PM pledges to ban no-fault evictions after appearing to back away from manifesto pledge

Although Liz Truss said she'll ban no-fault evictions, she has not said when she will do so, as ITV Correspondent Dan Hewitt points out

Liz Truss has committed to honouring the Tory manifesto pledge to scrap no-fault evictions for renters in England after it appeared the policy had been shelved.

It follows warnings from charities on Tuesday that backtracking on the pledge would be a “betrayal” of private renters across the country, and would fuel homelessness.

Labour MP Graham Stringer told the Commons: "Spooking the markets and increasing the cost of borrowing and increasing the cost of mortgages was almost certainly an act of gross incompetence rather than malevolence.

"But going back on the commitment to end no-fault evictions is an act of extreme callousness.

"Can the prime minister reassure the 11 million private renters in this country that she will carry out her commitment to get rid of no-fault evictions?”

Ms Truss replied: "I can."

On Tuesday, Downing Street said no decisions had been made on whether to pause a promised ban on Section 21 notices, which allow landlords to evict a tenant without having to give a reason.

The Tories first pledged to scrap no-fault evictions in 2019 in the election manifesto.

In May, the Queen’s Speech confirmed that no-fault evictions would be abolished in a new Renters Reform Bill, which would also introduce an ombudsman to manage disputes and extend the Decent Homes Standard to privately renting households.

A source told ITV News Correspondent Daniel Hewitt they were fearful Ms Truss would delay the bill so they can "let it drift and then it won’t happen."

Osama Bhutta, director of communications, policy and campaigns at Shelter, said: "The Renters Reform Bill is ready to go, it’s time the government stopped stalling and brought the Bill forward in this Parliament."

Kiran Ramchandani, director of policy and external affairs at homelessness charity Crisis, also called for the government to bring forward the Renters Reform Bill, so that "renters can be given the stability they are crying out for".

The bill was proposed by former House Secretary Michael Gove and was initially promised after the Grenfell Tower disaster in 2017.

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It is designed to amplify the voices of renters in both social and private accommodation.

It proposes to come down harder on councils and housing associations that fail to deal with complaints promptly and properly with the threat of unlimited fines.

The Bill will also remove the “serious detriment” test, a measure currently used by the Regulator of Social Housing to determine whether or not a landlord has failed in its duties to tenants.

For many in the sector, the test sets the bar far too high for landlords to be found guilty of breaching standards, effectively requiring tenants’ health or safety to be put at serious risk for the Regulator to intervene.

For more than a year, ITV News has documented the poor state of social housing across the UK.

Dangerous amounts of damp, broken or damaged household goods and difficulty in securing any repairs were commonplace.

Chris Norris, policy director for the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), said: "The NRLA will continue to work with the government to ensure the new system for repossessing properties is both fair and workable for responsible landlords and tenants."