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Tenants Take Issue with Section 21 Reforms’ Five-Year Delay

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On the fifth anniversary of the government’s pledge to outlaw no-fault evictions, activists are criticizing the administration, claiming that the delay is to blame for the rise in homelessness.

On April 15, 2019, the former prime minister Theresa May first promised to do away with Section 21 notifications; this promise was reaffirmed in Boris Johnson’s manifesto. The administration has, however, declared that the prohibition will be indefinitely delayed while court reforms are implemented.

Housing advocates strongly oppose Section 21 orders, which provide landlords the power to remove renters without cause and with as little as two months’ notice. They claim that this practice is a major contributor to homelessness. The Renters’ Reform Coalition’s analysis shows that since the pledge to outlaw Section 21 notices, more than 80,000 households are now at risk of becoming homeless.

Tom Darling of the RRC said that Section 21 evictions have resulted in a great deal of misery and chastised the government for taking five years to carry out these necessary reforms. He emphasized the need for immediate action by pointing out that there may be millions more unreported evictions.

The human cost of Section 21 notices is highlighted by the predicament of people like Tom Cliffe, who was subjected to a “revenge eviction” after voicing concerns about property neglect. The difficulties experienced by tenants are exemplified by Cliffe’s experience, which culminated in his eviction in spite of his best attempts to resist it.

Michael Gove, the housing secretary, has come under fire for his recent decision to keep the authority to issue Section 21 notifications pending the evaluation of court capacity. Opponents claim that by supporting landlord interests, the government is endangering the rights of tenants.

Labour has demanded that no-fault evictions be outlawed immediately, denouncing the government’s inaction as a “complete betrayal” of tenants. Angela Rayner, the shadow housing secretary, attacked the Conservatives for putting party politics before of tackling homelessness.

A representative for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities responded by restating the government’s dedication to the Renters (Reform) Bill and pledging to create a more equitable private rental market. By doing away with Section 21 evictions, the law will give tenants more protection and options for dealing with unscrupulous behavior.

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