The UK government has recently announced a plan to ban no-fault evictions in England, something that has been greatly debated by landlords.
What is the Government Proposing?
The plan to ban no-fault evictions would mean getting rid of section 21 notices. Landlords will no longer be able to evict tenants without a reason after their fixed-term period ends and tenants will be given added securities. Instead, a landlord will need to give a concrete, evidenced reason specified by law, in order to end a tenancy.
Section 8 legislation will also be updated to allow landlords to move into or sell their properties and court processes to evict tenants who break rules will be sped up.
Ministers believe this will stop ‘revenge evictions’ of tenants who are seen to complain too much. Something that happens in 46% of instances where a formal complaint is made, according to Citizens Advice.
Before stepping down, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
"Everyone renting in the private sector has the right to feel secure in their home, settled in their community and able to plan for the future with confidence.
"But millions of responsible tenants could still be uprooted by their landlord with little notice, and often little justification.
"This is wrong – and today we're acting by preventing these unfair evictions. Landlords will still be able to end tenancies where they have legitimate reasons to do so, but they will no longer be able to unexpectedly evict families with only eight weeks' notice.
"This important step will not only protect tenants from unethical behaviour, but also give them the long-term certainty and the peace of mind they deserve."
Section 21s have already been banned in Scotland, and First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced similar plans for Wales.
Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Shelter, told the BBC:
"The government's plan to scrap no-fault evictions is vital to tackle the turmoil experienced by people up and down the country, especially children and the elderly who are worst affected by sudden evictions.
"Being turfed out of your home for no reason, with no evidence, and with just eight weeks of warning can have devastating consequences. This practice must be consigned to the history books."
Read more: Rights to Access Properties: Dealing with Unreasonable Tenants
What Do Landlords Think of No-Fault Evictions?
These new plans will mean a significant shift in power that will likely be welcomed by those with current tenancies. However, these plans could make finding a new home more difficult for some.
Reports suggest that making evicting tenants that much more difficult will mean landlords will become pickier when choosing tenants, and those on low incomes will be most affected. This feeling is supported by a survey of 6,400 landlords by The Residential Landlords Association (RLA), which found 84% would be more selective and more likely to pick tenants earning higher incomes.
Many have also suggested that renting to tenants with pets may decrease, as animals carry a higher risk of damage to the property occurring.
The RLA survey also revealed that 45% of landlords would consider selling some of their properties if section 21s are banned, as there is little faith in Section 8s and the courts to deal with these issues ‘quickly and surely’.
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