Section 21 allows property owners to evict tenants by providing them with two months’ notice once their fixed term contract ends. Under section 21, property owners do not need to provide tenants with a reason for the eviction – this is known as ‘no fault eviction’. The British government recently announced that it is planning to abolish section 21 to ensure ‘a fairer private rented sector’.
What are the proposed changes to section 21?
The Renters’ Reform Bill aims to abolish section 21 to put an end to ‘no fault evictions’. This would mean that the tenancy only ends if the tenant decides to leave, or if the property owner provides a valid reason for the eviction. Examples of valid reasons for ending a tenancy include a breach of contract or wanting to sell the property.
Tenants can decide to end the tenancy at any time if they provide two months’ notice to the property owner. This may be beneficial for student tenants who may wish to remain in the property even when the academic year ends.
When will section 21 be abolished and how will the changes be enforced?
Once section 21 is abolished, the government will transition to the new system in two stages, providing at least six months’ notice of the dates that they will take effect, and at least 12 months between the two dates.
Stage 1: transition all new tenancies to periodic, governed by the new rules
Stage 2: move all existing tenancies to the new system
Regarding the enforcement of the changes, property owners and agents will be made aware that “any attempt to find loopholes will not be tolerated.”
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