What will Government Proposals on No-Fault Evictions Mean for Landlords?

Posted by Mark Lloyd, Property Mastery Academy on 22 April 2019 | Comments

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The Government’s plan to ban no-fault evictions has been in the news this week.

What this means is that landlords will no longer be able to use Section 21 notices to evict tenants after their fixed-term tenancy period ends. Currently, using Section 21 notices, landlords only need to give tenants two months' notice, and they don't need to provide a reason for asking them to leave.

no fault eviction

What will this new legislation mean?

If the Government’s proposals go ahead:

  • Landlords will need to give a solid reason to evict a tenant such as a tenant causing damage to the property or being in arrears – and the landlord would need to show evidence of this.
  • Section 8 legislation, which is currently used if tenants have broken the terms of their tenancy, will be reinforced to allow landlords to regain their property if they want to move in or sell up. Landlords would need to give tenants two months' notice in writing of this situation.
  • Court processes to evict tenants that break the rules will be made faster so landlords can regain control of their properties quicker if a tenant falls into rent arrears or causes damage.

What does the National Landlords Association (NLA) say?

National Landlords Association chief executive, Richard Lambert, said its members should be able to use a Section 8 possession notice to evict someone who has broken the terms of their tenancy such as not paying rent.

But, he said, many landlords were forced to use Section 21 as they have ‘no confidence’ in the courts to deal with Section 8 applications ‘quickly and surely’. He said the proposed changes would create a new system of indefinite tenancies by the ‘back door’, and the focus should be on improving Section 8 and the court process instead.

However, according to a Ministry of Housing spokesperson: “Court processes will also be expedited so landlords are able to swiftly and smoothly regain their property in the rare event of tenants falling into rent arrears or damaging the property – meaning landlords have the security of knowing disputes will be resolved quickly.”

Mark Lloyd of Property Mastery Academy gives his opinion on the proposals:

“I think potentially it’s a good thing - as long as other areas are addressed as well. I thought the news was quite biased on the issue as the law is heavily in favour of the tenant at the moment for evictions. However, a tenant that pays rent can now confidently decorate and improve their home in the knowledge they have security of tenure, and a landlord is happy with a tenant that vests an interest in the property.

Of course, the key to this being successful is that tenants must realise that the security of tenure is reliant on avoiding arrears. The Section 8 process needs to be addressed to balance the issue and ensure that tenants in arrears or in serious breach of contract can be more easily evicted.”

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