Government Consultation on Section 21 Still Open

As was widely reported at the time, including in our Commercial Law Newsletter, James Brokenshire, then Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government announced in April that private landlords will no longer be able to evict tenants from their homes at short notice and without good reason, in the “biggest change to the private rental sector for a generation”.

Widely regarded as bad news for landlords, the government’s intention to remove ‘no-fault evictions’ by repealing Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 was accompanied by proposals to balance the impact by expanding and strengthening Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988 to allow landlords to evict tenants if they intend to live in the house or if they intend to sell it.

The Government launched a consultation on 21 July 2019 seeking views on these matters, in particular how Section 21 has been used in the past and the circumstances in which landlords should be able to regain possession once it has been abolished. As things stand Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988 sets out the existing grounds for possession a landlord might be able to rely on if they want to evict their tenant, notably non-payment of rent.

The consultation sought views on how the processing of repossession orders through the courts might be improved and whether the reforms should be extended to other types of landlords such as housing associations.

The consultation closed on 12 October 2019 and we await the Government’s proposals.

If you need advice in respect of Section 21 and the changing law, the dispute resolution team at Grant Saw Solicitors are more than happy to assist. Please do not hesitate to contact us further for more information.

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.