Section 21 is not dead! Yet …

April 17, 2019

the End of Section 21I have had a lot of people contacting me, both via email and on the forum, asking what the ‘new rules’ are about section 21.

“Can I still evict my tenant if I need to” landlords are asking nervously.  “What can I do now if they don’t pay their rent?”

However, there is no need to worry.  All that has happened is that the government has announced that they will be looking to end ‘unfair evictions’ under section 21 in due course.

But it has not happened yet. Before they can do ANYTHING about this the government will need to

  • Publish a consultation document
  • Consider the consultation document
  • Make proposals based on the consultation,
  • Draft the legislation, and
  • Get it through Parliament

So far they have done none of those things.

There is also this thing called ‘Brexit’ which is taking up a lot of government time.

A ploy for votes?

The cynical among us may wonder whether this is merely a cheap ploy to get votes and do well at the forthcoming local elections – with no real intention behind it.

I think votes undoubtedly come into it but I suspect section 21 will go eventually.  After all, the Labour Party have announced that they want to end no-fault evictions too.

In fact, in these days of squabbling politicians and failed deals, the removal of the right to evict under section 21 may be the only thing that politicians CAN agree on.

Plus it will be popular with tenants – and there are more of them than there are landlords.

So what’s going to happen then?

Who knows?  These are uncertain times.  This government could be out within the month if some reports are to be believed.

However, I suspect that any incoming government will also want the glow of virtue which they can assume by getting rid of an evil rule which allows (allegedly) women and young children to be evicted from their homes without any reason after just eight weeks.

Ignoring the fact that in reality most tenants are evicted for rent arrears (or some other tenant default) and that the process actually takes up to six months or more.  During which time most landlords receive no rent.

As regards timing – if you remember the tenant fees ban, this was announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond in the autumn of 2016.  The ban is finally due to come into force in June 2019 – nearly three years later.

Therefore, if section 21 does go, it will probably not be until 2021 or 2022.

So, if you are a landlord – relax.  If you are a tenant – sorry!

If you want to find out more

I have started a series of posts over on my Landlord Law Blog which you can read here.

I have had a lot of people contacting me, both via email and on the forum, asking what the 'new rules' are about section 21. #landlordlaw

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Important – please check the date of the post above.  Remember if it is an old post, the law may have changed since it was written.
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