Housing

Renters Reform Bill set to arrive next week, Michael Gove confirms

The long-awaited legislation to improve renters’ rights is set to finally be published next week – more than four years after Tories promised to axe no-fault evictions

Michael Gove sits in a dark suit, light shirt, dark tie with his hands held out in front of him

Michael Gove in discussion on a panel on the 'Governments working together to strengthen the UK economy' at the Scottish Conservative Conference in Glasgow 29 Apr 2023. Image: Duncan Bryceland/Shutterstock

The government will publish the long-awaited Renters Reform Bill next week, more than four years after the Tories first promised to scrap no-fault evictions.

The rent reforms were first unveiled in June 2023 after then-prime minister Theresa May first said the Tories would remove section 21 evictions in April 2019. The legislation promises to improve renters’ rights by improving the conditions of private rental homes, giving tenants more power to keep pets and to contest unfair rent increases.

Housing Secretary Michael Gove confirmed to Sky News on Wednesday that the bill would be published next week.

Gove said the legislation would “change the way in which the relationship between landlords and tenants work, providing tenants with new protections which should ensure they are better protected against arbitrary rent increases”.

Although the legislation is set to be unveiled next week, renters will still need to wait for it to pass through Parliament before it comes into force. 

The biggest change the bill will bring is removing no-fault evictions, also known as Section 21 evictions, which allow landlords to evict tenants without giving a reason.

Last year housing charity Shelter said a Section 21 eviction notice has been issued every seven minutes since the government promised to scrap them.

Eviction notices have continued to be issued at a frantic pace ever since, with around 1,000 notices issued every week according to Ministry of Justice figures, as the cost of living crisis leaves renters struggling to keep up with record-high rents

The Renters’ Reform Coalition – a campaign group of 20 organisations including Generation Rent, Shelter and renters union Acorn – held a Renters’ Day of Action in March to urge the government to bring forward the legislation.

Tom Darling, campaign manager of Renters’ Reform Coalition, said the bill is a “golden opportunity” to offer tenants more security in their homes.

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“We welcome the news that the government’s Renters Reform Bill is imminent. With it having been four years since their promise to end unfair no-fault evictions, it is critical that the government now swiftly deliver on this promise,” said Darling.

“Everyone deserves to live in a home that is secure, decent and affordable. But with renting in England in a state of crisis, so many do not.”

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