In they May 2022 Queen’s speech, the government’s intentions to repeal section 21 of the Housing Act of 1988 was confirmed, such was set out in the Renters’ Reform Bill of 2019, and intends to ‘Strengthen the rights of tenants.’
A Section 21 eviction is the notice that a landlord must issue the tenant to initiate the process of taking possession of a property that is let on an assured short-hold tenancy – the landlord is not required to give their reason for issuing it, thus is the reason for the term “no-fault” eviction. The banning of section 21 is intended to alleviate tenant fear of random eviction through no fault of theirs and removes a landlord’s ability to issue one for any situation, this is part of the plan to increase the duration of tenancies.
There is a misconception surrounding the frequency of the usage of the section 21 eviction notice that it has been used increasingly more frequently, but the truth is that its usage has been declining since 2015. Shelter claims that that the section 21 notice has been issued to a tenant once every seven minutes in the UK since 2019 which affected 230,000 people.
After the implementation of this ban, tenants can be evicted using section 8, which can only be used if the original terms of the tenancy agreement are broken, though in response to the ban, the grounds for a section 8 repossession will be strengthened, which won’t replace section 21, but will strengthen the eights of landlords who want to recover their properties or move in themselves.
There is no proposed date when these changes will come into effect, as no date has been suggested, using previous patterns, it could take between 14 months to two years. Be it known that these changes must still pass further consideration and then parliament and therefore be subject to changes.
There has been polarizing reactions to these proposed changes, with landlords being firmly against it, and tenants being strictly ‘for’ it, each side with their own just reasons. Landlords particularly are feeling the pressure as not only is there the abolition of section 21 to consider – which calls for a more thorough background checks of tenants for fear of a bad tenant, and the changes for EPC requirements in private rental properties – placing landlords in a situation where they must either sell their property or make changes to it/them in order to qualify as rentable.
Stay tuned to remain informed on changes that effect landlords and tenants and learn tips for how to be prepared for them.