Millions of people renting property in England will soon gain protection from ‘no-fault’ evictions, when ‘Section 21’ notices are banned. At the moment, landlords can give tenants eight weeks’ notice once a fixed term tenancy has ended.
For renters, the change comes as a relief: many have found themselves evicted after making a complaint to their landlords over their property’s condition. Instead, landlords will need to provide a ‘concrete, evidenced reason already specified in law’ before issuing an eviction notice. Similar plans have already been announced in Scotland and Wales.
The new regulations will bring greater stability to the rental market, said Housing Secretary James Brokenshire, promising that landlords would nevertheless have ‘speedy redress’ if they needed access to their property, to sell it or move into it.
The Prime Minister Theresa May said that the change will protect responsible tenants from “unethical behaviour” and provide the “long-term certainty and peace of mind they deserve.”
The proportion of English households renting from private landlords has risen sharply in recent years, as high property prices and stagnant wages have put ownership out of reach for many, especially younger people.
For some landlords, the repeal of Section 21 notices is unwelcome. They argue that it could negatively impact the viability of their businesses, since they distrust the courts to implement Section 8 evictions, where tenants can be removed for non-payment of rent, for example.
The National Landlords Association recommends that Section 8 must be strengthened, to protect landlords’ livelihoods.