The pending changes to eviction rules in the private rented sector have sparked considerable debate. The Renters Reform Bill, expected to be finalised this year, proposes abolishing Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions, drawing concern from landlords and property investors.
Landlords can use Section 21 to repossess their properties without requiring tenant fault, leading to criticism about potential misuse. The proposed changes will necessitate using Section 8, regarded as a more complex process, for regaining possession.
PROTECTING RESPONSIBLE RENTERS WHO MEET THEIR OBLIGATIONS
However, these new rules might have unexpected benefits. For tenants, eliminating Section 21 could prevent unfair evictions, protecting responsible renters who meet their obligations. It could also discourage landlords from evicting existing tenants to secure higher rent from new occupants.
Some experts believe the changes could also benefit landlords. Most reasons for current evictions – such as rent arrears or property damage – are already grounds under Section 8. The proposed reforms aim to streamline the Section 8 process, making it quicker and more efficient and strengthening landlords’ power to evict.
USHERING IN POSITIVE CHANGES FOR LANDLORDS AND TENANTS
Under the new rules, landlords can give two months’ notice to sell their property or move back in. Other grounds for eviction will have varying notice lengths. Furthermore, the reforms promise an enhanced anti-social behaviour action plan and new mandatory grounds for eviction, such as selling the property or moving in a family member. With rising rents and declining house prices, this could be an opportune time for landlords.
The competitive housing market might encourage tenants to stay longer in properties and comply with tenancy terms more strictly. Thus, while the abolition of Section 21 might initially seem unfavourable to landlords, it could usher in positive changes for landlords and tenants.
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