The Current Section 21 Legislation:
Landlords can gain possession of their property back using a Section 21 process once the fixed term has ended. This allows the landlord to give two months’ notice to their tenant that they will seek possession, and they are not required to provide a reason for this. If the tenant does not leave after the notice has expired the landlord can apply for possession via the court. Providing there are able to prove compliance with requirements under the law the court must grant them possession
How will this change?
The changes which the Government intend to introduce will mean that, if landlord wants to regain possession of as property, they will need to use the Section 8 process, abolishing the Section 21 process. In its current state you can only claim back possession for certain grounds, mainly around breach of the tenancy agreement. Some grounds are mandatory such as rent arrears but other grounds such as anti-social behaviour are discretionary.
The Government have implied they will be seeking changes to speed up the current Section 8 process and new grounds will be introduced.
What will happen?
Section 21 is used to compensate for the ineffectiveness of the current Section 8 process, although the Section 8 process can work it is not without fault.
The Government will consult with various agencies and landlords will have the opportunity to provide vital feedback on the proposed changes.
When will this happen?
There is no guidance around the timescales in which these changes will be implemented. The changes will need to pass legislation in Parliament.
The changes will not be retrospective and so will affect all tenancies granted after the changes pass into law.
The NLA is opposed to the abolition of Section 21.
To highlight the short-sightedness of this policy to Government, we’re launching a postcard campaign to tell the Prime Minister directly the impact this will have on the market.
We are asking you to complete and return your postcard to us, explaining why you agree that Section 21 should not be abolished. We will hand deliver the postcards to Number 10, as a physical indication of the weight of opposition to this announcement.
Postcards are being shared via UK Landlord, membership communications, and at NLA meetings and events.
You can also sign up online here.
The Residential Landlords Association are currently running a survey to collate feedback, I would encourage all landlords to complete and provide this vital feedback, the survey can be found at https://rla.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/possession-reform-ensuring-landlord-confidence-apr-may
For any further help or advice with the upcoming changed to the Section 21 process or with your rental property is general, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01603 618618.