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Legal News | 16.10.23

No Fault No Eviction

No Fault No Eviction - Dispute Resolution - Wansbroughs LLP

The government has confirmed plans to abolish Section 21 notices under the Renters’ (Reform) Bill. This poses to be a significant change that could have profound implications for landlords and the rental housing market in England.

The Abolition of Section 21 Notices: What You Need to Know

Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 has long been a crucial tool for landlords to regain possession of their properties at the end of a tenancy. Under current legislation, landlords may evict their tenants by serving them with a section 21 notice and providing two months’ notice once their fixed term tenancy has expired. However, the government has announced plans to abolish Section 21 notices, commonly referred to as “no-fault evictions.”

Proposed Changes

The key points of the Renters (Reform) Bill are as follows:

  1. End of “No-Fault” Evictions: The primary aim of this change is to end the practice of landlords evicting tenants without a specific reason. This effectively means that a tenancy can only be ended if the tenant voluntarily leaves the property, or the landlord has a valid reason for eviction.
  2. Increased Tenant Security: The government intends to enhance tenant security by limiting the circumstances under which landlords can terminate tenancies. This is part of a broader effort to provide tenants with greater stability in their housing.
  3. New Grounds for Possession: Instead of Section 21 notices, landlords will likely need to rely on specific grounds to regain possession of their property.

Impact on Landlords and Property Owners

The proposed changes represent a significant shift in the landscape of rental housing in England. As a landlord or property owner, it’s crucial to understand how these changes may affect you.

The abolition of Section 21 notices could lead to longer, more secure tenancies. This may require landlords to adapt their business models and rental strategies.

The new regulations and processes for regaining possession of a property will require careful consideration before a tenancy can be ended.  While section 21 notices are set to be abolished, the government intend to strengthen the grounds for possession under Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988. This permits landlords to regain possession of their property providing the circumstances are reasonable. This may include:

  • The sale of the property
  • The redevelopment of the property
  • The accumulation of rental arrears
  • The landlord (and or the landlord’s family) moving into the property
  • The death of a tenant

The government have also indicated that they will be strengthening the grounds for eviction following anti-social behaviour. Landlords will be able to make a possession claim immediately for “behaviours ‘capable of causing’ nuisance or annoyance.”

What You Should Do

It’s important to note that these changes are still being deliberated by parliament, and legislation has not yet been finalised. The Renters (Reform) Bill is however expected to become law by October 2024. The government have indicated that the reform will initially only apply to new tenancies but will eventually include pre-existing tenancies as well.

If you have specific questions or concerns about how these changes might impact your rental arrangements or you are a landlord seeking to recover possession of your property, please contact the Dispute Resolution team on 01380 733300josh.taylor@wansbroughs.com.


Posted By Our Dispute Resolution Team