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Labour plans to ban Section 21 immediately 'would cause chaos'

jacob young

Abolishing section 21 as soon as the Renters Reform Bill gains Royal Assent would cause chaos in the sector and leave the statute book a “confusing mess”, according to the government.

MPs backed its decision to halt the abolition of no-fault evictions until the court system is deemed ready, rejecting Matthew Pennycook’s amendment which called for its ‘immediate ban’.

Housing Minister Jacob Young explained to a busy House of Commons (pictured) that banning no-fault evictions straight after the Bill finished its parliamentary passage would mean there would be no transition period, leaving no time for tenant groups, landlords, letting agents or local authorities to adjust to the new system and no time to conclude the necessary secondary legislation.

“Without yet having the new possession grounds in place, this amendment would prevent landlords from being able to regain possess of their property even where they have a legitimate reason to do so, which the new grounds reflect,” he told the Commons debate.


“Landlords could not repossess to sell or deal effectively with anti-social behaviour and repeat rent arears and most importantly, temporary and supported accommodation would not have access to the critical new grounds in this Bill. This would immediately have an impact on these sectors and clog them up.”

Labour’s Pennycook (pictured) feared it could be years before Section 21 was abolished, a view that’s echoed by Paresh Raja, CEO of Market Financial Solutions. He says with no timeline for the implementation of no-fault evictions, the market is in a state of limbo.

“The government is right not to pander to pressure and rush through reforms that could destabilise the rental sector,” adds Raja. “But at the same time, the lingering prospect of reforms, without clarity around the exact form they will take and the date they will come into effect, is not healthy.”


Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action (pictured) says:  "Without adequate preparation,there is a risk of overburdening an already strained legal system, leading tofurther delays and inefficiencies that could adversely affect both landlordsand tenants. 

"In 2019 when the bill wasannounced my very words were ‘You cannot ban section 21 until we have claritythe courts can work, so landlords have confidence’. 

 "But what's equally crucial is clarity andcommitment from policymakers regarding the timeline for implementing thesecourt reforms."


"It should be recognised that tenants end approximately 90% of tenancies themselves," says Allison Thompson (pictured), National Lettings Managing Director, Leaders Romans Group.

"Among the 10% of tenancies terminated by landlords, only a small percentage utilise Section 21, generally in instances of ongoing anti-social behaviour or repeated rent defaults.

"This highlights that most landlords employ Section 21 evictions as a last resort, primarily to ensure they can reclaim their properties when absolutely necessary."

The ultimate guide to handling the eviction process


Section 21 notices