Earlier this month the Government announced that it is intending to launch a consultation on abolishing Section 21, the so-called ‘no fault’, repossessions.
On 15th April the Government announced its intention to jettison section 21 from the statutes, and will begin a consultation on the best way that this can be attained. The Government has also declared that it is devoted to looking extensively at the justice system, including strengthening the current Section 8 process, which includes the notice to quit or possession notices. However, the government have not announced when the consultation will be launched, but they have said it will be a short 8 week procedure.
Section 21 allows landlords to gain possession of their properties quickly and is seen as crucial for confidence in renting. Research has shown that half of Section 21 notices served, were in the case of tenants committing anti-social behaviour; in rent arrears; or had damaged the property. Whilst landlords can use the Section 8 route to gain possession, anti-social behaviour and rent arrears are not mandatory grounds. For many landlords, Section 8 also takes a long time – often in excess of 20 weeks.
Section 21 notices will continue for the foreseeable future, as it will take a minimum of two years before the legislation will be ready to go live. It is predicted that renting will become part of the norm, as increasing numbers of families and older people are renting in the private rented sector. So it is a concern that if Section 21 is axed, will some landlords turn away from this market and choose to go into the short term holiday lets.