‘Blundertruss’ backtracks on moves to end Section 21 abolition plans

‘Blundertruss’ backtracks on moves to end Section 21 abolition plans

14:36 PM, 12th October 2022, About 2 years ago 29

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Private sector landlords will be dismayed to hear that Prime Minister Liz Truss has backtracked on rumoured plans to shelve legislation that would have abolished Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions.

Ms Truss performed her latest U-turn during Prime Minister’s Questions today (Wednesday).

That’s when Labour MP Graham Stringer told the chamber that after increasing the cost of borrowing and the cost of mortgages as an act of ‘gross incompetence’, he said:

“But going back on the commitment to end no-fault evictions is an act of extreme callousness.

“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?”

Without hesitating, the Prime Minister rose to her feet and replied: “I can.”

Planned abolition of Section 21

The latest turnabout follows a report in The Times that the government was looking to shelve legislation that would have meant the planned abolition of Section 21 would no longer take place.

That led to an outcry from housing organisations with many of them criticising the government and the impact such a move would have on tenants.

The move to stand by the plan to abolish Section 21 follows a pledge that was first made by the Conservatives in 2019 to scrap ‘no-fault’ evictions in their election manifesto.

And in May, the legislation was confirmed in the Queen’s Speech with a new Renter’s Reform Bill that will also see the extension of the Decent Homes Standard to the private rental sector and an ombudsman to help manage disputes between landlords and tenants.

Critics responded quickly to news that the government was still going ahead with its plans to abolish section 21.

‘Government’s commitment to ending Section 21’

The Renters’ Reform Coalition tweeted: “Confirmation of the government’s commitment to ending Section 21 from @trussliz at PMQs is welcome news. But we have more questions.

“When and how? What about the Renters’ Reform Bill that was promised this Autumn?”

Kiran Ramchandani, the director of policy and external affairs at Crisis, told one media outlet that tenants will be ‘breathing a sigh of relief’ after the Prime Minister confirmed the government’s commitment to ending no-fault evictions.”

She added the government must now bring forward the Renter’s Reform Bill to give tenants stability.

‘Keep faith’ with the plan to end ‘no-fault’ evictions’

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that Michael Gove spoke at a Shelter event at the Conservative Party conference last week urging the Prime Minister to ‘keep faith’ with the plan to end ‘no-fault’ evictions.

Mr Gove said, according to a report in The Times, that Boris Johnson was insistent that the planned measure should remain in the 2019 manifesto.

He also said that the government must deliver a level playing field between tenants and landlords and focus on a minority of landlords who do not behave responsibly.

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15:02 PM, 12th October 2022, About 2 years ago

I mean - it was a two word answer 'I can' this doesn't mean it will be in its current form or as strict as it is in the current white paper.

Before we start fear mongering let's see what actually happens


15:04 PM, 12th October 2022, About 2 years ago

What have I missed? When did Liz Truss say she would reverse the ban on S21?

Freda Blogs

15:05 PM, 12th October 2022, About 2 years ago

"[Gove] also said that the government must deliver a level playing field between tenants and landlords and focus on a minority of landlords who do not behave responsibly."
I’d like to believe him, but does any landlord really believe that? The draft bill shows no such level playing field - the government is playing to the gallery of the loudest voices - Shelter, Generation Rent et al, all of whom choose to misrepresent S21 as 'no fault' and two months’ notice.
Renters and landlords are being led off the edge of a cliff by this rhetoric as Landlords sell, supply diminishes, and rents rise. You couldn’t make it up, yet it’s all sucked up and spouted again and again with impunity.
Liz Truss said in her conference speech (I have subtitled pictures): “Same old answers, always more taxes, more regulation and more money. Wrong, wrong, wrong.”

Looks like she’s U turned on that too….


15:15 PM, 12th October 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Freda Blogs at 12/10/2022 - 15:05
Scotland's PRS is imploding.

It's basically this is what happens if you do these changes.

Hopefully ANY Goverment has got enough about them to look at that and realise that's not the way to go.


