CLA welcomes delay to proposed abolition of Section 21 evictions

Pressing ahead would have been disastrous for the availability of private rented housing, says CLA President Mark Tufnell
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Housing Secretary Michael Gove said it was "vital" to update the courts first.

The CLA has welcomed the Government's decision to delay the proposed abolition of no-fault Section 21 evictions, in another win for the organisation and its lobbying efforts.

The Renters Reform Bill, promised in the Conservatives' 2019 election manifesto, was debated in the Commons on Monday.

The proposed law, which would ban no-fault Section 21 evictions, was first published in May, with the CLA working hard on members' behalf raising concerns about the planned legislation.

Housing Secretary Michael Gove has now said the ban cannot be enacted before a series of improvements are made in the court system.

Country Land and Business Association President Mark Tufnell said:

“We welcome the news that the proposed abolition of Section 21 has been delayed until the courts system is ready, as pressing ahead would have been disastrous for the availability of private rented housing.

“Removing Section 21 without such an assurance would have risked increasing numbers of landlords up and down the country leaving the private rented sector, with a recent CLA survey on housing in England finding that the rural rented property market is already shrinking. This bill would have done nothing to address these shortages, ultimately hurting renters.

“Everyone wants to see fairness in the private rented sector, where the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants are balanced appropriately. The majority of landlords are highly responsible, providing quality housing to millions of people, and the CLA will continue to work with government to support the rural sector.”

'Sufficient progress' to courts system needed

The government has confirmed that Section 21 will not be abolished until it decides "sufficient progress" has been made to the courts system.

This includes moving more of the process online and a better process to prioritise certain cases, including those involving anti-social behaviour.

Downing Street has not put a timescale on how long the promised reforms will take to achieve, and the CLA will continue to work on behalf of members to ensure the private rented rural sector works for both landlords and tenants.