Previously, if a landlord wanted to start the eviction process, a Section 21 notice was typically the first step they would take if the property was being rented out on an assured shorthold tenancy.
Landlords had to give a minimum of 2 months’ notice to tenants. They were not required to provide a reason as to why they wanted to begin the eviction process.
Now, in what has been described as the biggest change in the private rental sector for a generation, landlords will have to provide a legitimate, evidenced reason for ending a tenancy. Such reasons can include:
The 2 months’ notice period is also expected to be extended, and the proposal of a new three-year tenancy will be consulted on in August as a replacement for the current six to 12-month leases – which around 81% of renters are signed up to. If approved, this could cause a huge shake-up of the private rental sector.
As of 1 June 2019, the Tenant Fees Act bans the majority of letting fees and puts a cap on tenancy deposits paid by tenants in the private rented sector in England.
The aim of the Act is to reduce the fees that tenants face during the period of their tenancy. Instead, landlords will be responsible for paying these costs. Tenants will now be able to see, at a glance, what a given property will cost them in the advertised rent with no hidden costs.
Now, the only payments that landlords or letting agents can charge to tenants in relation to new contracts are:
The accumulation of these changes comes as yet another blow to landlords. Many have felt the brunt of a number of changes in recent years that have impacted them negatively. Some argue landlords have had little choice but to use Section 21 as a backstop to overcome the ineffectiveness of the Section 8 process.
The NLA has stated it will now look to pressuring the government to re-balance the system so that Section 8 and the court process works for landlords and tenants alike. They believe that, to keep good landlords in the market, the government needs to look at the housing sector as a whole, rather than making impulsive changes to singular items of legislation.
If you’re a landlord in the private rental sector, you might be feeling the impact of the recent changes. Getting professional advice could help you to decide your next steps.