The government has proposed the scrapping of Section 21, which entitled landlords to make ‘no-fault’ evictions. This move could potentially create indefinite tenancies, according to the National Landlords Association (NLA).
For many years, landlords have been allowed to use Section 21 notices during evictions, which did not require them to state a clear reason for wishing to take possession of property from tenants. Under new proposals, landlords would find they have to give valid reasons for seeking to evict their tenants.
Under the new proposals, landlords would not be able to evict a tenant without reason after a fixed-term tenancy had concluded. Tenants would no longer face eviction at short notice as a result. Landlords currently make use of Section 8 notices to evict tenants for breaching terms of a tenancy.
The proposals come after a campaign calling for the scrapping of Section 21 by pressure group Generation Rent.
Dan Wilson, director of Generation Rent has claimed: “Tenants have a right to a safe home, but can only exercise it if the government stops landlords from evicting without reason.”
New deal for renters
Communities secretary James Brokenshire announced the new government proposal, saying: “The private rented sector has grown rapidly over recent years, with more than four million people now living in privately rented accommodation…yet the housing market has not kept pace with the changes in society and leaves many tenants feeling insecure.”
“The proposed measures will provide greater certainty for tenants”, he added, “and make the housing market fit for the 21st Century, whilst creating a more secure rental market for landlords in which to remain and invest.”
Onus on government
The NLA, who are critical of the moves, claimed landlords are forced to turn to using Section 21, as they have “no confidence” that the courts can handle Section 8 applications “quickly and surely”.
Richard Lambert, CEO of the NLA, commented: “England’s model of tenancy was always intended to operate in a sector where Section 21 exists. This change makes the fixed term meaningless, and so creates a new system of indefinite tenancies through the back door.”
Lambert put the onus on the government, saying: “It’s entirely on the government’s ability to re-balance the system through Section 8 and court process so that works for landlords and tenants alike … if the government introduces yet another piece of badly thought-out legislation, we guarantee there will be chaos.”