14:36 PM, 12th October 2022, About 12 months ago 29
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.”
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.
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.
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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