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Section 21 will remain until pandemic eases, government confirms

The government has confirmed its long-standing intention to scrap Section 21 eviction powers which currently sit with landlords - but the appropriate legislation won’t be introduced until the worst of the pandemic passes.

Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Olney obtained this information from Housing Minister Chris Pincher in the form of a written Parliamentary question.

Pincher told Olney: “The government is committed to abolishing Section 21 through a Renters’ Reform Bill, which will enhance renters’ security and improve protections for tenants.


“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.

“We will bring forward the Renters’ Reform Bill in due course once the urgencies of responding to the pandemic have passed.”

The Renters Reform Bill was a key measure in the 2019 Conservative General Election manifesto some 11 months ago.



The pledge was for this Bill to include the scrapping of Section 21 eviction powers and the start of the concept of lifetime deposits transferable from one property to another when a tenant moves.

It was announced in the Queen’s Speech last December as being a measure that would be initiated in 2020 - but that was before the emergence of Coronavirus. 

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Poll: Is there now a case for S21 to be scrapped?


  • icon

    Section 21 cannot and will not be abolished until Section 8 has been reformed. Those in the industry accept changes are a foot, but PLEASE, let’s have some joined up thinking and due consideration before, what has increasingly become, a rush to legislate.
    The Government has 3 to 4 years to get this right. Use it wisely.
    Let’s stop this 'back of fag packet' populist, accelerated regulation and get it right. Failure to create a balance between tenant and Landlord rights will stop PRS support of the most vulnerable completely, and the homeless issue will be a worsening national crisis for a generation.
    Hey, but why listen to me...I’ve only been working on the front line for 35 years.

  • icon

    The equivalent measure in Scotland in December 2017 pushed rents for the properties in greatest demand up by 30%, virtually overnight.

    The biggest problem for landlords with the Scottish legislation is that tenants can give 28 days notice at any time, even a day after moving in and landlords can't make forward plans to advertise for new tenants months in advance as we used to do.

    Landlords can however get round the problem by putting up rents so tenants decide to move, or giving notice that they intend to occupy the property themselves or by their families, undertake repairs or refurbishment which needs the property empty, or put it up for sale - which can be withdrawn from the market later if the desired. (high) price isn't realised.

    Another downside of abolishing. "no fault" evictions is that any tenants looking for new properties will automatically be under suspicion as to why they are looking!

    The loonies are too thick to foresee the obvious consequences - or don't care so long as their crazy philosophy is put into practice.

    • s M
    • 12 November 2020 11:47 AM

    Hi Robert, I've already been told by 1 Conservative MP that is all about votes, nothing to do with reality. They openly admitted that they believed it would force rents up. Their concern was that rent controls would then follow. Not because they thought that this would be good for tenants, in fact they thought that it would be terrible for tenants, but because in the short term they thought it would be good for votes.

    Matthew Payne

    Thats the only reason these career politicians do anything. "What have the Romans ever done for us?" Anyone remember a piece of legislation whose core objective wasn't to win votes as opposed to just genuinely helping people?

    Refreshing to hear an MP admit that it will do more harm than good, but all they care about is votes. Its painful to see thought that those votes come from the very people the legislation hurts the most. There must be some educated tenants out there who can start a focus group and lobby the government to stop "helping" them?

  • James B

    No hurry to abolish as they have effectively banned evictions anyway as landlords carry defaulting tenants for government


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