UK Gov Vows to Ban Section 21 Evictions by 2025

Levelling Up and Housing Secretary Michael Gove pledged to ban Section 21 evictions before the next General Election.

The poll is widely expected after June, with the government back-pedalling on promises to outlaw no-fault evictions since 2019.

The latest hold-up is blamed on reforms of the court system needed to process landlord repossession claims under the Renters (Reform) Bill. The Bill is currently navigating committee stages in Parliament.

Housing charities and lobby groups have protested that court reforms could take years to materialise; meanwhile, Section 21 evictions would remain in place.

Speaking on BBC TV on Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, Gove was asked for a personal guarantee that Section 21 would be scrapped by the next election, which must occur before the end of January 2025.

Promise to fund courts

Gove replied: “ “We will have outlawed Section 21, and the government will have put the money into the courts to ensure that they can enforce that.”

Under the reforms, no-fault evictions are abolished. Instead, landlords have many reasons to take back a privately rented home. The list includes when a landlord intends to sell the property or move in a close relative.

Gove added: "It is the case that there are a small minority of unscrupulous landlords who use the threat of eviction either to jack up rents or to silence people who are complaining about the quality of their homes.”

His TV appearance followed the release of the latest eviction statistics from the Ministry of Justice for the last three months of 2023.

The data showed 9,457 households were evicted by bailiffs last year - a 49 per cent increase in 2022, when bailiffs repossessed 6,339 households.

Evictions increasing

The MoJ statistics show that landlord action at all stages of the process to remove tenants from their homes is increasing:

  • Claims were up 14 per cent to 23,382
  • Orders increased 12 per cent to 18,003
  • Warrants also rose 12 per cent to 9,833
  • Repossessions were up 23 per cent to 6,649

The MoJ points out that landlord action is at the highest rate since the pandemic but still well below the peak over the past 20 years seen in 2008.

Q1 2008 saw 18,490 evictions, while the current rate was exceeded in every quarter between January 2003 and the 2020 pandemic, when the stats fell through the floor due to the closure of the courts.

Landlord repossession action since January 2003

Headline possession actions for all possession claims (2003 Q1 - 2023 Q4)

View Related Handbook Page

Landlord Wants Tenant to Leave

A tenancy of someone's home, starting on or after 28 February 1997, will in most cases be an assured shorthold tenancy. Take advice early if there are any doubts about what type of tenancy is being terminated. The procedures for ending a tenancy are different, depending on the type of tenancy.