Will the Renters Reform Bill end Section 21 and no-fault evictions?
The Renter Reform Bill looks to be the biggest change in the Landlord and Tenant Law of this generation. Currently, two-fifths of British renters are struggling to pay their bills due to the cost of living crisis, therefore more protection for tenants is desperately needed. The Renters Reform Bill will handle issues that have been damaging to the lives of tenants and have been exacerbated by the crisis. The most prominent issue it will resolve is the power imbalance caused by Section 21 or ‘no-fault’ evictions.
What is a Section 21 or ‘no-fault’ eviction?
Section 21 or ‘no-fault’ evictions are a way of removing the tenant even if the landlord cannot cite any breach of the tenancy agreement. Landlords could use a ‘no-fault’ eviction to regain possession of their property with very little notice for the current resident.
Many tenants hit with this eviction have blamed it on landlords wanting to raise rent prices. Worse still, some tenants have stated they received a ‘no-fault’ eviction notice for attempting to get landlords to fix issues with their property. A Section 21 notice can be voided under certain circumstances. For example, if it was received after making a formal complaint about the property’s conditions.
As it stands, losing private tenancy is the second biggest cause of homelessness.
How can a ‘no-fault’ eviction be voided?
‘No-fault’ evictions can be voided. Here are 3 things to look at if you receive a Section 21 eviction:
- The deposit was not protected within 30 days of receipt for the property
- The deposit was not held per the authorised scheme
- The relevant prescribed information was not provided to the tenant and any other relevant persons
The landlord must also comply with any initial requirements made with the authorised scheme.
In England, a Section 21 notice must provide tenants at least 2 months of notice to leave the property. Landlords may need to give a more extended notice period if they want to have a ‘contractual’ periodic tenancy.
Will ‘no-fault’ evictions be removed?
Back in 2019, the Government stated that they will look to remove the powers private landlords have for quickly evicting tenants without reason. Later in the same year, the consultation paper proposed the abolition of Section 21 of the 1988 Housing Act.
The private sector white paper
The Conservative party contained reform plans back in their 2019 manifesto, promising renters more stability and better deals. The Queen’s speech in 2019 announced the plans for the Renters Reform Bill. However, the bill was not passed between 2019-2021.
Then the Queen’s speech in 2021 stated that they would look to publish the white paper in the Autumn of 2021. The white paper would outline details on the package included with the private sector reform.
The white paper was finally published on the 16th of June 2022. It included a 12-point action plan that will hopefully resolve issues in the private renter’s sector. This 12-point plan will be introduced between 2022 and 2023.
The white paper plans to abolish Section 21 evictions
The Government have now confirmed that only Section 8 evictions will be able to occur. With the repeal of Section 21 evictions, landlords will have to cite and prove specific breaches of the tenancy agreement by a tenant to retain possession of their property.
What does the Renters Reform Bill mean for landlords?
The Rent Reform Bill (RRB) means landlords must serve a Section 8 notice to regain their property. This means amendments will be made to Section 8 notices, making them more comprehensive.
It should stabilise the power balance between landlords and tenants. It will also mean that landlords are held more accountable for repairs to their property.
The importance of its removal for renters
Removing no-fault evictions will protect renters who would previously end up on the streets. When renters are removed using a Section 21 eviction, they face being unable to renter the property market in their area.
Additionally, as the repeal of the no-fault evictions is looming, we can a rise in them until it has been abolished entirely.
How we can help you before the Renters Reform Bill
If you have received a Section 21, notice we can help. At HMS, we can help stop the eviction process or give you places to find advice when going through eviction. If you need help, you can fill out our form for expiring mortgages or call us on 0800 298 0571.