The Queen’s Speech, delivered by Prince Charles, outlines plans by the Government to abolish “no-fault” section 21 evictions.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government introduced the White Paper, Fixing our broken housing market in February 2017. The Government in the spring 2020 Budget announced it would set out comprehensive reforms to the planning system.
It comes as no surprise to those who regularly deal with property law and residential tenancies that no-fault evictions will be abolished.
What is a section 21 eviction? In simple terms, a landlord with a tenant occupying property pursuant to an assured shorthold tenancy can give notice to terminate the tenancy irrespective of an alleged wrongdoing. The landlord must provide notice using a prescribed form and period, often 2 months. If the tenant fails to vacate by the expiry date in the notice the landlord can issue possession proceedings. There is generally no defence to a claim unless the landlord has not met the various qualifying criteria to serve a valid notice.
The government is attempting to balance the routes for possession by strengthening the possession grounds for landlords faced with tenants with repeated rent arrears and those conducting anti-social behaviour. It is unclear what options will be available for the landlord who simply wants to sell up having decided to walk away from the rental sector.
The Queen’s Speech also introduces the Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector with the intention tenants will obtained better quality, safer and better value homes.
It is also intended to introduce an Ombudsman so landlord and tenant disputes can be resolved without court proceedings whilst also introducing a portal to help landlords better understand their obligations. The portal could provide tenants with performance information about their landlord. It is unknown how this will operate.
If you require assistance recovering possession of your residential or commercial property then please contact Matthew Blood on 024 7664 1642.