King’s Speech: Section 21 evictions to be banned

Aerial view of UK houses

The King’s Speech has confirmed the new government’s plans to scrap Section 21 evictions and set new house building targets.

Delivered on 17 July 2024, the speech also included policies on House of Lords reform, public transport, and devolution. 

Read on to find out more about how the government’s plans for the rental market and house building could affect landlords.

Labour launches new rental reforms bill

The government has confirmed its manifesto pledge to abolish Section 21 evictions. 

A new Renters’ Rights Bill, which picks up where the Conservatives’ Renters’ Reform Bill left off, will aim to ‘give greater rights and protections to people renting their homes’.

At the moment, there’s no detail about any other laws that might be included in the new bill. However, it’s likely to include bans on ‘unfair’ rent rises and bidding wars between tenants.

Following the King’s Speech, the government released further commentary around the new bill. 

A government spokesperson said: “We value the contribution made by responsible landlords who provide quality homes to their tenants and believe they must enjoy robust grounds for possession where there is good reason to take their property back. 

“However, the government is determined to level decisively the playing field between landlord and tenant by providing renters with greater security, rights and protections and cracking down on the minority of unscrupulous landlords who exploit, mistreat or discriminate against tenants with bad practices.”

Local councils to be responsible for house building targets

A Planning and Infrastructure Bill aims to ‘get Britain building’. 

The government has proposed planning reforms that will force local councils to adopt mandatory housing targets. Sir Keir Starmer has said that the Labour Party will be “builders, not blockers”.

A consultation on the new targets is due to begin in the next two weeks, with a plan to have a new house building plan in place by the autumn. The planning reform will be overseen by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Angela Rayner.

It’s hoped that the measures in the bill will lead to around 1.5 million homes in England over the next five years.

What else has the government promised for the rental market?

Although not part of the King’s Speech, the Labour Party had several other rental market measures in its manifesto. 

These included:

  • extending Awaab’s Law to the private rental sector
  • banning rental bidding wars between tenants
  • introducing new energy efficiency standards for rental properties by 2030
  • capping the amount of rent that can be paid upfront by tenants

As these plans aren’t planned for the first parliamentary session, they’re more likely to be introduced from 2025 onwards.

Read our in-depth guide to what landlords can expect from a new government for more information. 

What is the King’s Speech?

The King’s Speech marks the formal State Opening of Parliament and sets out the new government’s legislative agenda for the next parliamentary session.

The speech was written by the government and was delivered by King Charles. In total, it set out 40 parliamentary bills with a focus on taking “the brakes off Britain”.

It will now be debated in the House of Commons for several days before being voted on by MPs. The Commons will then take its summer recess from 31 July, before returning on 1 September.

What do you think about the rental market measures announced as part of the King’s Speech? Let us know in the comments below.

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Conor Shilling

Conor Shilling is a professional writer with over 10 years’ experience across the property, small business, and insurance sectors. A trained journalist, Conor’s previous experience includes writing for several leading online property trade publications. Conor has worked at Simply Business as a Copywriter for three years, specialising in the buy-to-let market, landlords, and small business finance.

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