No fault evictions will harm tenants

The banning of no fault evictions by the government could end up harming tenants and not helping them claim landlords.

Announcing plans for the ban in April Prime Minister Theresa May said: “Everyone renting in the private sector has the right to feel secure in their home, settled in their community and able to plan for the future with confidence.

Unfair evictions

“But millions of responsible tenants could still be uprooted by their landlord with little notice, and often little justification. This is wrong – and today we’re acting by preventing these unfair evictions.

“This important step will not only protect tenants from unethical behaviour, but also give them the long-term certainty and the peace of mind they deserve.”

Section 21

Banning the evictions – known as Section 21 notices – would prevent landlords from evicting tenants from private rented accommodation without reason after their fixed term tenancy expires.

It is aimed at giving tenants protection from being thrown out for complaining in ‘revenge evictions’.

But the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) claims to move will make members ‘more choosy’ about who they let to in the first place.

Higher incomes

A spokesman said they would be more selective about picking prospective tenants on higher incomes, leaving those earning less to fight over fewer properties.

There could be other restrictions too, like not renting to households with pets or anyone considered to be at higher risk of causing damage to the property.

Vulnerable tenants

The RLA claimed vulnerable tenants would be most at risk from tougher selection criteria that landlords would be forced to employ.

A survey has also suggested that almost half of landlords (45%) would consider selling their properties if the ban comes into operation.

Wholesale changes

Instead of the ban the Association called for wholesale changes in the eviction system, including the creation of a special housing court.

RLA policy director David Smith said: “While no landlords should ever abuse the system, it is only right and fair that they can repossess properties swiftly and with certainty in legitimate circumstances.”

Dismissed

Housing charity Shelter dismissed the fears saying that nothing had happened in Scotland when the ban was introduced there in 2017.

Chief executive Polly Neate said “The government’s plan to scrap no-fault evictions is vital to tackle the turmoil experienced by people up and down the country, especially children and the elderly who are worst affected by sudden evictions.

“Being turfed out of your home for no reason, with no evidence, and with just eight weeks of warning can have devastating consequences. This practice must be consigned to the history books.”