Private landlords will no longer be able to evict tenants at short notice without good reason under new government plans.
The change is intended to protect renters from “unethical” landlords and give them more long-term security.
Section 21 notices allow landlords to evict renters without a reason at the end of their fixed-term tenancy.
The National Landlords Association said the move would create “chaos” and make fixed-term contracts “meaningless”.
But an organisation representing tenants said the plans were “a vital first step to ending profiteering from housing”.
First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced similar plans for Wales, while in Scotland new rules requiring landlords to give a reason for ending tenancies were introduced in 2017.
Housing Secretary James Brokenshire called the proposals “the biggest change to the private rental sector in a generation”.
He said the government was taking action because evidence showed that so-called Section 21 evictions were one of the biggest causes of family homelessness.
“By abolishing these kinds of evictions, every single person living in the private rented sector will be empowered to make the right housing choice for themselves – not have it made for them,” he said.
A survey of 2,001 private renters by Citizens Advice suggests that landlords were using Section 21 evictions to retaliate against tenants rather than fixing problems with their properties.
Tenants who made a formal complaint had a 46% chance of being evicted within the next six months.
‘Peace of mind’
At the moment, landlords can give tenants as little as eight weeks’ notice after a fixed-term contract ends.
Under the government’s new plans, landlords would have to provide a “concrete, evidenced reason already specified in law” in order to bring tenancies to an end.
Mrs May said the major shake-up will protect responsible tenants from “unethical behaviour” and give them the “long-term certainty and the peace of mind they deserve”. Read more