Section 21 changes proposed

News at Howland Jones | 15/04/2019

​​​​​​​SECTION 21 CHANGES​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

In a misguided effort to create open ended tenancies in the PRS, the Government will today announce plans to get rid of the Section 21 notice procedure altogether. The Government also intends to reform the Section 8 notice.

Currently, landlords can serve a Section 21 notice to take their property back at either the end of a fixed term agreement or with two months notice in a periodic tenancy. In these circumstances the landlord does not need to give a reason, but typically it would be due to the landlord needing to re-occupy or sell the​​​​​​​ property. The Section 8 notice is used when the tenant has breached certain pre defined terms of the agrement e.g.not paid the rent for two months.

Rebecca Howland, Managing Director of Howland Jones estate agents says "The Government thinks this action will prevent retaliatory evictions, where a landlord moves a tenant on rather than address issues with the property reported by their tenant. In reality, I believe this is just another ill-advised and unnecessary attempt by Government to regulate a minor section of our industry, which will actually have a detrimental effect on the wider landlord community as a whole."

David Cox, Chief Executive of ARLA Propertymark says "Today’s news could be devastating for the private rented sector and landlords operating within it. The effects of the Tenant Fees ban have not yet been felt, and now the Government is introducing more new legislation which could deter landlords from operating in the market. Although in the majority of cases there is no need for Section 21 to be used, there are times when a landlord has no choice but to take action and evict tenants from a property.

"Until we have greater clarity on the changes planned for Section 8, today’s news will only increase pressure on the sector and discourage new landlords from investing in buy-to-let properties. This comes at a time when demand is dramatically outpacing supply and rent costs are rising.”

It is hoped the changes to the Section 8 notice may permit landlords to issue this notice if the need to move into or sell the proeprty, but this has not yet been confirmed.

As always, we will update you as we know more. In the meantime, if you want to object to the intended measures, you should approach your local MP.

For more industry news, please contact Rebecca Howland on 01530 271313