No-fault evictions: what do landlords need to know?
The government announced this month that, under new plans, private landlords will no longer be able to evict tenants at short notice without ‘good reason’ or fault.
The idea is that this will protect tenants from ‘unethical’ landlords and provide security against last-minute evictions. It’s been described as the biggest overhaul for renters in a generation, but what do no-fault evictions mean for landlords?
What are my rights as a landlord?
Currently, under Section 21 of the 1988 Housing Act, landlords have the right to evict tenants with as little as eight weeks’ notice after a fixed-term contract has ended. Under these new rules, if you’re a private landlord in England you will no longer be able to evict tenants at short notice and without good reason.
Landlords have now been promised a speedier eviction process with the use of the Section 8 process. This 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 rent agreement, such as damaging the property.
How will these changes benefit me as a landlord?
Ministers have said they will amend the Section 8 process to allow it to be used by landlords if they want to sell the property or move back in themselves.
This will hopefully provide certainty in what is currently an uncertain time for landlords when they come to seek possession. This is due to the recent introduction of legislation requiring significant requirements to be met prior to serving a Section 21 notice. The timing of such requirements is currently challenged and, in the absence of a test case providing a binding decision, there is a degree of uncertainty when seeking possession under Section 21.
Accordingly, the new legislation has resulted in some landlords being barred from serving a Section 21 notice, due to the retrospective application of these new requirements. It is therefore essential that landlords remain up to date with the continual developments in this area of law.
How we can help
At Barcan+Kirby we have a dedicated team of specialists who represent landlords and letting agents in tenancy disputes and can advise you on all aspects of landlord and tenant law.