Posted by Tim Newcombe, Associate
The end of “no fault” evictions?
As part of a comprehensive overhaul of the private rented sector in England, the Government has outlined plans to consult on new legislation to abolish “no fault” evictions, by repealing section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 (“the Act”).
The current section 21 procedure gives landlords the ability to give at least 2 months notice to tenants without the need for any reason, and hence the reference to “no fault”.
The private rented sector has grown rapidly over recent years with more than 4 million people now living in privately rented accommodation. It is argued that the housing market has not kept pace with changes in society and the current framework leaves many tenants feeling insecure.
How will this affect landlords?
Landlords are likely to be very concerned by these proposed changes. The section 21 procedure provides landlords with a useful tool to remove “problem” tenants without relying on rent arrears or late payment, or other “fault” grounds under section 8 of the Act, which can prove to be an uncertain and expensive process.
The Government is also proposing to amend section 8 of the Act to allow for possession when the landlord needs to sell, or move back into the property.
Alongside proposed changes to section 8 of the Act, the Government will also seek to streamline the court process for possession cases and to review the current enforcement agent resources with a view to prioritising possession cases.
However, concerns have been raised that the removal of “no fault” evictions may drive some landlords out of the private rental market altogether, especially given they will no longer be able to remove tenants on a “no fault” basis even at the end of an agreed contractual period. For some landlords this proposed change may be a step too far in favour of tenants.
If you would like any advice or more information, please contact Tim Newcombe on:
020 7842 1421 Email us
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