Following research, in April of 2019 Sir James Brokenshire, Housing Secretary, announced the plan to consult on scrapping Section 21 Notices. The government intends to change the legislative framework by removing the Section 21 eviction process, along sides strengthening the grounds for eviction under Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988 and simplifying court processes to make it easier to gain possession through the courts.
With 2 million Landlords, owning 5 million properties in the UK, generating £50 billion in rent per year the consultation paper prompting 'the biggest change to the Private Rented Sector in a Generation'' received 8,706 responses (2,668 of these were provided in direct response to the consultation with the further 6,038 provided by the charity Shelter). I'm not sure as a percentage this response warrants such changes to the Sector especially considering that according to the English Housing Survey (2016-2017) around 90% of tenancies were ended by tenants choice and only 10% by the Landlord.
Section 21 notices form part of the Housing Act 1988, and are known as the 'no fault' eviction. Currently a Section 21 notice gives Landlords the right to evict tenants with out giving a reason. The notice needs to be issued using a prescribed form and must give at least 2 months notice, subject to compliance in the way the initial tenancy is handled. Removing the Section 21 notice means Landlords will need to rely on Section 8 notices as an alternative and would need to provide 'a concrete, evidenced reason already specified in law' if they wish to bring a tenancy to an end.
The Government has promised to amend the Section 8 notice to use if the Landlord wants to sell or move into the property themselves as well as confirming that the court process will be accelerated so Landlords can swiftly regain their property.
Government proposals also include a minimum of 3 year tenancy agreements with a 6 month break clause, rents can still rise on a annual basis as long as the tenancy agreement is clear about how the rents can increase.
There is no set date for changes to take place and there will need to be a government consultation on proposals as well as a public consultation. Proposals will then need to be drafted and passed through Parliament before they can become Law...so lets see what the next year brings!
You can see the most recent Section 21 Notice - amended to reflect the Tenant Fee Ban by clicking here
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