Proposed ban on no-fault eviction of tenants postponed indefinitely

In a surprising twist, the government has indefinitely postponed the much-anticipated ban on no-fault evictions under 'Section 21'. Housing Secretary Michael Gove cites the need for a revamped court system before the ban can be implemented, emphasizing the importance of online processes and prioritizing specific cases.

The government has announced that it is postponing its proposed ban on no-fault ‘Section 21’ evictions. Ministers say the indefinite delay is needed until the court system has been reformed and updated. The ban would have been one of the central proposals in the Renters Reform Bill, which was part of the Conservative 2019 election manifesto.

However, Housing Secretary Michael Gove told the BBC that “the ban cannot be enacted before a series of improvements are made in the court system, which is used by some landlords to reclaim possession of their homes”. The improvements would include moving more of the eviction process online and developing a better process to prioritise certain cases, such as those involving anti-social behaviour.

The government has not said how long the promised reforms will take. A Downing Street spokesman said: "I think we've said from the start the implementation will be phased and I don't know exactly if there's set timelines to that." 

These are some of the key points from the government’s original proposals:   

  • outlawing blanket bans on renting to families with children or those in receipt of benefits   
  • ending the use of arbitrary rent review clauses, restricting tribunals from hiking up rent and enabling tenants to take their landlord to court to seek repayment of rent if their homes are of unacceptable standard   
  • making it easier for tenants to have pets in their homes by giving all tenants the right to request a pet in their house, which the landlord must consider and cannot unreasonably refuse   
  • all tenants to be moved on to a single system of periodic tenancies, meaning they can leave poor quality housing without remaining liable for the rent or move more easily when their circumstances change   
  • a tenancy will only end if a tenant ends it or a landlord has a valid reason, defined in law   
  • doubling notice periods for rent increases and giving tenants stronger powers to challenge them if they are unjustified   
  • giving councils stronger powers to tackle the worst offenders, backed by enforcement pilots, and increasing fines for serious offences.  

We shall keep clients informed of developments.  

Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of Housing Management, on 020 8290 0333 or email

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