In the May 2022 Queen’s speech, the government’s intentions to repeal Section 21 of the Housing Act of 1988 were confirmed.
This was set out in the Renters’ Reform Bill of 2019, and intends to ‘Strengthen the rights of tenants.’
What is Section 21?
A Section 21 eviction is the notice that a landlord can issue a tenant to initiate the process of taking possession of a property that is let on an assured shorthold tenancy.
The landlord is not required to give their reason for issuing it, Hence the term “no-fault” eviction.
The banning of section 21 is intended to alleviate tenants’ fears of a random eviction through no fault of theirs, as well as remove a landlord’s ability to issue one for any situation.
This is part of the government’s aim to increase the duration of tenancies and promote renting as a more viable long-term housing option.
Shelter claims 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.
In accordance with the ban, the grounds for a Section 8 repossession will be strengthened, which will not replace Section 21, but will strengthen the rights of landlords who wishto 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.
It should be noted that these changes must still pass further consideration and then parliament, and is therefore subject to changes.
There have 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 more thorough tenant referencing for fear of a bad tenant.
But also the changes for EPC requirements in private rental properties are placing landlords in a situation where they must either sell their property or make changes to it/them in order to qualify as rentable.
See the Condensed Rental Reform White Paper for a summary of all the proposed changes to the private rental sector.