The most significant change for private landlords and tenants in over 30 years is contained in the Renters Reform Bill which is expected to become law in 2020.
The Bill includes the abolition of Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. Section 21 provides a mechanism for a landlord to recover possession of property let on an assured shorthold tenancy, irrespective of whether the tenant has observed the terms of the tenancy or not. In other words a “no fault eviction”.
Once the Bill becomes law, no fault evictions will cease. Landlords will only be able to recover possession of their properties on specified grounds, currently expected to follow those set out in Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1988, the most common of which is the tenant’s failure to pay rent.
It is expected that these grounds will be expanded and that the court process will, at least in principle, be made quicker for landlords where the tenant fails to observe the terms of their Tenancy Agreement.
It has been suggested that the grounds on which a landlord can recover possession might include a genuine requirement to sell.
Landlords need to plan ahead for this important change in the law.
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