Labour plans to abolish legislation permitting private landlords to evict tenants without giving a reason.
Section 21 notices, which have been in place for 30 years, allow a landlord to give a tenant notice to start the process to end an Assured Shorthold Tenancy.
The proposal has been drawn up by John Healey, the shadow housing secretary, and would see a Jeremy Corbyn-led government change the law so that so-called ‘no-fault’ evictions - when landlords serve tenants notice to vacate their property without saying why - scrapped.
Healey announced the policy at the party’s conference in Liverpool yesterday.
The shadow housing secretary also unveiled plans for a £20m fund to set up ‘renters' unions’ to support tenants in disputes with landlords.
In his speech to Labour party members, Healey said: “Tenants who rent from private landlords have been hit hard by the housing crisis.
“Labour's commitment is clear: we'll give renters new rights to control rental costs, improve conditions and increase security.
“Renters’ unions help put power in the hands of tenants.
“And the next Labour government will fund set-up costs for these unions across the country to support renters to defend their rights, and make the housing market fairer.”
In response, David Smith, policy director for the Residential Landlords Association, pointed out that many private landlords resort to Section 21 notices because the alternative procedures “take too long to process through the courts”.
The RLA is calling for a new housing court to bring justice more quickly for both landlords and tenants.
Smith commented: “A root and branch review is needed of the current system which, in the worst cases, takes up to 30 weeks. Any changes must support the provision of homes to rent which the country needs.
“The vast majority of tenants enjoy good relations with their landlords. In the minority of cases where things go wrong however, landlords need the confidence that they can regain possession of a property swiftly when faced with tenants not paying their rent or committing anti-social behaviour.”
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