Clive Betts, chair of the Housing Select Committee, has expressed concerns that the abolition of Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions in the UK might be delayed until after the upcoming General Election. This delay casts uncertainty on whether the ban will come into effect, especially with the possibility of a change in government.
The decision to postpone the abolition of Section 21 evictions was made in light of the need for a more efficient court system. This crucial change was removed from the Renters (Reform) Bill shortly before its second reading in Parliament.
Betts, a Labour MP, has openly criticized the government for this postponement, suggesting in a letter to housing secretary Michael Gove that the delay was indefinite and would continue until court backlogs were addressed. He accused ministers of trying to “deflect blame” for this indefinite postponement.
In an interview with The Guardian, Betts conveyed the committee’s frustration, stating they were “very angry” that the government had used the issue of court capacity as a reason for the delay. He highlighted the uncertainty this decision creates for those renting privately or under current tenancy arrangements, leaving them unsure of their housing situation in a year’s time.
Furthermore, Betts proposed that rogue landlords should face severe penalties, including the confiscation of their rental homes. He suggested that these seized properties could then be utilized by local councils to provide housing or sold to generate funds for social housing projects.