How did a Tory promise to end no-fault evictions become stalled?

Reforms to help renters are being watered down or delayed in the Commons, where many MPs are themselves landlords, says Mary Dejevsky

Wednesday 24 April 2024 20:26 BST
The Renters (Reform) Bill is on its third reading
The Renters (Reform) Bill is on its third reading (PA)

Conservatives pledged in the 2019 manifesto to abolish Section 21 notices, which allow landlords to evict tenants without giving a reason. No-fault eviction, as it is called, has been one of the biggest complaints of tenants, and the abolition of Section 21 notices has long been a central demand of tenant and homelessness campaign groups, such as Shelter.

Now, almost five years after the first promise was given, and almost a year since the Renters (Reform) Bill was tabled, the commitment seems no closer to being honoured. The bill is now going through its report stage and third reading in the Commons before returning to the House of Lords, but the key sections are expected to be watered down or subject to delay.

Michael Gove, the housing secretary, also seems to be wavering. In a television interview in February, he insisted Section 21 orders would be abolished by the next election. On the eve of the bill’s third reading, he seemed less certain, saying to the BBC: “Everything depends on the House of Lords. My determination is to ensure that we get this bill on the statute book. But it’s up to the Lords to decide the rate of progress that we can make ... It will be a judgement of the Lords as to how this bill progresses.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in