How Will Section 21 Changes Impact the Private Rented Sector?
Currently, a landlord does not have to give a reason for evicting a tenant, and can give as little as eight weeks’ notice.
Under the Housing Act 1988, a Section 21 notice is the first step a landlord must take for this kind of eviction.
What this has meant for around 11 million private renters in England is that after their fixed-term contract has come to an end, they could be evicted at any time.
However, this is now set to change.
Under government reforms, private landlords will no longer be able to evict tenants at short notice for no good reason.
Changes to Section 21
Removing no-fault evictions is designed to make tenants more secure, especially as currently, the Section 21 process is one of the biggest causes of homeless families in England.
However, landlords have voiced concerns over ending the section 21 process.
Under the intended changes, if landlords wanted to regain possession of a property they would then need to use the Section 8 process.
This only allows them to seek possession under certain grounds, such as where the tenant has breached their tenancy agreement.
Many landlords lack confidence in the Section 8 process, with it taking a long time for them to gain procession, and costing them around £2,000 more than the Section 21 process to do so.
What the Government is offering landlords in place of Section 21 is a speeded-up Section 8 process, and introducing new grounds for eviction. These might include circumstances where the landlord wants to sell or move into the property themselves.
Striking the Right Balance
What reactions to the imminent Section 21 changes suggest is that there is a big divide between the interests of landlords and tenants, to the extent that they seem completely in opposition.
But is this really the case.
The role of a letting agent is to strike the right balance between the needs of landlords and their tenants.
In practice, this means providing the kind of specialist services that will satisfy the requirements of both parties.
For landlords, this involves expert property management, including the kind of support that will ensure they get the right tenants for their properties.
Another benefit, letting agents can provide is a guaranteed rent for landlords. This form of fixed monthly income can provide landlords with the kind of security they need to give their business a firm foundation.
For tenants, a letting agent’s services gives them the kind of reassurance they are looking for, so that they know maintenance of their accommodation is in good, efficient hands, and that their needs are being looked after.
Current reactions to the Section 21 changes imply a basic lack of trust between landlords and tenants across much of the private rented sector.
It is our job to help restore and then maintain that trust, by ensuring that landlords and tenants can both benefit from diligent, professional property management. It is in both sets of interests to make private rentals work.
Get in Touch
For more information about easy2let’s property management and guaranteed rent services for landlords, please call 0161 615 4795, email email@example.com or complete our online contact form, and we will be in touch as soon as possible.