The Government proposals for an end to section 21 are progressing, being part of the Renters’ Reform Bill, which is being introduced to give further protection to tenants.
Contact the High Court Enforcement Group for more information.
The abolition of section 21 will be causing sleepless nights for any landlords with tenants who have experienced rental arrears, as section 21 is the most commonly used legislation for regaining possession of property.
This ban on no fault evictions will leave landlords with the option of section 8 legislation, which means they will have to state the reason that they wish to regain possession of their property.
Section 8 eviction notices
Section 8 is used when the landlord has a specific ground for eviction; these include rental arrears and breach of tenancy. There is a total of 17 grounds for eviction, with some being mandatory grounds and others discretionary.
Why landlords use section 21
The reason landlords usually default to a section 21 notice is that it requires no evidence. With a section 8 notice, some of the grounds are mandatory and others are discretionary.
The mandatory grounds include at least two months of arrears. However, if the tenant builds up these arrears and then makes a payment, even for only part of the arrears, then they would need to wait until at least two months arrears have accumulated.
In this instance, the landlord needs to have a back up plan, such as discretionary grounds, which might include persistent late payment of rent or other lease violations.
A section 8 will also require at least one court hearing, which can be time consuming and expensive, especially if the landlord requires legal representation.
Keeping an eye on developments
It will be worth keeping an eye on the developments, as it will be necessary for landlords to have a way to resolve issues and there is at least some hope from landlords that an appropriate solution can be reached when they experience difficult tenants.