Government Rental Reforms Ban Section 21 Evictions

Section 21 to be Banned

In the summer of 2022, the government announced its new Rent Reform Bill for England. The biggest story from this white paper was that Section 21 evictions, also known as no fault evictions will be banned. Instead, landlords would need to provide a reason for serving notice.

The bill also touched on removing blanket bans on tenants who are in receipt of benefits and allowing tenants the option to request a pet in their house. These requests cannot be unreasonably refused.

Currently we have not seen any further progress since the announcement and would expect it to take at least 2 + years to be introduced as law and passed through parliament.

How the bill with affect landlords and tenants is difficult to predict until the government alter the section 8 notice. We are expecting this notice to be expanded to include more grounds for possession. Recognising that landlords’ circumstances can change, the government will allow landlords to evict tenants when they wish to sell their property. 

We would also expect it to allow for when landlords and their close family members wish to move into the rental property. 

Both grounds probably would not be allowed in the first six months of a tenancy to give tenants some security. 

A Single System of Periodic Tenancies

The government has stated its intention to introduce a "single system of periodic tenancies" in a bid to simplify existing tenancy structures and "build on the greater security and empowerment afforded by abolishing section 21". It is proposing that all new and existing tenancies will move to periodic tenancies.

Currently fixed-term tenancies commit both landlord and tenant to a property for an agreed period. During a fixed term, landlords cannot use section 21 to evict a tenant, though they can use other grounds for possession under section 8. Tenants can only leave during a fixed term with the landlord’s agreement, and they must pay rent for the duration of the term, unless agreed otherwise. At the end of a fixed term, tenancies do not automatically end, becoming periodic unless a new fixed term is agreed, or notice is served.

The new system would see no fixed terms and instead periodic tenancies from the start of the tenancy. Effectively creating monthly rolling tenancies that do not last for a fixed period. If a tenant wants to leave the property, they are liable for the rent only until the required notice period - usually one month - has expired.

New Ombudsman and Property Portal

A new Ombudsman and property portal for the rental market The Private Renters’ Ombudsman will also be introduced as part of the bill, which will aim to settle disputes between landlords and renters quickly, and at a low cost.

A new online property portal will also be accessible by both landlords and tenants, which helps both parties understand their rights and responsibilities when they’re either renting out a home, or a tenant living in a rented home.