16th May 2019
Proposal to end Section 21 ‘no-fault evictions’ in England
What is a Section 21 Notice?
A section 21 notice allows landlords to evict renters without providing a valid and justified reason after their fixed-term tenancy period ends.
What is the current position?
At the moment, landlords can give tenants as little as eight weeks’ notice after a fixed-term contract ends.
What are the proposed changes?
Under the government’s new plans, landlords would have to provide a “concrete, evidenced reason already specified in law” in order to bring tenancies to an end.
The National Landlords Association (NLA) said its members should be able to use a Section 8 possession notice to evict someone who has broken the terms of their tenancy – for example by not paying rent.
This sometimes involves landlords spending money taking action in court if the tenants refuse to leave.
But NLA chief executive Richard Lambert said many landlords were forced to use Section 21 as they have “no confidence” in the courts to deal with Section 8 applications “quickly and surely”.
He said the proposed changes would create a new system of indefinite tenancies by the “back door”, and the focus should be on improving the Section 8 and court process instead.
The Government says that the new rules are there to protect renters from “unethical” landlords and give more long-term security
A survey of 2,001 private renters by Citizens Advice suggests that tenants who made a formal complaint had a 46% chance of being evicted within the next six months.
Last year 10,128 repossessions were carried out by county court bailiffs in England using “the accelerated procedure” (which doesn’t require a court hearing).
A repossession occurs when bailiffs are given permission to remove tenants from a property in order to return it to a landlord.
Sweeney Miller’s comments
Rebecca Cresswell of Sweeney Miller Law states that “more clarity on the proposed changes is necessary. This is a positive action for vulnerable tenants, but potentially puts great pressure on private sector landlords who have invested in buy-to-let properties.”
If you require advice on a Landlord and Tenant issue, please contact Sweeney Miller Law’s expert team of specialists.