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The government is planning substantial changes to tenants’ rights by bringing to an end so-called “no-fault evictions”.
In what they term “the biggest change to the private rental sector in a generation”, ministers intend to prevent private landlords from evicting tenants at short notice and “with no good reason”.
They have turned their sights in particular on Section 21 evictions, with the intention of ending the process by which private landlords can uproot tenants within eight weeks of their fixed-term contract coming to a close.
Communities secretary James Brokenshire said: “By abolishing these kind of evictions, every single person living in the private rented sector will be empowered to make the right housing choice for themselves – not have it made for them. And this will be balanced by ensuring responsible landlords can get their property back where they have proper reason to do so.
“We are building a fairer housing market that truly works for everyone.”
The news was welcomed by Polly Neate, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, who said: “This change will give tenants everywhere a massive boost in security, for which the government will deserve great credit.”
Under the new proposals landlords will be obliged to provide a “concrete, evidenced reason” to end a tenancy.
Ministers also intend to amend the Section 8 eviction process to ensure home owners can regain their property if they need to sell it or move into it, and have also promised to speed up court proceedings in situations where landlords face rent arrears or damage to their property.
The new rules apply to England, with similar proposals scheduled to come into force in Wales. Scotland adopted such measures in 2017. In Northern Ireland there are currently no plans to end no-fault evictions when a fixed-term tenancy has ended.
The announcement precedes the Tenant Fees Act coming into force on 1 June. The Act caps deposits at five weeks’ rent and legislates against unfair letting fees.