Landlords are set to lose the right to use a Section 21 eviction notice to evict tenants at the end of their fixed term tenancy agreement without giving a reason. Under new government plans this type of ‘no fault’ eviction will be abolished.
Currently landlords can use Section 21 notices to evict tenants at the end of a fixed-term tenancy or if the tenancy is ‘periodic’, which means it doesn’t have a fixed end date. As long a landlord gives the tenant two-months’ notice, there is no requirement to provide any reason for the eviction. This is particularly useful if a landlord wants to sell or move back into their property.
Under the new proposals announced by Housing Secretary James Brokenshire in April, landlords in England will no longer be able to use Section 21 notices to evict their tenants in this way. Similar changes are also being considered in Wales
If these changes become law it will have a huge impact on private landlords. It will mean that they must give provide a reason to remove a tenant, for example they are in arrears or causing damage to the property, and back this up with evidence. This is particularly worrying if you simply want to regain possession of the property for personal reasons, rather than through any fault on the part of the tenant.
Ending tenancy agreements will be much harder when these changes come into force.
It would mean landlords must use different rules to get a tenant out if they want to sell up or move in. The suggestion is that Section 8 eviction notices, which landlords can currently only use if their tenants have broken the terms of their tenancy, would be toughened up.
Court proceedings to evict problem tenants would also be sped up, so landlords could get their property back faster if tenants fall into rent arrears or cause damage.
The proposed changes would represent a significant shift in power balance away from landlords. As yet there is no timescale for the introduction of the new legislation, but if you are thinking of evicting a tenant in order to sell or move back into your property, now is the time to issue a Section 21 notice.