Will section 21 be banned under the Labour government?

8 July 2024

The Labour Government planned to “immediately” ban Section 21 notices if elected. But what should letting agents expect for the future of ‘no-fault- evictions?

On 5 July, the Labour Party was appointed the new leaders of the UK Government. With the promises to rebuild the country “brick by brick”, there is pressure on the party to deliver the key promises made in their manifesto.

One of the main pledges made in the Labour manifesto was to “immediately” ban Section 21 no-fault evictions. However, as letting agents and landlords have seen during the Renters (Reform) Bill, this will not be an easy task. 

Currently, it is unclear how Labour will deliver this pledge to immediately ban Section 21, there have only been promises that they will.

Find out what the Government currently plan for Section 21 no-fault evictions:

What can letting agents currently do with Section 21?

According to the Housing Act 1988, letting agents and landlords can still serve Section 21 notice.

Due to the Renters (Reform) Bill not passing before the dissolution of parliament, letting agents and landlords are back to square one for serving no-fault evictions.

This means landlords can still provide a two-month notice to evict a tenant once their fixed-term contract has ended.

Landlords aren’t required to provide their tenants with a reason for the eviction, hence the phrase “no-fault” eviction. In contrast, to serve a Section 8 notice, the landlord must prove that the tenant has broken the terms of the tenancy agreement.

Will Section 21 be banned under a Labour government?

Angela Rayner, Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, has promised to “immediately” ban Section 21 no-fault evictions.

This promise was featured in the Labour Party’s manifesto, however, it is unclear how this will be achieved.

Section 21 has been a constant discussion over the years, with the Renters (Reform) Bill aiming also to ban the regulation. Despite the promise to ban no-fault evictions if the bill passed, it was later delayed until the courts were strengthened to handle the influx of cases.

If the Labour Government wish to abolish Section 21 notices, they will again need to address the issues within the court system.

In a recent interview on LBC Radio, Angela Rayner stated that “Section 21 is causing misery for a lot of people, because it is used to turf a lot of people out, without any explanation or excuse”. 

“We also need to make sure the court system is working, and we have a fair balance between landlords and renters.” Rayner continues. “I think the balance at the moment is much too towards landlords as opposed to the renters”.

When can letting agents see Section 21 be banned?

Despite Deputy Prime Minister, Angela Rayner, saying the Section 21 notices should be banned immediately, there is still a lot of work to be done to reform the court system. 

In her interview on LBC Radio, Rayner acknowledges that “The court system is in a mess at the moment, and that needs sorting”. 

There is yet to be a time frame on when abolishing Section 21 will be addressed by the Labour Government.

On 17 July, the Government’s key focuses will be outlined during the King’s Speech in the House of Lords.

The King's Speech will mark the start of the parliamentary year and is written by the newly appointed political party. So letting agents may have an idea of when Section 21 will be abolished during this speech.

Further reading