Michael Gove promises no-fault eviction ban by next electionon February 11, 2024 at 10:31 am

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The housing secretary says courts will be given funding to enforce a ban by the next general election.

Michael GoveImage source, Jeff Overs/BBC

Housing Secretary Michael Gove has insisted no-fault evictions in England will be “outlawed” by the next general election.

The Conservatives promised in 2019 to end the right of landlords to evict tenants without needing a reason.

However, the government has previously said a ban cannot be enacted until the court system is improved.

Campaigners have raised concerns court reforms could take years, leaving renters still facing unfair evictions.

In October, MPs started debating the Renters (Reform) Bill, which includes a ban on no-fault evictions in England, but the legislation has not yet completed its passage through Parliament.

Asked if he could guarantee the practice would end by the time of the next general election, which must take place by the end of January 2025, Mr Gove told the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme: “We will have outlawed it and we will have put the money into the courts in order to ensure that they can enforce that.”

Under the bill, landlords would only be able to evict tenants in England under certain circumstances, including when they wished to sell the property or when they or a close family member wanted to move in.

The National Residential Landlords Association has called for improvements to the court system to enable landlords to regain possession of their properties more quickly when they have legitimate grounds to do so.

Last year, Mr Gove told Conservative MPs no fault-evictions would not be abolished until the court system was reformed.

This led to accusations from Labour that the government was kicking a ban into the long grass.

Mr Gove told the BBC it was important to deal with the “abuse” of no-fault evictions.

“It is the case that there are a small minority of unscrupulous landlords who use the threat of eviction either to jack up rents or to silence people who are complaining about the quality of their homes,” he said.

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