BREAKING NEWS: Tenant Evictions:
The government today announced that it will now consult on the possibility of removing the landlord favoured section 21 eviction process.
With Labour pledging to remove section 21 and the government coming under increasing political pressure to ease the burden on tenants – it needs their votes – it looks inevitable that the end of section 21 is nigh!
Introduced under Margaret Thatcher’s 1979 elected Tory government, the measure acted to de-regulate the sector and encouraged a near 30-year growth spurt for the private landlord buy-to-let sector.
Its key effect was to assure landlords that they could let properties, safe in the knowledge that if things went wrong – chiefly when tenants stopped paying rent – they could get their properties back relatively quickly, usually within 6 months.
Despite assurances that there will be safeguards, sceptical landlords have little faith in the alternative. That’s a slow and outdated county court system where landlords, faced with a delinquent tenant, will be forced into an adversarial system, trying to prove that the tenant has done wrong.
Given all the regulations, tax penalties and constant media attention the private rented sector has received, private landlords could perhaps be forgiven for feeling that government and the general public no longer value the contribution they make – providing housing for working, professional, and social tenants.
The proposed measures, the government says, will provide greater certainty for tenants and make the housing market fit for the 21st century, whilst creating a more secure rental market for landlords in which to remain and invest.
Prime Minister Theresa May has said:
“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 is wrong – and today we’re acting by preventing these unfair evictions. Landlords will still be able to end tenancies where they have legitimate reasons to do so, but they will no longer be able to unexpectedly evict families with only 8 weeks’ notice.
“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 said:
“By abolishing these kinds of evictions, every single person living in the private rented sector will be empowered to make the right housing choice for themselves – not have it made for them. And this will be balanced by ensuring responsible landlords can get their property back where they have proper reason to do so.
“We are making the biggest change to the private rental sector in a generation. We are creating homes, opportunities and thriving communities, where people can come together and put down roots, bound by a strong sense of belonging.
“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.”