16th Jan 2020|News|Lettings|

Section 21 evictions – the latest

2019 was filled with talks of abolishing Section 21 “no fault” evictions. The Government initially announced the abolition in April 2019, which was followed by a consultation process from July to October 2019. With the political uncertainty throughout the year that has recently settled, the Queens speech has confirmed that the abolition proposal is still intended as we move forward into the new year.
Section 21
What exactly is a Section 21 eviction?
Included in the Housing Act 1988, Section 21 is the recovery of possession on expiry or termination of assured short hold tenancy. This essentially allows landlords to evict tenants from their properties with two months’ notice, without any reason given.
Why is this being abolished?
The ability that landlords have to evict any tenants without reason has been argued to have negative effects on tenants’ well-being and cause huge disruption to their lives. This can disrupt the lives of good tenants who may have done nothing wrong in relation to their tenancy agreement. It can also be extremely unsettling families who may have children settled in local schools and communities.
What impact will the abolition have for tenants?
The abolition of section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 will provide some protection for tenants by assuring them that their tenancy agreements will be upheld for the duration of their contracts. This is providing that they do not breach this. The abolition is a positive step for tenants; especially families who are renting on a long-term basis as it reassures them that their housing requirements are met allowing families to settle.
What impact will the abolition have for landlords?

It could leave landlords vulnerable to tenants who may abuse their home, leaving them with less power to regain possession of their property and making this process longer. Without an updated alternative provision to support landlords to protect their property, it could deter them from offering their property on the rental market. This could contribute to further demand for rental property, but with a reducing supply; driving rental asking prices to increase. To address this, the Government has proposed to strengthen Section 8 of the Act, which allows eviction due to the tenancy agreement being broken. This would ensure that the landlords needs are also protected with effective channels for them to use in the event of undesirable circumstances.

The Policy Director for the Residential Landlords Associations explained that it is crucial to also reform the way repossessions take place to avoid a rental crisis. A new system is required for landlords as well as tenants so that it is fair market for all. There must continue to be a lawful procedure to protect landlords in legitimate circumstances such as anti -social behavior, and tenant rent arrears.