The Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities have confirmed plans to reform the legislation in the private and social rented sector. The Renters Reform Bill (the Bill) will provide the biggest change to renter’s law in a generation, improving rights for people renting in private and social housing.

“No fault” evictions

The plans include abolishing the “no fault” evictions. The current law allows a landlord to serve the tenant with a termination notice pursuant to section 21 Housing Act 1988 (Section 21 Notice), at the end of the term, without giving a reason to take back their property.

Therefore, under the new legislation, landlords will lose the ability to repossess their properties using a Section 21 Notice. The Government have stated that this change will protect tenants from ‘unscrupulous landlords’ while strengthening the landlords’ legitimate ground for taking back their property. The Government have further commented that 22% of those people who moved out of their property in the past year did not end their tenancy by choice.

Levelling Up and Housing Secretary Michael Gove said:
Too many renters are living in damp, unsafe and cold homes, powerless to put it right, and under threat of sudden eviction. The New Deal for renters will help end this injustice, improving conditions and rights for millions of renters. This is all part of our plan to level up communities and improve the life changes of people from all corners of the country”.

Removal of Non fault Residential Evictions

National landlord register

The Renters Reform Bill will also introduce a national landlord register. This will be a public register of landlords that tenants can enter into a tenancy agreement with knowing who exactly they will be paying rent to and know that they are following the law. They will also know that their landlord’s properties meet all legal requirements.

The new proposals are that the landlord will only be able to evict tenants if they are in arrears of rent or have breached a term of their tenancy. The Bill will also introduce a new property portal to help landlords understand their obligations, give tenants performance information to hold their landlord to account and help the council crackdown on poor practice.

Section 21 of the Housing Act allows landlords to terminate tenancies (where the term has expired) without giving a reason and irrespective of whether a tenant has breached any term of the tenancy.

Landlords and property investors argue that section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 offers necessary flexibility to take back their property when the landlord and tenant relationship breaks down. It also avoids lengthy court proceedings. For some, it will appear that the Bill threatens the flexibility they currently enjoy.

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If you have any more questions or would like more information regarding the removal of no fault residential evictions, you can contact our Property Litigation Team below.

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