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The end of no-fault evictions?

The end of no-fault evictions?

Luke Ridge takes a look at the recent news about possible changes to evictions in the UK. Perhaps all is not what it seems?

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire, recently announced that the government wants to bring an end to so called ‘no-fault’ evictions in the private rented sector.

Currently private Landlords (and sometimes housing associations) can start the process of evicting a tenant regardless of whether the tenant has done anything wrong under the Section 21 procedure. You can read more about this procedure here [https://www.swainandco.com/housing/section-21-notice-theres-nothing-i-can-doright/]

The proposal is to bring an end to this practice by making it so Landlords will need to prove to the Court that there is a valid reason for evicting their tenant; such as the tenant being in rent arrears or the Landlord wanting to sell the property.

Sounds good in principle.

BUT …

What damage could the plans make to an already struggling housing market?

The Section 21 procedure was originally introduced in 1989 to rejuvenate a dwindling private sector housing market. It gave Landlords and mortgage lender the confidence to invest in buy-to-let properties safe in the knowledge that the property could be repossessed if things didn’t work out.

The danger of the new plans is that Landlords will decide to sell-up their rented properties. They may invest elsewhere rather than risk accepting tenants who they may be forced to house for the rest of their lives.

This could lead to a reduction in available housing for families and worsen the homelessness crisis in England.

Maybe not such a great plan to reduce homelessness after all?

“Do I have to worry about the announcement?”

Not yet.

The announcement on behalf of the government is the first step in what will be a very lengthy debate involving consideration of the rights of both Landlords and tenants. This is likely to stretch many years into the future (…and that’s if Brexit can be sorted first!)."

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