The Government was strongly urged to ensure there was no chaos in the courts, if the scrappage of Section 21 eviction notices was put into effect, in a statement from the National Landlords Association (NLA).
Section 21 eviction notices allow landlords to evict tenants without reason at the end of contracts, and are otherwise known as no-fault evictions. However, the Government announced earlier this year that it proposed the scrapping of Section 21.
The NLA has been critical of the decision, as it is concerned that the elimination of Section 21 could cause indefinite tenancies, and force landlords to seek other means to ensure possession which the NLA felt were less effective, such as Section 8 notices.
Onus on the Government
Richard Lambert, CEO of the NLA, remarked: “The onus is on the Government to get this right…If the Government introduces yet another piece of badly thought-out legislation, we guarantee there will be chaos.”
The NLA’s criticism of the Government’s proposal for the scrappage of Section 21 notices was due to the fact that the association believed Section 21 was the most likely an instrument for landlords to easily gain possession of property, instead of relying on Section 8 notices.
Section 8 notices require landlords to take cases of possession to the courts, in the event of a tenant breaching their tenancy agreement. The NLA remarked that Section 8 notices were “seen as slow, costly and inefficient.”
Poll suggests people prefer being given reason
The NLA elaborated: “Section 21 was originally designed to allow landlords to regain possession of their property to sell it or move into the property themselves.” The NLA has long argued that it has become a “backstop to overcome the ineffective Section 8 process.”
Despite the NLA’s criticism of the Government’s plans, public opinion on no-fault evictions is in favour of landlords having to provide explicit reasons for asking a tenant to move out when a tenancy expires.
In April, a YouGov survey found that 52 per cent of respondents believed landlords should give clear reasons when asking tenants to leave properties at the end of tenancies – just 37 per cent of respondents believed that landlords shouldn’t need a reason for asking tenants to leave.