At present, provided a private landlord has given two months’ notice upon the expiry of a fixed term assured shorthold tenancy and complied with the various obligations including to serve the Gas Safety Certificate, Energy Performance Certificate, How to Rent Guide and have protected the deposit, they can take steps to regain possession of their property without needing to give any further grounds for possession or reasons to a private tenant. In some instances, private landlords can rely on the accelerated possession procedure to gain possession via the court process. The concept of no-fault evictions is about to change due to the proposed abolition of the Section 21 Notice thanks to the Renters’ Reform Bill introduced by the UK Government, which will radically change the private rental sector. These proposed reforms aim to provide a fairer private rented sector.
What does this mean for the private rental sector?
Once the Section 21 Notice has been abolished, it will be far more challenging for private landlords to evict tenants and regain possession. Landlords will need to find a reason for ending the tenancy, for example, in instances where private tenants are in rent arrears or have breached some other tenancy agreement term. Therefore, this would inevitably give greater security to private renters as unscrupulous landlords cannot bring an end to tenancies without a legitimate reason.
What will happen to fixed-term contracts?
Along with abolishing the Section 21 Notice, it is proposed that all assured tenancies and assured shorthold agreements will become periodic tenancies which means there will be no fixed end date to the tenancy. In the circumstances, private renters will need to give two months’ notice before leaving the property, and landlords will need to find a valid reason to seek possession.
When will the Section 21 notice be abolished?
At the time of writing, there is currently a Prime Ministerial leadership contest in place. However, it is expected that once a new leader has been elected, the proposed tenancy reform will become law in the current parliamentary session and will, in turn, impact many landlords and tenants. However, this may be subject to change given the changing nature of politics. It is expected that upon coming into law, there will be a transition period for any new rules which come into place.