Currently, section 21 notices enable private landlords to repossess their properties from assured shorthold tenants without having to establish fault on the part of the tenant.
In April 2019 the then Government announced that “private landlords will no longer be able to evict tenants from their homes at short notice and without good reason.” However, no further action was taken until the white paper for “A fairer private rented sector” was published on 16th June 2022. The white paper outlines proposals to abolish section 21 evictions and introduce a simpler, more secure tenancy structure. The Queens Speech 2022 confirmed a Renters Reform Bill will be introduced in the 2022-23 parliamentary session.
Here are the key summaries:
- (Page 29 onwards): On 16 June 2022, the Government published its white paper - A fairer private rented sector - setting out a 12-point action plan to deliver “a fairer, more secure, higher quality private rented sector”
- Section 3.1 of the white paper confirms the intention to abolish section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 and simplify tenancy structures. To achieve this, all tenants who would previously have had an assured or assured shorthold tenancy will be moved onto a single system of periodic tenancies. Tenants will have the right to move whenever they need to, or where the landlord is not fulfilling their basic responsibilities. They will need to provide two months’ notice when leaving a tenancy.
- It will be mandatory for landlords to provide a written agreement, setting out the basic details of a tenancy and both parties’ responsibilities.
- With the abolition of section 21, landlords can only evict a tenant using defined grounds under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988. Section 3.2 of the white paper sets out plans to reform the grounds for possession so they are “comprehensive, fair, and efficient, striking a balance between protecting tenants’ security and landlords’ right to manage their property.”
- There is a list at page 32 of the new grounds on which a landlord can claim eviction.
- Overall, landlords now need a reason to evict a tenant, and they have to go to a court hearing to obtain eviction.
With the proposed plans in place, it will become increasingly more difficult for landlords to evict tenants. Our specialist solicitors can help landlords take back control. We also offer landlords a competitive fixed fee service to ensure that they know exactly what our service costs. No hidden charges, and no extra costs.
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