Rt Hon Michael Gove, The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, has announced that the implementation of the Renters (Reform) Bill will not now proceed until further improvements are made in the court system to ensure it is prepared for the changes. This means that the much-anticipated abolition of a landlord's right to end a tenancy on two months' notice (a s.21 notice) at the end of a fixed term will now be delayed.
The Renters (Reform) Bill received its second reading in the House of Commons this week which gave MP's their first opportunity to vote on the proposed reforms. As a result, many backbenchers opposed the ban on s.21 notices and 'no-fault' evictions. Despite the opposition, the Bill was passed, and it will face further scrutiny at the next stage. However, the Government, within its response to a select committee's report on private renting, has confirmed that the reforms will not be implemented until there has been substantial reforms within the court system.
Therefore, the proposed ban on 'no fault' evictions will be delayed indefinitely. This may be viewed by landlords as good news as they can continue as they are and utilise the 'no-fault' eviction process. However, it means tenants are now having to wait even longer for the reforms that were first promised in 2019 to be implemented.
In a letter to MP's, the Housing Secretary Michael Gove went on to say that the target areas for improvement within the court system are:
- Digitising more of the court process;
- Prioritisation of certain cases;
- Improving bailiff recruitment and retention; and
- Providing early legal advice and better signposting for tenants.
No indication has been given as to how long the delay will be in implementing the Bill, but it could be for some time, even several years, given how long it will take to make the proposed improvements to the court system.
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