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We'll scrap no-fault evictions, pledge Liberal Democrats, after Tory Government fails to deliver on its promise.

September 18, 2019 3:05 PM

Tim Farron (By JackWilfred (Tim Farron 02, July 2016.jpg) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)Liberal Democrats policy is now the abolition of S21 by reforming the Housing Act, and it reaffirms its commitment to support renters by enabling local authorities to create and maintain registers of landlords.

"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, " said Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Housing, Communities and Local Government Tim Farron.

"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."

The full text of the motion passed at this year's LIberal Democrats conference is as follows:

Reforming Housing Legislation: Scrapping Section 21 'No Fault Evictions'

Conference notes with concern:

i) The growing numbers of people across the UK reliant upon the private rented sector for their homes, including families on low incomes or receiving benefits, single parents, people living with disabilities, LGBTQ+ people, older people, and people who are from two or more of these categories.
ii) The use of Section 21 of the Housing Act to evict private rental tenants, via a no-fault eviction, where a landlord needs to provide no reason, and needs to provide only two months' notice, leaving the tenant to cover moving and relocation costs, irrespective of their circumstances.
iii) The impacts that no fault evictions have on those evicted, who may not have sufficient funds to find new accommodation in the time available, including forcing children to move schools, tearing people away from their friends and communities, and leaving tenants financially compromised and requiring support from the state.
iv) The impact that the threat of a no-fault eviction has on tenants who cannot plan their lives when they have no confidence where home will be in 12 months' time or are intimidated into not complaining about disrepair or mistreatment.
v) The impact that no fault evictions have on local authorities, increasing the numbers of people they must support as a consequence of being forced into homelessness following a S21 eviction.

Conference reaffirms the Liberal Democrat commitment to:

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

Conference calls for:

1. The abolition of S21 by reform of the Housing Act 1988.
2. The reform of court process (as has happened in Scotland) to enable landlords to have easier access to justice in the event that tenants are found to be in breach of their tenancy agreements.
3. 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.