Michael Gove has delayed plans to end no-fault evictions after dozens of Tory MPs threatened to vote against it.
The levelling up secretary said the changes - which were promised in the Conservatives’ election manifesto - would not go ahead until reforms were made to the way courts handle so-called “Section 21” cases.
But Labour accused him of striking a “grubby deal” with Tory MPs to avoid an embarrassing backbench rebellion.
Gove’s climbdown was revealed in a letter to MPs ahead of a Commons debate on the Renters Reform Bill.
In it, he said ministers will “reform the courts before we abolish section 21”.
Shadow levelling up secretary Angela Rayner said: “The government has betrayed renters with this grubby deal with the Tory backbenches.
“The Conservatives’ long-promised ban on no-fault evictions has majority and cross-party support across the House, but this flip-flop kicks it into the long grass.
“Having broken the justice system, they are now using their own failure to indefinitely delay keeping their promises to renters in the most underhand way.”
She added: “Tens of thousands more families who the government promised to protect, now face the prospect of being threatened with homelessness or kicked out of their homes by bailiffs.”
A spokesman for Rishi Sunak this morning insisted the government was still committed to ending no-fault evictions, but could not guarantee that it will happen before next year’s general election.
He said: “We think that this is an important commitment. Equally, it’s right that the right provisions are in place.”
One of the Tory rebels, Marco Longhi, told LBC: “The consequences of this well-meaning legislation is a reduction in supply as landlords continue to leave the market.
“Where will these tenants go at a time of huge demand? This is an inflationary measure that will make things worse for tenants.”