Law News

End of England eviction ban could be starting point for eviction reform

Em Morley - May 28, 2021

The eviction ban in England is due to end on 31st May, with a change being made to notice periods.

A press release published 12th May 2021 from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government states that there will be four-month notice periods for most tenants until at least the end of September this year.

Neil Cobbold, Chief Sales Officer at PayProp, comments on the end of the eviction ban: “The end of the ban on bailiff-enforced evictions, which has been in place in England since March 2020, will be welcome news for landlords struggling to regain repossession of their homes. However, it is also an opportunity to rethink the current eviction system in order to reduce backlogs and reach fair outcomes more quickly.

“We’ve already seen the government trialling a mediation service to solve landlord-tenant disputes before a full court hearing. If the trials are successful, this can become accepted practice and really help to lessen the number of disputes between the main parties involved in a rental transaction.

“Of course, in some situations – where severe rental arrears or anti-social behaviour are involved – heading to the courts may be the only way forward, but those cases will be able to proceed more quickly if they have less competition for court dates.

“Letting agents have a key role to play in all this, facilitating communication between landlords and tenants, finding mutually acceptable solutions and keeping robust payment records to demonstrate whether renters are meeting their obligations.

“However, no matter how successful mediation proves to be, a speedy and effective repossession system will always be necessary. The government has said that it will conduct a review of renters’ rights later this year with input from the industry, and the planned publication of its consultation into scrapping Section 21 evictions could also shed some light on its ideas for the future of repossession.

“Property professionals will hope that politicians take a balanced approach that respects the rights of everyone involved and provides timely access to justice.