Section 21 changes – The end of no-fault evictions?

As has been widely covered in the mainstream news, the Government are proposing Section 21 changes to bring an end to no-fault evictions for residential tenants. The following is a brief and simple breakdown of the proposed changes.

The current Section 21 rules

The current law, as explained in our previous article on the matter, allows landlords to serve a Section 21 notice on their tenant. This gives said tenant 2 months’ notice to leave the property, based solely on the fact that the fixed term of the tenancy has come to an end – the tenant does not necessarily need to have done anything wrong.

Whilst many landlords would naturally have little issue with good tenants remaining on a long-term basis, they have enjoyed the flexibility that Section 21 offers, but the Government believes that has come at a cost to tenants.

The proposed Section 21 changes

Should the proposals come into effect then landlords would still be able to regain possession of their property if, for example, their tenant fails to pay the rent, behaves antisocially or causes damage to the property, using the existing section 8 procedure – but they will no longer have an automatic right to possession if one of the grounds under section 8 cannot be established.

It is unclear at this stage whether provision will be made for a landlord to be able to obtain possession of their property if they wish to sell it.

Any changes to the existing Section 21 regime will have to first go through consultation and legislation processes before any new rules come into force. Therefore, at this stage, it is still open to a landlord to seek to obtain possession of their property using the Section 21 procedure should they wish to do so.

Expert legal advice for Landlords

With these potential Section 21 changes incoming, many landlords are in need of sound legal advice in tenant-related matters. Our experienced Litigation department have a vast amount of experience working with landlords. If you need advice on evicting a problematic tenant, our experienced solicitors are on hand to help.

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