No Fault Evictions

Many have welcomed the recent proposed reforms to the private rented sector. Under the proposals Landlords will be banned from evicting tenants without reason, as presently permitted under the ‘no-fault’ regime.

A White Paper published last month by the Government, “The Renters Reform Bill”, proposes an abolition of Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, which currently provides Landlords with the power to evict tenants without giving a reason. Under new proposed reforms, Landlords will be unable to evict tenants at the end of their tenancy without proving one of the prescribed grounds.

The change seeks to provide tenants with security and protection within a sector that has often been deemed as unfair. With over a fifth of private tenants who moved from privately rented accommodation between 2019 and 2020 advising that they did not choose to end their tenancy, it is understandable why the reforms have been discussed.

Under the current regime, a landlord can use an accelerated process in issuing a formal notice and evicting their tenant. This is often used where, for example, the Landlord wishes to sell the Property. In comparison, under the proposed regime, the tenant could be provided with an opportunity to attend a hearing, at which the Landlord would be expected to prove the grounds under which it seeks to evict the tenants. It has been identified that a specific ground would be required where a Landlord wished to sell their Property.

Nevertheless, concern has been raised over the delays involved in scheduling such hearings and generally a Landlord’s ability to take control over their property, especially where for example a tenant is in rental arrears or involved in criminal behaviour. Further concern has been raised over the effect upon the investment market and the potential of the private rental market to shrink due to the new regime.

Further details are awaited, as to how the new regime will strike the balance between Landlords and tenants.  

If you would like more information please contact our Property Department