New Clause 67 - Repeal of mandatory grounds for possession

Part of Renters (Reform) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 3:30 pm ar 28 Tachwedd 2023.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Lloyd Russell-Moyle Lloyd Russell-Moyle Labour/Co-operative, Brighton, Kemptown 3:30, 28 Tachwedd 2023

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

I am speaking to the new clause to push back a bit on the idea that the courts should not have discretion about some of the grounds. The harm caused to an individual by their being moved out of a property could be far greater than any advantage for someone moving into it. A relative of someone who is ill might have another house for a period of time, for example. Rather than there being two months’ notice, the courts should be given the discretion to decide, “You’re undergoing cancer treatment. Your relative has somewhere to live for six months, and that should be grounds for a delay of six months.” Such discretion should be permitted to the courts. Discretion is permitted in some cases: courts can rule in favour of deferred possession in other areas, but not when it comes to issues involving the non-discretionary grounds.

We have had this debate before. The Minister will respond, but I hope he is open to thinking about how the courts can be involved in areas where there can clearly sometimes be exceptional circumstances. At the moment, it is just a case of the courts asking whether the form has been filled in correctly. That does not do justice to our judges and lawyers, who usually get these things right.