Renters Reform Bill

renters reform bill

The Renters’ Reform Bill, due to be published in 2022, could bring more changes to the rules on eviction now that landlords can legally evict tenants, after the government temporarily halted tenant evictions across England during the pandemic, but minimum notice periods returned to pre-pandemic rules in October 2021.

An end to “no fault” evictions by repealing Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988

Section 21 gives landlords the right to seek repossession without providing the tenants with a reason, or determining that the tenants is at fault. As the rules stand, there is nothing preventing a landlord from evicting tenants in order to replace them with higher paying renters, although Section 21 is more often used in the case of tenants who are in rent arears, want to be rehoused or when the landlord decides to sell the property.

There was government consultation on removing Section 21 back in August 2019 but discussion was set back due to the pandemic. The Law Society describes Section 21 as a “leading cause of homelessness”.

Extending the grounds for possession under Section 8

A Section 8 notice can be used during the term of an assured or assured shorthold tenancy, and the landlord has to give a reason for the notice. There are currently 17 different applicable and identified reasons for serving a Section 8 notice. Those reasons numbered 1-8 are mandatory, meaning that the court must accept the grounds if the landlord can prove them. Reasons 9-17 are discretionary, so the court can decide whether it’s reasonable for renters to have to leave their home if the landlord can prove they have used the right grounds for your situation.

Grounds for eviction might include the tenant having rent arrears, having caused damage to the landlord’s property or has been a nuisance to the neighbours, or even a situation where the landlord wants to move back into the property.