Leading Lawyers Welcome Reform To Eviction Law
Leading property lawyers called for reform to abolish ‘no-fault’ evictions in order to protect tenants and bring balance between the rights of tenants and landlords.
Key housing law experts welcomed the news by backing the government in their bid to end so-called ‘no fault’ evictions, which enables landlords to evict tenants without a legal obligation to provide a proper explanation.
Currently, the law stipulates that landlords are only required to provide evidence that correct procedures have been carried out and proper notice period given.
The intention of the reform hopes to improve security of tenure by ending assured shorthold tenancies (AST) and rescinding Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.
The proposals come about following the response to the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government’s consultation: A New Deal for Renting from the housing law committee of the Law Society of England and Wales.
In November last year ‘no-fault’ evictions became a manifesto staple with all parties pledging appealing improvements and protections for tenants – with the Conservatives set to plough on with their scrapping of Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions that was started under Theresa May’s leadership.
Simon Davis, President of the Law Society, said:
“Section 21 is one of the leading causes of family homelessness in the UK. In addition, because of the absence of legal aid support, many are unable to obtain the legal advice they need to enforce their rights.
“This creates an inequity of power between landlords and tenants. The rule of law should be available equally to both sides.
“There are fears that current legislation has led to so-called ‘retaliatory evictions.’ For example, if a tenant has raised concerns that a landlord has failed to comply with their own legal obligations.”
In order to stress the importance of balance between the rights of tenants and landlords, the Law Society has also suggested the widening of section 8 – the powers of a landlord to regain their property in some circumstances.
Simon Davis warned:
“There is a delicate balance to be struck between improving security of tenure and ensuring that landlords are not disincentivised from entering into longer-term fixed term tenancies.”