“Give renters genuine security” – our response to Section 21 proposals

Government should scrap break clauses and fixed-term tenancies as part of proposals to end unfair evictions for private renters, the Council has argued in its response to a consultation on ending Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions.

The government’s New Deal for Renting consultation proposes to end Section 21, which lets private landlords evict tenants with as little as two months’ notice without having to give a reason. It follows a Council-backed push for a change in the law to prevent private renters being evicted through no fault of their own as part of our #BetterRenting campaign. 

We’re making the case to government to do more to deliver on its commitment to ending unfair evictions by removing break clauses and fixed-term tenancies – following the successful Scottish model that means landlords are no longer able to ask a tenant to leave simply because a fixed term has ended.

Cllr Sem Moema, Mayoral Adviser for Private Renting and Housing Affordability
While I’m delighted that the government has finally taken notice and proposed to scrap the unfair evictions that are such a big cause of homelessness in Hackney, ministers mustn’t miss this opportunity to properly redress the long-standing imbalance between renters and landlords.

Renters will only fully be safe from unfair evictions if they can be sure their landlord can’t abuse break clauses to unfairly evict their tenants, and are protected from fixed-term tenancies – often of only 6 months or one year – that prevent them having the stability they deserve.

That’s why I’m backing the proposals to scrap Section 21, but making the case for stronger  measures that will give Hackney’s 34,000 private renters genuine security.
Cllr Sem Moema, Mayoral Adviser for Private Renting and Housing Affordability

The Council’s response calls on the Government to:

  • Scrap proposals for break clauses and fixed-term assured tenancies, which could easily be abused by landlords who wish to unfairly evict tenants.

  • Introduce protections where tenants are forced to move on ‘no fault’ grounds, such as if landlords wish to move back into or sell the property, including paying tenants’ relocation costs and encouraging landlords to sell with sitting tenants.

  • Introduce rent controls to prevent retaliatory rent hikes, such as limiting rent increases to the rate of inflation.

  • Introduce notice periods of at least six months. 

  • Establish a universal register of landlords and properties to improve standards in the sector and ensure rent controls are implemented. 

Read our full response.