The Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper published in June provided context for landlords regarding the Renters’ Reform Bill. Importantly this also included the ban on Section 21 notices.

The government confirmed in the paper that they will be replacing section 21 ‘no fault’ eviction notices with a modern tenancy system.

Consequently, the government proposed to simplify tenancy structures by transitioning all tenancies over time into periodic tenancies. As a result, the tenancy will only end if the tenant chooses to give notice, or if the landlord has a valid and lawful reason.

What is section 21?

Prior to the changes being announced, Section 21 was a method of evicting tenants without fault. Therefore, once a tenant’s fixed-term contract ended, the landlords could evict their tenants by providing them with two months’ notice.

Under Section 21 the Landlord was not obligated to provide their tenant with a reason for eviction. Consequently, Section 21 notices were dubbed, “no-fault” evictions.

Changes to Section 8 notices?

Once section 21 notices are fully abolished the government may also strengthen the grounds for taking possession.

A possession notice, known as a Section 8 notice, is used by the landlord to evict a tenant when the landlord as proof the tenant has broken their tenancy agreement.

Under these conditions, the landlord can gain possession of their properties. In addition to being able to sell their property should they need to.

Moreover, this should help to reduce the delays in court. In addition to increasing the use of mediation and alternative means to dispute resolution.

How will these changes to section 21 affect tenancy lengths?

As a result of tenancies becoming periodic over time, there will be no end date on a tenancy.

Therefore, assured tenancies, including shorthold will convert to a periodic tenancy. Consequently, the tenant will be able to give two months’ notice at any time to leave the property. However, if contested, the Landlord will have to provide a valid lawful reason to ask their tenants to leave.

When will Section 21 be abolished?

The transition is already underway with Section 21 notices said to be outlawed by 2022 to 2023. However, the transition will be divided into two stages. Firstly, stage one will transition all new tenancies to being periodic tenancies. Next, stage two will move all existing tenancies to the new system.

For more information and advice please contact Will Oakes on 01206 239764.