Renters will still face unfair evictions under 'inadequate' new bill, say campaigners
Campaigners are criticizing the new legislation intended to ban no-fault evictions in England as "inadequate," cautioning that renters could still be unjustly evicted.
They are urging Housing Secretary Michael Gove to reinforce the proposed Renters (Reform) Bill. According to the government, the bill aims to establish fairness for tenants and landlords, yet certain Conservative MPs worry it could lead to a decrease in rental properties as landlords might choose to sell.
The proposed law would permit evictions in specific instances, such as when landlords or their close relatives need to move in or when the property is being sold. Natalie Allwood, a tenant affected by repeated evictions, has voiced her distress, emphasizing the negative impact on her life.
The Renter's Reform Coalition has requested from Mr. Gove longer notice periods for evictions, extended protection from eviction at tenancy start, and a higher burden of proof for landlords seeking tenant eviction.
The group insists that without these changes, post-reform experiences for tenants will largely mirror the current challenges, including the threat of unfair evictions, costly relocations, and hesitancy to demand adherence to basic standards from landlords.
The Conservatives' 2019 election manifesto pledged to eliminate no-fault evictions, and though the bill has been debated in the House of Commons, it has not yet passed. Shelter CEO Polly Neate has suggested that the delay is due to opposition from Conservative MPs who are landlords themselves.
While the bill is expected to return to the Commons, some MPs are advocating for amendments to protect landlords. The National Residential Landlords Association wants quicker court processes for legitimate landlord possession claims.
The bill, as stated by a spokesperson for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, will abolish Section 21 evictions, thus giving tenants greater home security and the power to challenge substandard practices.