New plans to prevent landlords evicting tenants without good reason have been welcomed by Croydon council.

The Government yesterday announced a consultation that could lead to the abolition of section 21 of the 1988 Housing Act, which allows private landlords to evict tenants with as little as eight weeks' notice.

At its full council meeting in October, Croydon became the first local authority to publicly back the #EndUnfairEvictions campaign, joining Generation Rent, the London Renters’ Union, ACORN and the New Economics Foundation calling for a change in legislation.

Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and Gateway services, said: “The council backed the campaign to abolish section 21 because private sector evictions are a major cause of homelessness in Croydon, so this consultation is a welcome first step.

“But if the Government is serious about ending evictions where the tenant is blameless, it needs to do more.

"Under section 8 landlords can evict over rent arrears, which have become a greater threat to tenants since the Government introduced Universal Credit.

"This terrible policy, coupled with the freezing of housing benefit and spiralling private rents, has left thousands of families nationwide out of pocket with no financial safety net.

"Now is the time for ministers to take Universal Credit policy back to the drawing board and protect tenants even more.”

David Smith, of the Residential Landlords Association, said the body recognised there were calls for change, but warned of "serious dangers" of getting such reforms wrong.

"With the demand for private rented homes continuing to increase, we need the majority of good landlords to have confidence to invest in new homes," he said.

"This means ensuring they can swiftly repossess properties for legitimate reasons such as rent arrears, tenant anti-social behaviour or wanting to sell them. This needs to happen before any moves are made to end Section 21."

National Landlords Association chief executive Richard Lambert said property owners had to use Section 21 because they have "no confidence" in the courts to deal with possession claims "quickly and surely".

"If the Government introduces yet another piece of badly thought-out legislation, we guarantee there will be chaos," Mr Lambert told the BBC.

A Ministry of Housing spokesman said: "Court processes will also be expedited so landlords are able to swiftly and smoothly regain their property in the rare event of tenants falling into rent arrears or damaging the property - meaning landlords have the security of knowing disputes will be resolved quickly."