anti-social behaviour because the process is faster and cheaper.
Removing this safety net has already forced investors to sell up amid a backdrop of rising buy-to-let mortgage rates and following years of punishing tax changes. In the past two weeks alone, the average two-year fix for landlords has jumped by 1.27 percentage points, rising from 5.57pc at the beginning of October to 6.84pc, according to analyst Moneyfacts.
Ben Beadle, of the National Residential Landlord Association, said: “We will continue to work with the Government to ensure the new system for repossessing properties is both fair and workable for responsible landlords and tenants.”