As part of a complete overhaul of the private rented sector, the government has outlined plans to consult on new legislation to abolish Section 21 evictions – so called ‘no-fault’ evictions.
Under the proposals:
- Landlords will have to provide a concrete, evidenced reason already specified in law for bringing tenancies to an end. This is a step-change from the current rules which allow landlords to evict tenants at any time after the fixed-term contract has come to an end, and without specifying a reason.
- To ensure responsible landlords have confidence they will be able to end tenancies where they have legitimate reason to do so, ministers will amend the Section 8 eviction process, so property owners are able to regain their home should they wish to sell it or move into it.
- Court processes will also be expedited so landlords are able to swiftly and smoothly regain their property in the rare event of tenants falling into rent arrears or damaging the property – meaning landlords have the security of knowing disputes will be resolved quickly.
- Ministers will also work with other types of housing providers outside of the private rented sector who use these powers and use the consultation to make sure the new system works effectively.
Government has said the announcement is the start of a process of engaging with landlords and tenants to amend these grounds in order to make the process work better for everyone.
Responding, Isobel Thomson, NALS CEO said:
“While this is a bold announcement from government, we need to wait to see more detail. What is worth remembering is that the vast majority of tenancies are ended by tenants, not landlords. However, we are supportive of action against the very small minority who behave badly in whatever context.
“We absolutely want a safer, fairer private rented sector for all, but that requires landlords to be operating in the sector to provide much needed homes. What is government’s contingency plan if landlords decide to withdraw from the market following this latest announcement?
“We’ll be looking Scotland to learn from their recent experience, and NALS will engage with government in England to ensure that this legislation is fair to all.