Lords and Bishops attack Government over Section 21 ban delay

The Government and Lords Housing Minister Baroness Swinburne faced a rebellion as the Renters (Reform) Bill was given its second reading.

swinburne agent regulation

The Government faced a rebellion of Lords and Bishops over the abolition of Section 21 ‘no fault evictions’.

The Renters (Reform) Bill passed its second reading in the House of Lords, but not before a barrage of criticism.

Ministers are committed to banning Section 21 notices, but only when the courts are ‘ready’.

The central point and central plank of this bill is missing”.

Lord Best

Lord Best, who has led the charge for regulation of property agents, was among the leading critics of the bill.

He said: “It [the bill] is worth having, but could be much better.”

Without a fixed date and a ‘backstop’ to “trigger the end of Section 21” then “the central point and central plank of this bill is missing”.

Delayed indefinitely
The Bishop of Chelmsford
The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Rev Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani

The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Rev Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani, said the Bill had some commendable elements, but she supported Lord Best’s comments.

“As currently drafted, the Bill will not provide a significantly better private rented sector. The most well-publicised reversal is the delay in abolishing Section 21 evictions.

“I add my voice to the calls of other peers that the Government set out a series of tests for the courts, or a timeline for abolition. Without this, I fear that this reform will be delayed indefinitely.”

Lord Frost, a Conservative, said he opposed the bill on both practical and philosophical grounds.

As soon as possible

Baroness Swinburne (main picture), speaking for the Government, said abolishing of S21 was a priority “as soon as practically possible”. She said digitisation of Section 8 possessions would make the courts more efficient, and this was being worked on.

The Lord Chancellor Alex Chalk is to assess whether the courts will be able to cope with the extra workload if S21 is abolished.

The Bill has three more stages to complete in the Lords before returning to the Commons.


  1. why ban something that actually works for all concerned, ridiculous to even consider until a more robust and fair system to all is in place.- if only those in power had a clue about the property market both rentals and sales they might actually be useful and that will never happen! Sick to death of it all.

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