Government to press ahead with abolishing section 21

The government intends to carry out the abolition of so-called ‘no fault’ Section 21 evictions.

The Queen’s Speech announced a Renters’ Reform Bill, as well as a lifetime deposit which would allow tenants to swap their deposit from one property to another.

Section 21 enables landlords to evict tenants with two months’ notice.

David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, said: “In the absence of any meaningful plan to boost the level of social housing in this country, the announcement confirming the abolition of Section 21 in today’s Queens speech is another attack against the landlords who actually house the nation.

“If Section 21 is scrapped, Section 8 must be reformed and a new specialist housing tribunal created. Without this, supply will almost certainly fall which will have the consequential effect of raising rents and will further discourage new landlords from investing in the sector.

“ARLA Propertymark will be engaging with the government to ensure they fully understand the consequences of any changes, and we will be scrutinising the legislation, to ensure landlords have the ability to regain their properties if needed.”

But Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “The abolition of Section 21 and the removal of the no-fault eviction process has been long discussed and is understandable if we are going to respond to the longer-term requirements of tenants and particularly families with children.

“Many landlords would be happy to embrace it but there must be an equal and opposite opportunity for landlords to remove tenants who are not otherwise complying with their tenancy agreement such as non payment of rent or upsetting other nearby residents.

“It has to be seen to be fair and we need to see more detail of how it would work in practice. What we don’t want to see is landlords leaving the sector, which will only increase upwards pressure on rents and make deposit saving for aspiring first-time buyers even more difficult.”