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Gove Hits Back! He says Reform Bill is STILL a Renting Revolution

Michael Gove’s Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities hit back overnight at critics of the government’s Renters Reform Bill.

The Bill - in heavily amended form - was passed in the Commons yesterday evening. It retains the scrapping of Section 21 powers but now includes an indefinite timetable: the abolition won’t happen until a review has taken place of the courts system’s ability to cope with evictions through other means.

In addition there will now be a review of local council licensing schemes to ensure they do not overlap with the Bill’s proposed portal; and there will be a six month period for each tenancy before a renter can end the tenancy.


The Bill’s original measures - to introduce a decent home standard, establish a new ombudsman and provide protections for families in receipt of benefits from discrimination - continue in the amended version that now goes to the House of Lords.

But overnight an unusual statement from Gove’s department came out, specifying coverage in the Sun, Guardian, the DailyTelegraph and the BBC.

The statement says: “Some coverage today has inaccurately suggested we are watering down our commitments on abolishing section 21 notices – or no-fault evictions. Abolishing section 21 notices is a manifesto commitment and we have been very clear that we will end these no-fault evictions as soon as possible.

“We have always said that we will give six months’ notice before ending section 21 tenancies to give the sector some time to implement these changes. And we have now today committed to making sure the county court system time had to adjust to the new possession processes, with an assessment of the county courts to ensure they are ready for these changes.”

The statement went on to say that the Bill delivers the biggest changes to the rental sector in 30 years and will:

- stop landlords having blanket bans on renting to those with children or who are on benefits;

- apply and enforce the Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector for the first time, so that everyone has a safe and decent home;

- for the first time give tenants a legal right to ask to have their much-loved pets in their home;

- give landlords strengthened grounds for possession if a tenant is in rent arrears or they want to sell their property – and the statement on this subject says “we are investing in the county courts so that landlords can benefit from a modern, efficient possession system”;

- mean landlords are able to act more quickly to evict tenants who make others’ lives miserable through anti-social behaviour; and

- help resolve disputes between landlords and tenants more quickly, with a new Private Rented Sector Landlord Ombudsman.

A DLUHC spokesperson says: "Our commitment to scrap section 21 no-fault evictions as soon as possible is unchanged. We have always said we will give six months notice before ending section 21 for all new tenancies. In addition, we have committed to ensuring improvements in the courts service are rapidly implemented before extending this abolition to all existing tenancies.”

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  • George Dawes

    BBC and the guardian

    That says it all really

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    No fault evictions. 😠 That they use that term shows that the Department and Gove do not understand what they are doing. A Section 21 Notice simply gives one party, the tenant, notice that the contract, in reality that is what an AST is, will not be renewed. Evictions are carried out by either County Court Bailiffs or High Court Enforcement Officers.

    I must congratulate Gove on his efforts to increase rents and reduce the number of properties available to rent! 😡

  • George Dawes

    Imagine having gove as your landlord ?

    Nightmare on elm street meets Friday the 13th with a bit of Texas chainsaw massacre

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    There isn't an indefinite timetable for ending Section 21 notices.

    Matthew Pennycook said yesterday (and you can read and hear him on Twitter) that:

    "It's now over five years since the Tories promised to scrap Section 21 no-fault evictions.

    Private tenants will wait for years more if the government waters down its Renters Reform Bill today.

    Labour will end Section 21 evictions immediately - no ifs, no buts."

    I assume from that that they will have an eviction ban on taking office and then modify the Renters Reform legislation (if it finished its journey through Parliament before the next general election).

    So there is still a complete legal mess and total lack of clarity surrounding the validity of existing and future tenancy agreements, and therefore how can landlords have the confidence to let anything!


    This is my big fear 😨. It is IRRELEVANT what is said today or tomorrow, only what is said and done the days after the next Election. We really are in 🥵 hot water, I just don’t think most know it.


    See my post below to Mathew which shows you may not have to pay CGT if you form a company and become a Corporate. The Corporates won’t have to put up with all this nonsense.

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    No S21 until courts reformed - so no change

    No blanket bans on children & DSS - LLs can simply choose working tenants without children

    Decent Homes Standard - HHHRS already should do this. Enforcement is needed not more regulation

    Legal right to ASK for a pet - LLs can still say no

    Ombudsman - well that is new!

    So not really the change of a lifetime tenants were promised!