15:19 PM, 12th October 2022, About 2 years ago

'U Turn Truss' has U turned again

Dylan Morris

15:30 PM, 12th October 2022, About 2 years ago

Maggie Thatcher must be turning in her grave

Team J

15:30 PM, 12th October 2022, About 2 years ago

Well, that has decided it!
I have a house that has just come back to me after a five year tenant moved out. (The lady was moving location for a new job), so I have just had it lightly renovated painted, a small bit of pointing a few small upgrades new carpets and laminate flooring. The house next door but one, which is very similar in layout and standard went up for rent three weeks ago at the same monthly rental as I would ask for. I am informed Forty applications to view were made, twenty carried out ten applications to rent received in four days of going on the market . I was until yesterday considering selling rather than renting due to upcoming section 21 removal. Then yesterday I was sure it was going back on the rental market after the turn around and suggestion section 21 was to be kept. Now with today’s news the property will hopefully be sold to another neighbour who approached us and wants to buy it for their relative. To put this into context I have been a landlord for many many years and I have never evicted anyone in that time. However I am getting on and may at some point in the future want to sell a few properties over the next few years. The section 21 removal has brought this forward. I also believe in human rights, and as a property investor I should have the right to evict and regain procession of my investment property within reason at some point in the future should the need arise. This removal of that basic human right to manage my own property investments will lead to one more rental property disappearing from a very short supplied market and me investing my money in other investment areas. Sad but true. A small band of activists has created a demonised character attachment to private sector landlords which is totally unrepresentative of the average landlord in this country. This perception is wrong and damaging. I have never yet met a landlord who wanted to evict a tenant. The vast majority of landlords want long term stable tenants and a good relationship. This unnecessary demonisation of private sector landlords is leading to a withdrawal of rented property from the market as landlords sell up imvho.


15:35 PM, 12th October 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Barbaracus at 12/10/2022 - 15:15
I can't see why any landlord would be wanting to invest in buy-to-let in Scotland at the moment, even if a lender was actually prepared to advance the funds to allow the landlord to be able to do it. But the SNP has always been left-wing and perhaps that's what the Scottish government actually wants.

The trouble with all this knee-jerk-reaction-politics whether it's emanating from Westminster or from Holyrood is that if you put in rent controls and get rid of no-fault evictions without fixing the root cause of the problem for short-term political gain you are left with tenants being evicted for a reason; i.e. fault will be found, their sins will find them out and follow them. Many of these tenants will not be able to find private sector tenancies because they will be screened out as a poor risk. This will increase the problem of homelessness and it will be dumped fair and square on the public housing sector as landlords exit the market.

Richard Smyth

16:15 PM, 12th October 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Beaver at 12/10/2022 - 15:35One possible way forward, which might satisfy most sides, would be to introduce an 'opt in' facility for protected tenancies (tenancies where 'no fault eviction' is banned- a subtle renaming). This would perhaps require the Treasury to allow tax returns to specify which tenancies had been let subject to a protected tenancy (one which would presumably contain specific government clauses giving security of tenure) and give a substantial tax incentive in respect of these tenancies. This would be operated in a similar way to the old Schedule D Case 6 designation for furnished tenancies and a tax incentive might encourage landlords to opt into security of tenure for their new lettings. If it costs £200,000 per unit to provide social housing, a tax rebate of, say £2000 per unit to the private sector may incentivize or at least prevent the collapse of the PRS and also provide tenants with the security they desire. HMOs should obviously be totally exempt from any security of tenure beyond the term specified in the lease and this should be contained in any legislation. Rent increases would require regulation by a Rent Officer.
Trust would be a major issue- once introduced, a future government could abolish the tax incentives but let the tenancy remain. This is just a random thought which could form part of negotiations and may get the government out of the cul de sac down which they are heading.

Alexander Henry

16:59 PM, 12th October 2022, About 2 years ago

I hope whoever is living in Boris's house refuses to move - for ever. But you'll find there will be loop holes for important people.

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