The government have announced plans to ban ‘no-fault evictions’ served by a Section 21 notice.
Landlords can currently end a tenancy after giving of 2 months’ notice after a fixed-term tenancy agreement expires. They do not have to provide reasoning. However, under the newly outlined changes, landlords would need to provide “concrete, evidenced reason, already specified in law”.
Key issues for landlords:
- Evicting problem-tenants
Changes could mean that it will be more difficult to evict ‘problem-tenants’ who might be missing rent payments, for example.
Currently, many landlords use Section 21 notices to remove problem-tenants swiftly. This protects themselves and their livelihoods from losses and stress. However, by banning this route, landlords would have to put up with the tenant and face potential financial risks for much longer. They would have to serve a Section 8 notice to try and recover lost rent or, wait for the court to process and deal with their case before any further action can be taken.
- Going to court
As mentioned above, taking tenants to court for breaking the terms of their tenancy contract can be a lengthy process. This can often mean risking financial losses for extended periods of time. If changes are made, this will be the route landlords are expected to take to evict tenants and reclaim properties.
Unfortunately, financial losses not only come from missed rent payments but landlords may also spend money taking court action if tenants refuse to leave. Ultimately if this is the new route, in order to remain fair and just, the government must focus on improving court processes so problem-tenants can be removed promptly, minimising the losses incurred by landlords.
Reason for changes
Changes aim to protect growing numbers of renters in the UK, especially those at risk of unethical treatment from landlords. There is evidence to prove that no-fault evictions are not always fair. Some landlords have taken advantage of the faster Section 21 notice process to grow their profits. In such cases, no consideration is given to how their actions effect individuals or families being evicted.
It has also been found that tenants who make complaints to their landlords regarding issues with their properties are more likely to be served eviction notices. Therefore, changes also aim to eliminate the fear of an unfair eviction if a tenant makes a complaint. This gives them rights to better standards of living should issues with the property arise. Issues may include leaks, breaks and faults etc.
Nonetheless, landlords, associations and other experts have argued that the outlined changes are biased towards guarding tenants. Little consideration is being given to the landlords, meaning that seeking expert legal advice is vital to protect your properties and hard-earned incomes.
Posted on July 23, 2019