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Government announces the abolition of Section 21 Notices

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

The Queen’s Speech on 19th December 2019 saw the announcement by the Government of the Renters’ Reform Bill which will abolish the use of “no fault” Section 21 Notices served under the Housing Act 1988.

The grounds for possession will be reformed and there will be changes to the Court process to make it quicker and easier for landlords to recover possession of their property if they are able to make out the grounds for possession.

Over recent years the administrative burden on landlords has increased significantly with far more hurdles in place that can trip up an unsuspecting landlord and prevent them recovering possession of their property. When they do issue proceedings landlords often face a long wait for an Order and for a bailiff to attend.

The measures announced in the Queen’s Speech form part of the Government’s “people’s priorities”.

Many involved in the sector believe that Section 21 Notices can only be abolished if the grounds for possession under the Section 8 procedure are reformed and if a specific Housing Tribunal is set up to ensure that claims for possession are progressed swiftly. The current system is prone to delays, results in hearings that serve to delay the process and increase costs and can take.

Others argue that the lack of social housing puts undue pressure on the private rental market. If the Government is serious about addressing the issues faced by those in the rental sector then investment in social housing needs to be looked and its fitness for purpose improved.

It remains to be seen exactly how Section 21 Notices will be removed and what the impact on the sector will be. In the meantime many private landlords will be considering serving a Section 21 Notice now and selling up, placing even more pressure on an already strained rental market.

Stuart Love

Posted:

Stuart Love

Partner

Stuart is a Partner and also Head of the Commercial Litigation team. He specialises in complex commercial litigation, including contract disputes, business ownership disputes, contentious insolvency and debt collection.