The UK Government has announced that it is planning to make it illegal for landlords to evict tenants without justification as part of sweeping reforms to the private rental market introduced by the Renters’ Reform Bill.

No-fault eviction, which is also known as a Section 21 notice, has been criticised for contributing to poor standards in the private rental sector by preventing tenants from complaining about unsatisfactory conditions.

The Government believes that abolishing the practice may result in more stability and better conditions for renters. Housing Secretary Michael Gove said the new legislation would ensure renters are “protected from the very small minority of rogue landlords who use the threat of no-fault eviction to silence tenants who want to complain about poor conditions”.

Too many renters are living in damp, unsafe, cold homes, powerless to put things right, and with the threat of sudden eviction hanging over them,” he said.

“This government is determined to tackle these injustices by offering a new deal to those living in the private rented sector; one with quality, affordability and fairness at its heart.”

The move is part of wider reforms to the housing market introduced by the Government to deliver safer, fairer, and higher quality homes to England’s 11 million tenants of privately rented properties.

The Renters’ Reform Bill also plans to make it illegal for a landlord to refuse to rent properties to families with children or those claiming benefits.

Tenants will also be given the legal right to request to keep a pet in their home, which landlords must consider and cannot “unreasonably refuse”. Landlords will be required to obtain pet insurance to cover any damage to their property.

Criticised by some as being ‘anti-landlord’, the Government maintains that the reforms will benefit landlords and tenants alike. The Government says that the Bill will protect over two million landlords by making it easier for them to recover properties when they need to, for example, if they want to sell their property or when tenants wilfully do not pay rent.

Notice periods will also be reduced where tenants have been irresponsible, for example, by breaching their tenancy agreement or causing damage to the property.

The reforms will also strengthen powers to evict anti-social tenants.

The new tenancy systems will be introduced alongside a reformed court process. A new Ombudsman is expected to provide quicker and cheaper resolutions to disputes, while a new digital Property Portal will enable landlords to understand their obligations and help tenants make better decisions when signing a new tenancy agreement.

For the minority of evictions that do end up in the courts, more of the process will be digitised, thereby reducing delays.

Martin Lewis, founder of, welcomed the establishment of a new Ombudsman. “We have long needed a statutory single private rental Ombudsman. After all, disputes are often between two individuals – landlord and tenant – rather than between companies, so it can be very personal and difficult to sort.

Crucially, it won’t be voluntary. All private landlords will be required to join the Ombudsman, and it will have legal authority to compel apologies, take remedial action and pay compensation,” Lewis said.

However, there are concerns that landlords could find ways to circumnavigate some of the new legislation and bypass the eviction ban by using large rent hikes and other ‘back door’ evictions to force unwanted tenants out.

Siobhan Donnachie, spokeswoman for the London Renters Union, branded the Bill “long overdue” and said “inflation-busting rent” will mean renters will still feel insecure.

For the many families struggling with housing costs at the moment, a 20% rent hike is simply a no-fault eviction under a different name,” said Donnachie.

If the government is serious about bringing renters security in our homes, it must recognise how insecure renters feel speaking out against unsafe housing or planning for the future with the threat of inflation-busting rent increases hanging over our heads.”

Specialist Property Lawyers Blackheath

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