Evictions that are executed by landlords that are of no fault of the tenant are now the thing of the past. A law that was brought in by Theresa May has seen Section 21 being abolished.
The Past Legislation
The past legislation allowed landlords to evict tenants at short/limited notice period without having to provide any reason whatsoever. Pro campaigners for the abolishment of Section 21 have largely welcomed the change that is put in place to better protect private renters. On the other hand, critics of the action claim that this will make it harder for landlords to evict/remove problem tenants through the court processes.
What is a Section 21 notice?
A Section 21 notice allows a landlord to evict a tenant/renter without providing a valid reason. This section of the 1988 Housing Act can be used to serve an eviction order either after a fixed term tenancy has ended, where there is a written contract, or during periodic tenancy, where there is no fixed end date.
Under Section 21 laws the tenants or tenants must be given at least eight weeks’ notice and those tenants on a periodic tenancy agreement have to be provided with additional time that may be covered by their final payment. The notice provided to tenants by landlords are often used to remove them from the property to either allow them to sell the home or move into it.
Research carried out by Citizens Advice Bureau indicates tenants who have made some form of formal complaint about a property they live in had approximately a 46% chance of being evicted from it within a 6-month period. This has been further backed by research from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government with evidence that by ending tenancy agreements via section 21 is one of the biggest causes of family homelessness.
The changes to Section 21
Theresa May pointed out a plan to end the practice of no-fault evictions in England by completely abolishing Section 21. This means that landlords will need a good reason to evict their tenants. These changes have been put into place to create more security and rights for tenants and will essentially assist in creating open ended tenancies.
How will section 21 changes affect landlords?
We can all agree this change is the biggest we have seen in this sector for an entire generation. Landlords will now be instructed to provide a rock-solid evidenced reason for evicting a tenant that is already specified in law. Looking at the other side of the coin, critics have stated that this will make the job of the landlord a lot harder if they wish to evict troublesome tenants.
The National Landlords Association (NLA) stated that Section 21 was in fact becoming “a backstop to overcome the ineffective Section 8 process, where a landlord has to go to court to regain possession when a tenant is in breach of their tenancy agreement, because it is seen as slow, costly and inefficient”.
Furthermore, the NLA states these changes will create hysteria and chaos for landlords across the country. The Government argues that landlords will now have a structured process to evict actual troublesome tenants which in turn will be more effective. The Government promises to expedite court processes so owners can regain properties from tenants swiftly in cases where they have failed to pay rent or damaged the property.
How will Section 21 changes affect tenants?
Tenants are the ones to gain the most out of this change in legislation. It means tenants will no longer have to live in fear of unlawful eviction and being given short notice periods. More importantly tenants won’t be forced to find a new place within just eight weeks’ notice period.
Groups such as Generation Rent have hugely welcomed this important change stating that evictions which are unplanned through the use of Section 21 had forced tenants into debt and added to the rising number of homeless families.
Do you have any updates on this matter? Whether you are a landlord or a tenant we would love to hear your experience.
Capital Heights Press Team.