Before I spill my truth bomb all over this blog.
This has been coming for a while, remember a few weeks ago I told you it could be coming, in the blog Section 8 Notices – 17 Grounds for Possession.
Right, so it’s happening, the Government are getting rid of Section 21 notices and they appear to be completely smug about it.
‘Hooray another kick in the teeth for Landlords, rather than worrying about the fact that we can’t figure out BREXIT’
Whilst, Landlords are up in arms about it, and renters are jubilant… is it really going to change anything? I don’t think so.
Let me explain…
Firstly, the reason Section 21 notices are made out to be terrible is because they are coined ‘No-fault eviction notices’. Basically, if a Landlord serves a notice, then they don’t have to give a reason for doing it, they just give two months’ notice.
In theory what should happen is that after the two months’ notice is up, the tenant should move out.
What renters are up in arms about is that they believe that they are served these notices for no reason, or if they make a complaint, landlords will just serve the notice and get them out so that they stop complaining.
If renters actually read the right-to-rent handbook that they are given at the start of a tenancy (note to Landlords, you must be handing these out at the start of the tenancy). They would know that if the Landlord doesn’t keep the property in good condition i.e. safe to live in they can report the landlord to the Council and the Council can put an enforcement notice against the Landlord and remove their right to use a section 21 notice until the works are complete.
That aside, I will put my hand on my heart and say, I’ve never ever seen a Landlord serve notice for NO REASON. If you’ve got an income stream, there is no reason to get rid of your tenant (although I appreciate that there are rogue landlords out there).
Usually, the reason they want to get the tenant out is because they haven’t paid rent, or they want to redevelop, or sell, or the tenants are destroying the place… or ultimately the Landlord wants to move back in themselves. Which is reasonable.
Unfortunately for Landlords, Tenants have become wise to the fact that if a Landlord serves a section 21 notice, at the end of the notice period a tenant can stay in the property and the Landlord will then need to apply to court for possession. Lots of tenants do this, on the advice of Citizens Advice and the Council, and it’s incredibly costly for Landlords to go through the court process… especially if the tenant hasn’t paid rent or caused extensive damage.
As you can see, the realities of section 21 notices, aren’t what they appear in the press.
Now, I want to take this one step further and explain that getting rid of Section 21 Notices, doesn’t mean that Landlords don’t have the right to evict a tenant.
Instead they can use Section 8 notices. Section 8 notices, as per this blog Section 8 Notices have 17 Grounds for Possession. The landlord must serve two month’s notice on the tenant, stating one or more of those 17 grounds for possession, and then apply to court to determine if they will be able to get possession.
There are 8 mandatory grounds, where if the landlord applies to court, the court must grant permission to evict the tenants. Including landlord wants to move back into the property / mortgage company is repossessing / tenant is in rent arrears / the property required redevelopment.
All of those reasons are what landlords usually serve section 21 notices for now… so when they serve a section 8 notice for the same thing and it goes to court, tenants will need to go to court to find that the judge awards mandatory possession… it just includes extra stress for a tenant.
Again… this ‘outstanding victory’… nothing has changed, apart from increasing the cost for the landlord (via court and legal fees) and the humiliation / frustration for the tenant.
So, Landlords, if you want to evict a tenant, you will need to ask your solicitors advice just to make sure you’ve got a leg to stand on… but you can still serve notice on your tenant.
Tenants, this doesn’t mean you can ignore your tenancy agreement and do what you like. You can still be evicted.
As a Landlord how do you feel about this change?
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