The government has indicated that that it will not be bringing the much debated Renters’ Reform Act forward as draft legislation until the Covid crisis is over, which LandlordZONE has been informed means at earliest next year.

Given the six to nine month lead times for legislation to make it through parliament, even with cross-party support, this means it will a year until Section 21 notice evictions are abolished.

The Renters’ Reform Act as proposed is the tool that the government intends to use to do away with Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 ‘no fault’ evictions, which many landlords use to regain possession of a property when they wish to sell it or move in themselves.

Chris Pincher told parliament yesterday in reply to an urgent question from shadow housing secretary Thangam Debbonaire about giving tenants greater rights, that the draft legislation will see the light of day ‘in due course, when we have [a] stable terrain on which to do so’.

“That will improve tenants’ rights. We will also ensure that there is provision for a lifetime deposit scheme in that Bill,” he said.
The act has, by any measure, been severely disrupted by the Covid crisis,” he said.

The Renters’ Reform Act announced in the Queen’s Speech on 19th December just after the general election following a consultation that ran from July to October 2019 which sought views on abolishing Section 21.

Originally announced in April last year, the proposed legislation was described by Ministers as an attempt to ‘modernise’ the rented sector, and has been heralded by government as a ‘fairer deal for both landlords and tenants’.

But so far the government has yet to even publish its analysis of the feedback, a sure sign that Ministers at MHCLG have neither the time nor inclination at the moment to tackle this thorny issue.

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