As you may be aware, the Government has announced plans to abolish the Section 21 Notice. This notice, currently used as a general notice to end a tenancy will be removed from use at a yet unknown date.
The S21 Notice is a popular method of ending tenancies with 8 week’s notice as it does not apportion blame on tenants and therefore does not require any proof if the matter should go to court. Furthermore, the matter can be dealt with via the Accelerated Possession (online courts service) which is more streamlined and does not require a Court hearing to be attended in person.
I have been approached by some landlords who fear that the removal of S21 from current use will make it more difficult to evict tenants should they need to or worse still, give tenants permanent right to remain in the property.
It is true that the intention of the Government is to provide greater security for tenants, however, the question I am posing to my landlords is, “When was the last time you wanted to evict your tenant, without any reason?”. The answer, in most cases I assume is never, so nothing should change.
The current Section 8 Notices are in use when there is a breakdown in one or more part in the tenants obligations within the tenancy agreement, for example rent arrears, causing damage to the property and so on.
The Section 8 notice will be amended to include landlords who require the property back to live in or to sell. The Government has also pledged to streamline the court process to allow evictions to be dealt with more efficiently.
What does this mean for tenants?
· This ruling would allow for greater security in the future for tenants who conduct their tenancy correctly and in line with the tenancy agreement.
· This should remove the need to tie in to fixed terms agreements or renew fixed term agreements which often incur a charge by an agent.
What does this mean for landlords?
· You will be required to prove a failure in the tenants’ obligations in order to evict.
· You will not be required to wait for the end of a ‘fixed term’ if a tenant breaks a tenancy clause.
· Notices can be a lot shorter than the S21 (8 weeks). For example, should your tenant be in severe rent arrears, the statutory notice is 14 days.
· Court processes are set to become more efficient and faster.
· You are more likely to have longer term, reliable tenants who feel more secure in your property, this should lead to less void periods for you.