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What could the abolition of Section 21 mean for landlords?

With the recent reforms taking place in the lettings market with regards to the Tenant Fee Ban and the Fitness For Human Habitation Act, you would be forgiven for missing the recent news from the Government that will make it more difficult to evict tenants.

Plans to abolish Section 21 – the right for landlords to evict tenants from their property after their fixed-term contract has come to an end, and with no need for a reason to be given (as long as eight weeks’ notice is allowed) – have caused some uproar in the lettings community with landlords concerned and tenant campaign groups hailing it as a “massive victory.”

The main concern highlighted by landlords has been around difficult tenants in their property and how they will now be able to evict them. The short answer is that once Section 21 is abolished, landlords will have to enact Section 8, which has more stringent rules with regards to evictions, as highlighted below.

A tenant can only be evicted with Section 8 should they:
Fall into rental arrears
Are involved in criminal behaviour
Are involved in antisocial behaviour
Have broken terms of the rental agreement (such as damaging the rental property)

The Government intends to add some caveats to Section 8 in order to make it more fit-for-purpose in the absence of Section 21, such as the fact that landlords will also be able to evict tenants should they wish to sell the property or move back into the dwelling themselves.

Of course, despite the news that this Government proposal has created, the actual likelihood of a landlord evicting a tenant is low as that is counterproductive. Landlords do not evict tenants for no good reason as that is simply not good business; instead, the motivation to find and retain tenants is the modus operandi for every landlord in order to get some returns on their investment. So, if you are worried about the potential changes which the abolition of Section 21 evictions could cause, then rest assured that should the genuine need to evict a tenant arise, you will still have the power to do so.

If you're looking for more detailed advice on Section 21, speak to our property management specialists, The Letting Agency www.thelettingagency.co.uk

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