Government announce Section 21 notices to be banned

The Government claims the move will be enforced to prevent landlords from evicting tenants unlawfully.

Section 21s have long been a safety net for landlords in the event of tenancies turning awry. The Government however are taking a firm stance on the matter from a tenant’s perspective, regardless of the reasoning behind a notice being issued.

The proposed measures, the Government said, will “make the housing market fit for the 21 century”.

Prime Minister  Theresa May  stated: “Everyone renting in the private sector has the right to feel secure in their home, settled in their community and able to plan for the future with confidence.

“But millions of responsible tenants could still be uprooted by their landlord with little notice, and often little justification.

“This important step will not only protect tenants from unethical behaviour, but also give them the long-term certainty and the peace of mind they deserve.”

Communities secretary, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP has since commented: “”Everyone has a right to the opportunities they need to build a better life. For many, this means having the security and stability to make a place truly feel like home without the fear of being evicted at a moments’ notice. We are building a fairer housing market that truly works for everyone.”

What the Government don’t appear to be accounting for on the matter however is the reasoning behind evictions in the first place.

Their stance seemingly places the blame for evictions down entirely to landlords, providing security for tenants and no assurance for the former.

By removing the ability to issue a Section 21, the Government are crippling landlord’s abilities to protect themselves in the event of misuse of their property or rent arrears.

The Government does however claim that if a landlord is able to provide sufficient reasoning behind a Section 21 then they will still be granted the powers to reclaim possession of their property.

What effect could this have on the rental market?

It’s difficult for anyone to pinpoint the exact long term consequences of this move at present, but there are logical predictions that can be made.

The announcement comes during a string of recent regulation changes and forthcoming introductions. This includes the recent announcement that tenants now have greater powers to target landlords providing cold and damp homes, as well as the Tenant Fees Act which is to be introduced in a matter of weeks.

You would be forgiven therefore for assuming that a large number of landlords are prepared to simply give up on the industry, dumping their properties onto the market where they simply cannot be afforded by those who are in the rental sector for that very reason.

A decrease in landlords and rental stock means more competition for tenants in the landlord’s properties that are keeping their heads high in these testing times.

Higher competition will therefore mean less chances for tenants in receipt of housing benefits, whom many landlords cannot accept due to mortgage stipulations.

This would put greater strain on a system that is already far from perfect.

Furthermore, insurance premiums would be likely to increase for landlords as it becomes harder to evict tenants. The removal of Section 21 may see BTL lending reduce or rates rise to reflect greater risk, and this in turn will have a knock on to supply of rental accommodation.

How can I evict tenants after the Section 21 ban?

The Government are yet to outline the new official proceedings to evict a tenant. Whilst they have confirmed that landlords will not lose the full ability to proceed with evictions, there has to be a ‘good reason’ in order to reclaim posession of the property.

It is unknown at this time what system the Government aims to put into place in order to distinguish whether or not a landlords reason is acceptable to recall the possession of their property.

We at Abode have no doubt that this announcement over many will cause concern to a great number of compliant and compassionate landlords and property investors.

We strive to ensure amicable and long-standing happy tenancies that are hassle free for both landlords and tenants. Therefore we are more than happy to discuss with you any concerns you may have regarding property management and how to maintain tenancies to ensure a minimal impact caused by the Government’s pledge to remove Section 21.

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