MICHAEL Gove will delay a long-promised ban on "no fault" rental evictions AGAIN after dozens of Tory MP landlords threatened a major rebellion.
The ban – which was a 2019 Tory manifesto promise – will now only come into force at an unspecified date once "improvements" are made to UK courts.
These include digitising the court process to make it easier for landlords to banish tenants and clearing existing case backlogs.
Labour this morning accused ministers of doing a “grubby deal” with landlords MPs and "betraying renters".
The party estimates 15,000 tenants face being booted out of their home for no reason in the time it will take before Section 21 is prohibited.
The ban was due to be a key part of the Renters' Reform Bill, which is back in the Commons today.
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But up to 40 Tory MPs threatened to vote against the legislation if the ban stayed.
They say abandoning Section 21 would leave landlords stuck with anti-social tenants ruining their properties.
They also argue it would encourage masses of second homeowners to sell up, placing further pressure on the already squeezed English rental market.
Alongside frustrating renters Mr Gove is facing serious questions from the private student accommodation sector.
Changes have been made to the Bill to guarantee students can sign short fixed-term tenancy contracts in purpose-built accommodation sites.
However the Bill currently won't allow short fixed-term contracts for student accommodation in converted buildings.
Calum MacInnes, Chairman of the Student Accredited Private Rental Sector, said: “Anything less than parity with the purpose-built student accommodation sector could lead to a collapse in availability of student housing.
"We urgently call on the government to come around the table and find a solution.”
As the Bill is debated this afternoon around 100 renters are expected to protest outside parliament.
Tom Darling, Campaign Manager at the Renters' Reform Coalition, said: "The idea that some ill-defined 'court reform' must happen before Section 21 no-fault evictions can end is absurd.
What is the section 21 rule and what are your rights as a renter
THE law – known as Section 21 – means a landlord can ask you to move out with two months notice, without needing a particular reason.
- The first step of every procedure is the section 21 notice – a letter of notification that the landlord must serve to the tenant, prior to the eviction. The notice to quit is purely informational and doesn’t carry any legal power.
- If you’ve got a good relationship with your landlord, it might be worth asking them if you can stay in your home for longer. Send a letter to your landlord explaining your situation and keep a copy of any reply you get.
- Your landlord can’t make you leave your home unless they’ve gone to court to get a possession order and a warrant for eviction.
- You might be able to challenge your eviction and stay in your home.
- A section 8 notice can require you to move sooner, but can only be served if the landlord has a reason, such as you breaking the terms of your tenancy.
- New rules introduced in October 2015 have made it harder to evict you for reporting problems with the property.
- If you’re asked to leave because you’ve asked for repairs then you should see advice immediately.
- You can find more tips on how to challenge your eviction on Citizens Advice.
"The Government promised to end no-fault evictions in 2019 – what have they been doing since then?
“Any delay will have a terrible human cost – a renter faces losing their home every 15 minutes because of Section 21. No more delays!"
Shadow Housing Secretary Angela Rayner said: “The government has betrayed renters with this grubby deal with the Tory backbenches.
"The Conservatives’ long-promised ban on no fault evictions has majority and cross-party support across the House, but this flip-flop kicks it into the long grass.
“Having broken the justice system, they are now using their own failure to indefinitely delay keeping their promises to renters in the most underhand way."
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A government spokesman said: “The Renters Reform Bill delivers on our manifesto commitment to create a fairer private rented sector for both tenants and landlords.
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"It will abolish no-fault evictions – giving people more security in their homes and to challenge poor practices. It will also give more protections for landlords to repossess properties where tenants are antisocial, alongside creating a new Ombudsman to help resolve issues more quickly.
"We are progressing the Bill through Parliament with a second reading, so we can create a private rented sector that is fit for the 21st century."
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