    Quite right too!


    Tricia, as Ellie has said, Labour will end Section 21 evictions immediately - no ifs, no buts

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    Mr Grove is wrong it is not a renting Resolution it the death of The Private Rented Sector.
    How would he know having been sacked by the previous Prime Minister for double crossing him, hardly a trust worthy person, living in Grace-and-Favour accommodation what would he know about Renting.

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    All meaningless since Labour will tear the bill apart and introduce their own draconian measures.


    Exactly 🫣🫣

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    • A S
    • 25 April 2024 09:27 AM

    Spot on Margaret. By the time the current bill works it way through and the various reviews take place, the Tories will have been thrown out. A Labour Government will supercharge the reforms in quick time - no surprises there, they have already made their intentions clear.

    Landlords and tenants alike will wish for the halcyon days of Tory government rule in comparison with what we will all face soon!

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    I think somewhere in all this mess i saw that Labour would not retrospectively ban Sec21’s issued before they come into power. If so, now is the time to draw up those final Sec21’s.

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    One of the proposed amendments proposed by the Labour MP Alex Sobel, would prohibit landlords from requiring prospective tenants to provide rent guarantors or equivalent upfront payments. Did that make the cut?


    Ben Beagle with his student let’s will be disappointed if not!


    It didn't Martin

  • Matthew Payne

    Im not sure what it achieves now its raison detre has gone in the bin, albeit this is all only relevant if the Tories win the GE, otherwise it's all going to radically change anyway.


    As much as I am disappointed with this Tory government I shall vote Conservative at the next election. To vote for anyone else would be like turkeys voting for Christmas!


    Well you're not wrong Margaret, however I cannot bring myself to vote CINO again after what they have done to us so L will vote Reform which may well let Labour in by the back door and they will be much worse

    Matthew Payne

    If you are a LL, then Im afraid so Margaret and the RRB will be the thin end of the wedge, wait to see what happens to CGT.


    Andrew. you are right to support REFORM. The argument to vote Tory seems to be that Labour will be worse. Hardly a ringing endorsement.


    That is the problem with voting Reform Andrew. It will let Labour in.


    Mathew what you do is become a corporate. You may not have to pay CGT just SDLP - see below:-
    In Elizabeth Moyne Ramsay v HMRC [2013] UKUT 0226 (TCC) the Upper Tax Tribunal (UTT) allowed a taxpayer Capital Gains Tax s162 incorporation relief (roll over) on the transfer of her ordinary property letting business (a small appartment block) to a company. It decided that letting was "a business" for s162 relief.


    Margaret, voting Tory will still let Labour in. The hope is that REFORM will have enough votes to be able to oppose Labour. Remember, REFORM are the ONLY party opposed to the RRB.

    • A S
    • 25 April 2024 13:26 PM

    I'm amazed the majority think there are only 2 choices, 3 if you include Reform. They're all the same (see Richard Tice and his photoshoots with Zelensky), they all have the same policies by and large with different flavours of severity and time to implement.

    I don't understand why people don't vote for their local independant, if there is one standing. And if there isn't, then "none of the above" AKA spoiled ballot. Imagine how change might actually happen if spoiled ballots got 10 million votes?


    I can't put Reform in the same pot as the others. They say it how it is (or if not I like what they say anyway).

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    Failing to see how this will benefit renters - there will be an even greater shortage of rental properties available going forwards, rents will be higher and referencing and guarantor requirements will increase hugely.

    Now that my ability to remove a bad tenant is practically non existent without a court case - I will naturally only consider gold standard tenants. I’m sure I won’t be alone in this.

    As for Gove - he has let us all down with his broken promises and putting in place legislation which he has to know will make things worse.


    But aren't labour now saying that they will stop us from asking for guarantors


    The amendment regarding a prohibition on a guarantor was not added to the bill. I don't know whether the House of Lords would add it, but I doubt it, Andrew.


    Well if so - referencing gets even stricter. At the end of the day landlords won’t tolerate irresponsible tenants.

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    I don't understand why people think banning S21 will make much difference, if any. Given the vast majority of so-called no fault evictions are in actual fact due to fault, we will still see the same numbers of evictions, but just via the courts.


    It will take an inordinate amount of time through the courts. A win win for solicitors !


    Yes problem is the timescale involved, while you are losing money and still paying the mortgage etc.


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