Government clear that abolition of section 21 will go ahead
The Government has published a consultation on its plans to abolish Section 21 – the process by which landlords or their agents can reclaim properties without having to state a reason.
Landlords will need to provide a valid reason for tenancies to come to an end and will need to be able to satisfy a judge for the validity of their claim.
Whilst this new step is to protect the vulnerable, should any issues arise for Landlords, legislation will also stop landlords forcing out tenants by raising the rent to tenants
A number of questions are asked as to valid grounds to reclaim a property.
Among them are:
- If the landlord or a family member wants to use the property as their own home – if so, should this be allowed within the first two years of a tenancy?
- If the landlord wants to sell the property.
- Rent arrears – the Government is considering allowing a landlord to serve a two-week notice seeking possession once there are two months of rent arrears. This would be a mandatory ground. If the arrears are under one month, then the ground would be discretionary. Critics say the consultation does not address the question of persistent rent arrears.
- Anti-social behaviour – could tenancy agreements be strengthened to make it easier to provide evidence in court?
- Domestic abuse could be a new ground, and could allow the landlord to evict the tenant who has perpetrated the abuse, not the whole household. The consultation also asks about protecting the victim should the abusive partner threaten to terminate a tenancy.
- Unsafe properties: if a tenant has allowed the property to deteriorate below legal standards, should this be a ground for possession?
If you have any concern as a landlord or tenant please do not hesitate to contact us so we can talk about how this may affect you.
See the full consultation here: