The government is expected to finally unveil details about the abolition of Section 21 evictions in today’s Queen’s speech.
Two people close to the situation have confirmed that an announcement will be made about Section 21 to the Financial Times.
As PIP reported, pressure is building on the PM to make an announcement about Section 21, as a coalition of 33 organisations – including Crisis, Citizens Advice and Shelter – handed a letter to Boris Johnson demanding for action last week.
Measures could form part of a “Renter’s Reform Bill”, or a wider “levelling-up bill” that would incorporate Michael Gove’s strategy to invest in deprived areas of the UK.
Other than the Section 21 announcement the Queen’s speech should unveil 20 pieces of legislation, including an economic crime bill, financial services bill and media bill.
It’s likely the government has delayed abolishing Section 21 until now firstly due to the pandemic – for months tenants couldn’t be evicted anyway – and the situation where Section 8 notices can take nearly a year to carry out.
If ministers go ahead with getting rid of “no-fault” evictions the question is whether they will look to reform the court process as a whole, as delays in being able to evict rogue tenants has caused some landlords a major headache, as some have lost months or even years of rent thanks to the situation we’ve seen since the pandemic.
Despite the nickname “no-fault evictions” landlords have tended to favour Section 21 even when their tenants were at fault because it’s a quicker process.
However tenant groups have pointed out that rogue landlords can use Section 21 to evict renters in revenge, if renters request for landlords to make repairs for example.
Some reforms are apparently being dropped from today’s Queen speech, like a bill to change audit and corporate governance rules.
The Queen’s speech will be broadcast again on BBC One at 2.20pm.