Plans to ban no-fault evictions could be scrappedon October 11, 2022 at 1:34 pm

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Ministers are also considering relaxing affordable homes targets, sparking outrage from Labour.

Women holding billImage source, Getty Images

Long-promised plans to stop landlords in England evicting tenants without giving a reason could be scrapped.

A ban on no-fault evictions was due to become law next year after being promised by Boris Johnson at the 2019 general election.

But the government now says “no decisions have been made” about it.

Ministers are also considering relaxing rules on how many affordable homes must be included in new developments, which they say will boost housebuilding.

The government says it remains committed to ensuring renters get a “fair deal” – but housing charities and opposition parties have accused them of betrayal.

“No-fault evictions mean that families can face the disruption and upheaval of moving home and often schools with just two months’ notice,” said campaign group Generation Rent.

It also means that “unscrupulous landlords can bully tenants into accepting shoddy conditions or unaffordable rent increases,” it added.

Osama Bhutta, director of campaigns at Shelter, said deciding not to ban no-fault evictions “will pour fuel on the housing emergency and make thousands homeless”.

“The government must change its mind, it can do it now or do it after grasping the anger of millions of people,” he added.

‘Boost growth’

Banning Section 21 no-fault evictions was included in the 2019 Conservative election manifesto and was due to become law next year, as part of a “new deal” for private tenants.

Announcing the legislation in May, the then Levelling-Up Secretary Michael Gove said: “Too many renters are living in damp, unsafe and cold homes, powerless to put it right, and under the threat of sudden eviction.”

But Mr Gove’s successor Simon Clarke is considering scrapping the ban on no-fault evictions as part of a review of policies that do not “boost growth”, according to The Times.

Mr Clarke is also considering relaxing rules on affordable housing.

Under current planning rules, developers must include affordable homes in any scheme of more than 10 homes. Mr Clarke reportedly wants to increase this threshold to 40 or 50 to boost housebuilding.

‘Break promise’

“The government is committed to exploring policies that build the homes people need, deliver new jobs, support economic development and boost local economies,” a government spokesperson said.

But Labour’s shadow levelling-up secretary Lisa Nandy said relaxing affordable homes targets “beggars belief” – and she urged the government to stick to its commitment on no-fault evictions.

“Millions of people are only a few weeks from losing their home through no fault of their own.

“The Tories promised to stop this in their election manifesto and the Queen’s Speech. It would be shameful to break this promise.”

Asked whether Liz Truss thought it was right to scrap no-fault evictions, the prime minister’s spokesman said: “No decisions have been made.”

The spokesman added: “This is something the secretary of state is considering in terms of how to improve the rental market.

“Clearly, ensuring a fair deal for renters will always remain a priority for this government.”

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said that whatever the government decided to do, a “wide range of reforms are desperately needed to support the sector”.

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