The Renters Reform Bill is being developed, which will Introduce a package of reforms to deliver a fairer and more effective rental market.’ The main elements of the Bill are:
What is Section 21 of the Housing Act?
Section 21 was introduced in 1988 and gave landlords the right to evict tenants that were in an Assured Shorthold Tenancy without providing a reason for making the eviction. In most cases, Section 21 was used when tenants did not leave a property when their tenancy agreement had come to an end.
Research carried out by the Residential Landlords Association in early 2019 found that 83% of landlords who had used Section 21 had done so due to rent arrears, while over half had relied on it when their tenants were behaving antisocially.
The Governments view is that by abolishing Section 21, they will improve security for tenants in the rental sector and also drive out rogue landlords and helping to professionalise the industry.
How will the Renters Reform Bill affect you?
There are concerns from industry leaders (and us) that these changes will make it more difficult for landlords to manage their properties effectively and could pave the way to a mass exodus of landlords.
The view of David Cox, ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive is ‘If Section 21 is scrapped, Section 8 must be reformed, and a new specialist housing tribunal created. Without this, supply will almost certainly fall, which will have the consequential effect of raising rents and will further discourage new landlords from investing in the sector.’
The Government has stated that they will work to improve the court process
for landlords to make it quicker and easier for them to get their property back
sooner if there is a legitimate reason. We certainly hope that they manage to put a system in place which will work for the landlords. If the process is quicker, it will be a real help as currently, it can take anything between 2 to 6 months depending on how busy the courts are. £0
What are the timescales for change?
The Government is now working on the Renters Reform Bill and organisations such as ARLA Propertymark will be scrutinising the legislation to ensure that landlords still can repossess their properties if they need to. It is not anticipated that any changes will take place until late 2020. In the meantime, landlords can continue to use the Section 21 process for any pre-existing tenancy agreements if needed. The practicalities of a ‘lifetime deposit’ working fairly for tenants and landlords need thoroughly working through too.
If you would like any more information about Section 21 or any other changes that have been announced in the Renters Reform Bill, please feel free to contact us directly by email on email@example.com or call us on Nottingham: 0115 704 3163 or Mansfield: 01623 277 115