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Government may scrap plans to abolish Section 21

The government may be changing its mind on scrapping Section 21 eviction powers according to a bombshell story in The Times.

Outlining what appears to be a government-leaked set of proposals, the newspaper says the long-held pledge by the Tories to scrap S21 powers could be shelved under changes demanded by Prime Minister Liz Truss.

Few other details of changes to eviction powers were set out in the newspaper but there has already been strong reaction.


Baroness Alicia Kennedy, director of activist group Generation Rent - and a former Labour Peer - tweets: “Totally flabbergasted. The Conservatives commitment to abolish evictions for no reason was made after a consultation, at a general election, confirmed by two prime ministers at three Queen’s speeches – if this is true it is shameful.”

Matthew Pennycook, Labour’s shadow housing minister, accused the Prime Minister of “betraying” private renters.

The Times says the new Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Secretary Simon Clarke - known to be a close ally of Truss - has outlined a new set of priorities to boost house-building and economic growth.

This could include an increase in the threshold at which affordable homes are required to be built in housing developments, and lowering environmental criteria to be met by existing and new properties.

Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action, commenting on the Landlord Zone website, says: “If this true, after three years of indecision about being abolished, it would be a major victory for landlords. I speak to landlords and agents every day and the feedback has been they generally have been worried about being able to gain possession of a property back.

“This move will also see a lot of landlords change their mind in selling up, which can only be good for tenants.  Housing stock has been dwindling and rents have been rising. I’ve said it all along it’s called non fault eviction, but there is always a fault.”

And Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, adds: “Whatever the Government’s plans, a wide range of reforms are desperately needed to support the sector. The supply crisis in the sector must be addressed urgently, while much more needs to be done to root out criminal and rogue landlords. Likewise vulnerable tenants can and should be better supported by unfreezing housing benefit rates.   

“The NRLA will continue to work with all parties to ensure that reforms are fair and workable and command the support of tenants and responsible landlords.”

  • Matthew Payne

    Its the right policy for the PRS but the wrong one for Tory fortunes at the ballot box. You have to admire Liz Truss for having conviction to do what she thinks is best, we dont see that often anymore in Westminster. Could cost her her job though as Tory MPs start to get feedback from their constituencies that they may lose their seat. My local Tory constituency office was vandalised at the weekend, and its a blue as it gets round here.

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    All my tenants have been aware of the impact of the Renters Reform White Paper on the housing market; supply is down and rents are up. I had been going to sell up, but latest market rents were about double what I am charging, so they appealed to me to carry on letting and I agreed to do so because of the situation.

    If not scrapping Section 21 improves tenants' choice of property at a reasonable rent, then I think that is not a vote loser.

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    If only Ms Kennedy, Polly Bleat etc could be rendered speechless. They do not realise the damage they have done to renters, or do they and they just don't care?

  • jeremy clarke

    Is this a sign that the conservative party are growing some b***s and trying to become The Conservative Party again?

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    Wow, a brave move indeed considering the narrative.
    However, I feel this is common-sense realised BUT must not be weaponized by unscrupulous administrators.
    In which case, I do wonder if the licensing of LL/Agents would be a tier of 'safety' as it would hope to expect that all avenues of negotiation/reconciliation had been exhausted (if being used for a payment/behaviour repossession), before the S21/Form 6 was served. All good privately managed LL's/tenancies and reputable LA's should not require licensing if they demonstrate practice.
    The weak-link in the process could be that Local Authorities must stop being obstructive in tenant rent/relocation related matters or the S21 will be again be the Landlords instrument in some instances.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    If this is true, this will be another knock to their polling numbers. However, implementing this properly was always unlikely. Removing would have only worked if enough financial resources (and court resources) were made available to handle the marked increase in official proceedings. Rightly or wrongly, this was driving away landlords which have reduced stock and driven up rents. Baroness Kennedy & Mr Pennycook need to stop vilifying landlords for column inches and accept some of their policies/objectives (this one included) were proving largely 'own goals' often worsening the landscape for tenants.
    The best thing the gov could do right now to improve the PRS is implementing a digital property MOT to make more transparent the key pieces of regulatory compliance that deliver tenants a safe & quality home.
    The constant revolving door of Housing Ministers (and, atm, PMs) means there is little to no consistency or aligned objectives. Just a revolving seat of people despeerate to do something they can lay claim to.
    Following this, I would not be surprised to see the tenants reform white paper quietly disappear and never be spoken of again.
    The problem with THAT is, it will likely encourage other parties to be more extreme in their policies creating concerns of what lies ahead come the next election.

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    In fairness, I am agnostic about s21. My bigger concern was the dichotomous student market.

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    Worried private Landlord : If Liz Truss reverses previous government plans to scrap Section 21. I will stop selling up my rental properties which I have begun doing. No way am I going to put up with a situation in favour of renters, whereby I cannot recover possession of my property !

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    I have written to Liz Truss and pointed out the the PRS sector has around 2,5 million mom and pop landlords who spent long hours doing up a poor property in order to provide a
    decent home and a supplement to their pension. However due to the breakdown in law and order it is a bit of a nightmare. Further scrapping section 21 will effectively hand over the property to the tenant. Therefore most of these people would not normally vote Tory but would probably abstain. And since there are two people, mom and pop, per landlord then that makes 4 million voters. Probably why she is so far behind in the polls ! Hell will freeze over before the average tenant votes conservative ! Figure are approximatel.


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