‘Vital’ for landlords to be able to recover property

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It is vital for the future supply of good quality rented housing that abolition of section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions is accompanied by an assurance that landlords can recover their properties where they have valid reasons to do so.

So said housing minister Christopher Pincher when answering a Parliamentary question from Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Olney.

The Government remains committed to abolishing Section 21 – a manifesto pledge – through a Renters’ Reform Bill, said Pincher.

This will enhance renters’ security and improve protections for tenants, he told Olney.

But ‘repealing Section 21 represents the largest change to renting in 30 years and it is only right that the reforms are taken forward in a considered manner. It is important that providing tenants with greater security of tenure is balanced with an assurance that landlords are able to recover their properties where they have valid reasons to do so. This is vital to ensuring the future supply of good quality housing in the rented sector’.

The Government will bring forward the Renters’ Reform Bill in due course ‘once the urgencies of responding to the pandemic have passed’, said the minister

Olney also asked about the current ban on evictions.

‘Following the stay of possessions that ended on 20 September, housing possession claims are able to be actioned through the courts, but evictions will not be enforced apart from in the most serious cases. The Government believes this strikes the right balance between prioritising public health and supporting the most vulnerable renters, whilst ensuring landlords can access and exercise their right to justice’, he said.

‘Bailiffs have been asked not to enforce evictions across England whilst the new, national restrictions apply from 5 November. The only exceptions to this will be the most egregious cases, including cases of illegal occupation, fraud, where tenants have demonstrated anti-social behaviour or are the perpetrator of domestic abuse in social housing and where a property is unoccupied following the death of a tenant. With a pause on evictions starting in December, evictions will not be enforced in England until the 11 January 2021 at the earliest, except in the most serious circumstances.

‘To further protect renters over winter, we legislated in August to increase notice periods to 6 months in all but the most serious circumstances. This means that most tenants served notice now would not be asked to leave until at least May 2021’.