The Government has agreed that it is finally time to scrap Section 21 no fault evictions, but what will this really mean for the private rental sector (PRS)? Our very own Sam Miles was recently a guest on various radio stations across the country, to share Just Landlords’ views on the subject.
Banning no fault evictions will bring security to those in rented accommodation and lessen the power that rogue landlords have when it comes to unfair treatment of tenants.
In her interview with Sky News radio, Sam summarised what Section 21 is and its current implications: “At present, private renters can be evicted from their home after the fixed term contract has come to an end, so landlords currently do not have to give a reason or the eviction and can give as little as eight weeks’ notice.”
Sam was also asked about how this change may affect homelessness in the UK. She highlights that the housing secretary has said that the evidence shows ‘so-called’ Section 21 evictions to be one of the biggest causes of family homelessness. It will hopefully mean people will be less afraid to make a complaint, as the chance of a revenge eviction by their landlord should be greatly reduced without the assistance of Section 21.
Sam highlights that Section 8 will still be available for use by landlords, with the government adjusting its specification, so that it may also be used by those looking to sell the property or move back into it themselves. The main difference between this and Section 21 is that in many cases tenants have the opportunity to challenge a Section 8 eviction. More power to the tenants will help in situations where the actions taken against them are unjust.
An application for a Section 8 eviction can also take considerably longer to process than a Section 21 eviction. It can be implemented when a tenant has fallen into rent arrears, has been involved in criminal or antisocial behaviour, or has broken terms of the rental agreement, such as damaging the property.
One of the main questions Sam was asked focused on how this change may affect landlords. Sam highlights in her interview on Cross Rhythms radio station that the abolishment of Section 21 is being made with rogue landlords in mind. This is another step towards providing secure housing for tenants, and one that should not affect the responsible landlords, who are also doing their best to provide suitable and comfortable let homes.
She said: “Renters will be able to feel more secure in their homes under the Government’s proposed reforms of the sector. Private landlords will be prevented from evicting tenants at short notice without good reason.”
With the reform only being in consultation at this point in time, we do not know for certain how much it will affect those in the private rented sector, and even social housing tenants as well.
The Government wants to ban Section 21 no fault evictions in England, with Wales set to review the situation in summer 2019. Scotland already put a ban in place on its own Section 33 over a year ago, but nothing has yet been suggested by Northern Ireland.