In the recent Queen’s Speech delivered by Prince Charles on 10 May 2022, the Government confirmed a commitment to abolishing the “no-fault” section 21 eviction notice procedure through the Renters Reform Bill (“the RRB”).
Many landlords and tenants will be aware of the right for a landlord to evict a tenant upon giving 2 months’ notice at the end of the fixed term of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. In previous articles we have detailed the process by which a Landlord can recover possession through a section 21 notice.
A section 21 notice allows a landlord to regain possession of a property without the need to cite or prove any breach of the tenancy agreement by the tenant. It also allows a landlord to engage the accelerated possession procedure, which is essentially a fast track through the courts for a landlord to obtain a possession order and regain possession of their property. This has been a very important tool for landlords, especially where time has been of the essence to regain possession regardless of whether or not the tenant has been at fault.
The Government have now confirmed that, through RRB, section 21 notices will be abolished. A landlord will only be able to rely on a section 8 notice, having to cite and prove specific breaches of the tenancy agreement by a tenant (and or other reasons referred to in section 8 of the Housing Act 1988) to obtain possession. This is set to be one of the biggest changes to Landlord and Tenant Law for a generation.
Whilst this will come as a huge concern to many landlords, the Government have also confirmed that they are equally committed to bringing reform to the implementation of section 8 notice procedure to make it easier for a landlord to recover possession of their property where there is a valid reason. The Government have also stated that RRB is set to introduce a new Ombudsmen for private landlords to deal with landlord and tenant disputes.
The real detail of RRB remains to be seen but it is expected that the Government will be in a position to enact the bill by 2023.
The RRB means that landlords will only be able to recover possession of their properties by serving a section 8 notice and having the requisite basis to serve such notice. Whilst amendments are expected to be made to the process of section 8 notices, it remains to be seen when these changes will be made and what these changes will include.
In the meantime, it is vital for landlords to get their ducks in a row and ensure that they have taken any relevant action to regulate the position in respect of any tenancies in place where they will require vacant possession in the short-term future.
If you are a landlord seeking possession of a property, contact our specialist Landlord and Tenant lawyers. We are able to instigate possession proceedings for you and offer a fixed fee structure to ensure that you have certainty on costs. We commit to serving any eviction notices within 48 hours of receiving the relevant papers and payment for instructions with the view to obtaining possession as quickly as possible.