Will 2020 herald the end of Section 21 evictions?

Will 2020 herald the end of Section 21 evictions?

Recent government announcements show the intention to remove section 21 notices means that landlords will be left with fewer remedies under the law.

What is a section 21 notice?


A prescribed notice is given to a tenant by a landlord and that starts the process of taking possession of a property that is let to the tenant. This notice does not provide a reason for wanting to take possession and is done on a no fault basis.

How the change in the law will impact tenants?


The largest motivation for the change is security, especially in a long lease tenancy, where refurbishment and money has been invested into a property they are renting from a landlord. The reassurance for tenants through the ending of section 21 notices will prevent a tenant who has occupied a property for ten years or more from being given a no-fault notice that they must leave in two months. In these circumstances one can consider how it may be reasonable to indeed

However, the market for adequate accommodation is already a problem in many areas. This change in law may facilitate in providing less choice of accommodation for prospective renters, as it may lead to the withdrawal of landlords from the market.

How will this change impact landlords?


It is evident that tenants are receiving even more protection, at the cost of taking away security for landlords. A section 21 notice is often seen as easier than trying to pursue, for example, rent arrears through a section 8 notice from an unruly tenant. Many landlords may just want to secure possession of their property and move on from the tenant. This rings especially true when bodies such as Citizens Advice will advise a tenant to wait for High Court enforcement if they are served notice. This advice increases the costs to landlords who are following the prescribed system of regaining possession, further protecting tenants.

For a landlord the section 21 notice compensates for the failings of a section 8 notice which has mandatory and discretionary, fault-based grounds. Therefore, in removing section 21 notices, the government have proposed to strengthen section 8 notices for landlords. Although this process can be expensive it appears it will offer a landlord more secure options in removing tenants, allowing them to evict under more grounds. Whether this will be successful in the long term is unknown. It also remains to be seen whether a viable alternative will be forwarded in the absence of one of the routes.

Verdict


Many will be conflicted by this news, as there are lots of stories of tenants experiencing bad landlords and vice versa.

The fact of the matter is, a landlord who has good tenants is unlikely to want to evict them and thus lose a monthly income on their property unless under certain circumstances, such as wanting their own property back.

There is a need for more clarity when, or if, this law is introduced by the government. Including the need for a system that doesn’t unfairly disadvantage either the tenant or landlord.