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Lib Dems to scrap Section 21

Wednesday 18 September 2019

The Liberal Democrats have passed a motion which will scrap Section 21 'No Fault Evictions' in the private rented sector if they come to power at the next general election.

Members voted for the new policy at their party conference in Bournemouth yesterday, 17 September, by an overwhelming majority.

The Conference confirmed the Liberal Democrats commitment to:

  • Reform the private rental market to make it fairer for private renters.
  • Provide support for private renters to enable them to safely report health and safety issues in rented properties.
  • Support renters by enabling local authorities to create and maintain registers of landlords providing private rental properties for lease.

The Conference called for:

  • The abolition of S21 by reform of the Housing Act 1988.
  • The reform of court process (as has happened in Scotland) to enable landlords to have easier access to justice if tenants are found to be in breach of their tenancy agreements.
  • Further work to be undertaken with tenant and landlord organisations and groups to explore the opportunities for further reform and improvement of the private rental sector, such as revising the current assured short-hold tenancy legislation to encourage the use of long-term tenancies as a standard.

Following the passing of the motion, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Housing, Communities and Local Government Tim Farron said: "People in this country are demanding a safe, secure home to live in. Yet the Tories have failed to fulfil their promises to end “no fault evictions” leaving many at the mercy on unscrupulous landlords. Liberal Democrats demand better.
 
"That’s why it’s fantastic that Liberal Democrats have passed this motion. It is vital that the private rented market is made fairer for renters, while we have a duty to support landlords who are doing the right thing too.

"We cannot stand by while tenants are turfed out of their homes through no fault of their own – that’s why we’re demanding that this Tory government do what they’ve said they will. And if they don’t, they should make way for a party who would."

David Cox, Chief Executive of ARLA Propertymark responds to the Liberal Democrats motion: “The vote at the Liberal Democrat Conference is another attack on the private rental sector and landlords operating within it.

“The effects of the tenant fees ban have not yet been felt, and yet more proposed legislation could deter landlords from operating in the market. Although in the majority of cases there is no need for Section 21 to be used, there are times when a landlord has no choice but to take action and evict tenants from a property.

“The proposed commitment will only increase pressure on the sector and discourage new landlords from investing in buy-to-let properties. This comes at a time when demand is dramatically outpacing supply, and rent costs are rising.

“ARLA Propertymark will be engaging with the Liberal Democrats to ensure they fully understand the consequences of any changes, and all changes are based on evidence, so landlords have the ability to regain their properties if needed.”

Section 21 consultation

ARLA Propertymark urges members to respond to the current UK Governments, A new deal for renting: resetting the balance of rights and responsibilities between landlords and tenants consultation, which seeks views on implementing the Governments views on removing Section 21 and improving Section 8 eviction grounds.

The consultation 

What ARLA Propertymark is doing

To read more on the Governments proposals for Section 21 and what work ARLA Propertymark is doing, visit our lobbying page below.

Section 21 - lobbying