The Pros and Cons of Prospective Changes to Section 21 Notices

Under current legislation in England and Wales, a landlord may repossess their property from a tenant under the Section 21 process. This allows them the right to give a tenant two months’ notice to vacate the property once the agreed fixed term has expired, a process which is backed by the courts where the landlord has provided the necessary evidence.

On 15th April 2019, the Government announced plans to change the process so that in order for landlords to regain possession from a tenant they would need to go through the Section 8 process. Section 8 is currently used to seek possession under certain conditions such as where the tenant has broken their tenancy agreement, has rent arrears or displays criminal activity.

Whilst at the moment this process can take longer, the Government is keen to introduce measures to speed up the process and make it smoother for landlords. Housing Secretary James Brokenshire has stated ‘plans would offer "speedy redress" to landlords seeking to regain possession of their property for legitimate reasons, such as to sell it or to move into it themselves’. This has a positive impact for landlords as evictions under Sections 8 notices will be registered, appear on future references and therefore ensure a “better quality” tenant in the future.

Whilst there is no fixed date on when the changes will be implemented, it is intended that the Government will seek to get legislation passed as soon as possible. In the meantime, representatives of the National Landlords Association will be meeting with Government officials to discuss their views and ideas surrounding current and future legislation, with the aim of bringing balance to the process which will benefit landlords and tenants alike.