Section 21 to be Abolished
Posted on 20th July 2022 at 09:56
The government has announced that Section 21 is due to be abolished. Here is your guide to the changes and what you can expect:
What is Section 21?
First of all, What is Section 21? No, it's not where they are hiding the aliens, if that's what you are thinking...
Renting used to be a bit of a free-for-all. But, after World War I, there was a housing shortage and tenants were given reassurance about their security with the introduction of the Increase of Rent and Mortgage Interest (War Restrictions) Act 1915. Over the years the laws have changed in many ways; The Rent Act in 1977 made it so renters cannot be evicted by landlords unless they had deferred on their rent. In 1988 the government introduced The Housing Act, which introduced assured tenancies and shorthold tenancies…
The act featured a clause known as section 21 notice, which state that landlords can apply for an order of possession from the court without specifying any reason as long as sufficient notices have been given. This loosely means that landlords could be creative in finding ways to evict their tenants for their own benefit. Tenants, of course, could challenge the decision in court but would have to pay court fees.
Most landlords wouldn’t dream of evicting their tenants for no reason and they can also benefit from the changes, which we’ll mention later.
Unfortunately, evictions do happen. A landlord may want to move into the property themselves, they might have found a new tenant who will pay more, or maybe they just don’t like the tenant! This, of course, is unacceptable.
After much deliberation, the government has finally announced that Section 21 is due to be abolished forever!
What do the changes mean for you?
The new laws will mean that landlords must provide proof to tenants, with a legitimate reason for ending a tenancy (breach of contract, agreement to sell the property etc.).
Tenants can no choose to end the tenancy at any time as long as they provide two months' notice. Previously they may have found themselves bound to a contract meaning they could not leave until the agreement ended.
The government white paper explains that student tenants will also benefit. If they wish to move at the end of the academic year, or transfer to a different campus too far from their home, they will get the same opportunity.
All in all, this is a real win for renters. It shows that landlords no longer hold the power over the tenant and the playing field is now an even one. While we reiterate, most landlords do play by the rules and show an incredible level or respect to their tenants, but we've all heard horror stories of landlords abusing their power, this will not be a possibility, in the future.
This means.... Happier tenants!
What is next?
When Section 21 goes to the big filing cabinet in the sky, the government have proposed an amendment to the Housing Act 1988 which will strengthen the grounds of posession (under section 8).
These changes mean that responsible landlords can gain possession of their properties from "anti-social" tenants and will be able to sell their properties when they need to. So once again, it makes things far more even, so landlords will not suffer, but will be encouraged to act more fairly and responsibly.
How will they enforce it?
The government has said that new penalties could be rolled out to deter landlords and agents from finding loopholes or just plain ignoring the law. Penalties do already exist but under the new laws, they will be strengthened and will act as more of a deterent.
Can I read the white paper in its entirety?
Of course you can! Just Google it...
Just kidding! Here is the link:
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