The Renters (Reform) Bill which returned to the House of Commons this week was set to be a major piece of legislation to make the private rental sector fairer for both landlords and tenants. However, the government has just announced that it will not proceed with abolishing Section 21, which allows landlords to carry out no fault evictions, until the courts are better prepared to deal with cases put before it.
The plans have been scrapped until the court process has been digitalised, tenants are given early access to legal advice and more bailiffs are in place. It also said that prioritising anti-social behaviours should come first. This includes mandating that tenancy agreements should have clauses that antisocial behaviour can result in an eviction.
Proposals to change the court system were first outlined in the 2022 report, ‘A Fairer Private Rented Sector’. This included committing to work in partnership with the Ministry of Justice and the HM Courts and Tribunals Service. Now the government has stated that this needed to be a priority although it has not issued a timescale on how long the promised reforms will take to be implemented. The bill which has attracted much debate from both sides of parliament and landlords is progressing through parliament for its second reading.