The Government has repeated its intentions to scrap ‘no-fault evictions’ when many landlords are likely to exit the private rented sector due to the uncertainties this will create in regaining possession. Consequently the private rented sector would be vastly reduced and the Government must redress the balance for both landlord and tenant.

If you are a landlord you will no doubt be aware of the current methods to evict your tenant during and at the end of their tenancy (as below) however, the Section 21 Notice method may soon become obsolete.

  1. Section 8 Notice seeking possession of an assured tenancy or assured shorthold tenancy. This contains statutory grounds some of which are mandatory and others are discretionary and have differing notice periods. If the tenant does not comply with the Notice court proceedings can be commenced after the expiration of the notice period and must be begun no more than 12 months after the notice is served.

and/or

  1. Section 21 Notice seeking possession of an assured shorthold tenancy. No grounds are required and this is commonly known as the ‘no-fault evictions’. However certain procedural requirements must have been complied with prior to serving this notice such as paying the tenant’s deposit in to a tenancy deposit scheme and the provision of an EPC certificate,  up to date version of the How to Rent guide and gas safety certificates. Court proceedings can be commenced 2 months after the notice was served.

A regular headline is the UK housing crisis. This is a result of a combination of factors namely, approximately 1 million new homes being needed due to Britain’s ever increasing population, homelessness continually rising each year and councils struggling to meet the demands for social housing.

The ‘no-fault evictions’ are regularly considered to be the main reason for the ever increasing homelessness situation in the UK. As one may anticipate, the Government in seeking to redress this has considering abolishing ‘no-fault evictions’. If this comes to fruition the effect for landlords who have been safe in the knowledge that they can swiftly and simply recover possession at the expiration of the tenancy is colossal.

Tenancy legislation is regularly under review by the Government. In 2015 the ‘no-fault evictions’ were changed whereby a landlord could not utilise this procedure if a tenant had notified its landlord of a legitimate complaint about the condition of the property and the landlord did not adequately respond and within a timely manner.

In May 2019 the Government announced it was looking in to the abolition of the ‘no-fault evictions” however, Brexit has been at the forefront of the Government’s agenda and this matter together with a number of other matters had been temporarily postponed.

On 19 December 2019 the Government’s plans to scrap ‘no-fault evictions’ were reiterated in the Queen’s Speech .

If ‘no-fault evictions’ are scrapped this would increase the risk faced by private landlords who may then choose to either exit the rental market or reduce their portfolios by renting to tenants who can demonstrate a track-record of making regular payments and a steady income. Consequently this would create a housing emergency due to the loss of thousands of homes in the private rented sector. Therefore it is critical that any changes to tenancy legislation are concurrent with reforms to the court process being implemented alongside any such changes.

This blog was written by:  Polly Hill

DISCLAIMER: Please note that this post sets out the general position under the general law. It should not be acted upon in any specific circumstances without taking specific legal advice as to those circumstances. Also, it should not be relied upon, acted upon or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances. If you do require specific advice please contact us for assistance.

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