On the 15th of April, the government announced
that, without a legitimate legal reason, landlords would no longer be able to
evict their tenants.
As it stands, section 21 gives landlords the option to evict
their current tenants by giving an eight week notice period. These no-fault
evictions are issued in instances if the landlord selling the property, or
moving in themselves, for example. However, without Section 21, landlords will
have little choice but to use the Section 8 route if they wish to evict a
tenant, which involves applying for a court order.
This route can take a significantly longer amount of time,
however it could mean tenants are much more stable and settled in their homes,
plus it could help filter rogue landlords out of the system.
writes: “The current legislative framework leaves tenants feeling insecure.
They can be asked to leave their homes, with as little as two months’ notice,
without the landlord providing any reason, using eviction proceedings under
Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. This sense of insecurity can profoundly
affect the ability of renters to plan for the future, to manage their finances
or to put down roots in their local communities.
“The government intends to establish a fairer system for
both tenants and landlords by legislating to repeal Section 21 of the Housing
Act 1988. Bringing an end to so called ‘no fault evictions’, would mean that a
tenant cannot be forced to leave their home unless the landlord can prove a
specified ground, such as rent arrears or breach of tenancy agreement. It would
provide tenants with more stability and protect them from having to make
frequent and short notice moves. It would also empower tenants to challenge
their landlord about poor property standards where this occurs, without the
worry of being evicted as a result of making a complaint.
“The private rented sector must also remain a stable and
secure market for landlords to continue to invest in. The legislation I intend
to introduce will include measures that provide landlords with additional
safeguards to successfully manage their properties. We will strengthen the
existing grounds for eviction available to landlords under Section 8 of the Housing
Act 1988. This will allow the landlord to regain their property when they want
to sell it or move into it themselves.
“It is important that landlords can have confidence that the
court system works for them in instances when there is no other option but to
seek possession of their property through the courts. That is why this
announcement includes improvements to court processes, to make it quicker and
smoother for landlords to regain their properties when they have a legitimate
reason to do so.”
You can read more about the biggest change to the private
rental sector in a generation on the Gov.uk website, here.
Plus, find out what our expert Editor, Rose Jinks, thinks about scrapping
the section 21 notice.