The move would prevent landlords from evicting tenants without a good reason.
Landlords could be barred from evicting a tenant at short notice without a good reason as part of a government overhaul of the rental sector.
The Government has launched a consultation on abolishing Section 21 notices for eviction. The so-called no-fault evictions, currently allow landlords to evict tenants with just eight weeks’ notice once their fixed term contract has come to an end.
The move will effectively create open-ended tenancies, which the Government claims will bring greater peace of mind to people who live in rented accommodation.
Landlords will still be able to evict tenants for reasons recognised under law, such as if they fall into rent arrears or damage the property, but they may have to go through the courts to do so.
The Government also plans to amend the current rules so that landlords can regain their property if they want to sell it or move into it.
But despite these concessions, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) warned it could put people off investing in property.
Why is this happening?
The Government claims that evidence shows no-fault evictions are one of the biggest causes of homelessness for families.
It adds that allowing them not only leads to tenants living with the worry of losing their home, but also contributes to people putting up with poor conditions as they are afraid to complain about problems in case they are evicted.
It hopes the move will not only give renters more stability but will also mean people no longer put up with sub-standard accommodation.
Who does it affect?
The move would obviously be good news for tenants, and it has been welcomed by housing charities.
But the RLA warned the Government there were “serious dangers” if it got the reforms wrong.
David Smith, policy director at the RLA, said: “With the demand for private rented homes continuing to increase, we need the majority of good landlords to have confidence to invest in new homes.
“This means ensuring they can swiftly repossess properties for legitimate reasons such as rent arrears, tenant anti-social behaviour or wanting to sell them.”
Jeremy Leaf, a former RICS residential chairman, also claimed that no-fault evictions affected only a small number of tenants.
He said: “On the ground, we don’t find this happens frequently at all, so hope that a thorough evidence-based consultation will flush out the extent of the problem.
“This will ensure that landlords do not desert the sector unnecessarily.”
The Institute for Public Policy Research welcomed the announcement but called on the Government to go further and introduce caps on rent increases and prevent landlords from evicting families within the first three years of signing a tenancy agreement if the only reason was to sell the property.
What’s the background?
The latest consultation is part of an overhaul of the private rental sector, which the Government has described as being the biggest for a generation.
Other changes that are coming into force including banning letting agents from charging fees to tenants and capping tenancy deposits at the equivalent of five weeks’ rent.
It has also announced plans to introduce a specialist Housing Court to resolve property disputes.
Around 4.5 million households currently live in privately rented homes.
Top 3 takeaways
The Government has launched a consultation on abolishing so-called no-fault evictions
The move will effectively create open-ended tenancies
The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) warned it could put people off investing in property