MORE BAD NEWS FOR LANDLORDS BUT FURTHER SUPPORT FOR TENANTS

No doubt you will have now heard about the proposal to scrap the section 21 notice. This notice can be served on a tenant with an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, without having to specify a reason. This is the common two months’ notice that can be served to bring a fixed term to an end, or a periodic (rolling) tenancy to an end in a simple and low cost way.

However the current government consider this to equip landlords with an unfair advantage over their tenants. This is of course quite understandable from a tenant’s point of view, but in our experience – and we can’t be unique! – a landlord does not serve notice without good reason. However, as is often the case, the actions of a minority of bad landlords cause the introduction of often unwanted changes for the rest of us.

We have regularly used the section 21 notice to regain possession due to a tenant being in breach of their tenancy, as it is a far simpler process. It would be a great shame to lose this, but change seems inevitable.

The proposed changes are likely to leave the landlord with a right to regain possession on mandatory or discretionary grounds, which are likely to include the following: –

Mandatory:-

1. Landlord intends to sell the let property
2. Property to be sold by the lender – such as repossessions
3. Landlord intends to refurbish (major works) the let property
4. Landlord intends to live in the let property
5. Landlord intends to use the let property for non-residential purpose
6. Let property required for religious worker

7. Tenant has a relevant criminal conviction
8. Tenant is no longer occupying the let property

Discretionary: – (A discretionary ground means that even if the Tribunal agrees that the ground exists, it still has to decide whether it is reasonable to issue an eviction order)

9. Landlord’s family member intends to live in the let property

10. Tenant no longer needs supported accommodation
11. Tenant has breached a term of the tenancy agreement
12. Tenant has engaged in relevant antisocial behaviour
13. Tenant has associated in the let property with someone who has a criminal conviction or is antisocial
14. Landlord has had their registration refused or revoked 
15. Landlord’s HMO licence has been revoked
16. An overcrowding statutory notice has been served on the landlord

Grounds which could be mandatory or discretionary: –

17. Tenant is in rent arrears over three consecutive months
18. Tenant has stopped being (or has failed to become) an employee

The proposed changes should therefore still be workable but the process more complicated.

The various landlord/letting organisations are asking for people’s comments so they can build a case of evidence supporting, or otherwise, parts or all of the proposals. We have submitted our views to the Residential Landlords Association, who have had over 5,000 responses so far.

There seems to have been little let up for landlords over the past several years with what feels like continuous changing legislation. Much of this is though working towards a better system and we are trying hard top embrace it all.

If you have any questions regarding this proposal, or any other rental matter, please do contact Richard Banks of G Herbert Banks.

Tel: 01299 896 968

Email: rb@gherbertbanks.co.uk