Residential Tenancies – The Section 21 Notice

Recent court findings have confirmed that landlords have severe problems in enforcing Section 21 Notices to end a residential tenancy. These are called no fault Notices and enable a landlord to recover their property without providing a reason for doing so.

It is considered by Housing Association data that nearly a quarter of private rented homes do not meet basic decency standards. The Renters' Reform Bill aims to improve the system for both the 11 million private renters and 2.3 million landlords in England. Its core intent is promoting a fairer rental environment. Even with the delayed inception of the repeal of the Section 21 notice, other proposed changes such as periodic tenancies, and improved dispute resolution mechanisms, are still on the table.

Whilst s.21 Notices, which apply to Assured Shorthold Tenancies, remain available, recent cases have reaffirmed that for them to be effective, pre-entry requirements need to be in place.

The risk to an unwary landlord, who has not prepared correctly is that little can be done if proper procedures were not complied with at the commencement of the existing tenancy. The tenant may gain a right to remain in the property.

Quite bluntly legislation seems to be going backwards. If you are to let anyone rent a house you may be risking its value as tenants could, under certain circumstances, remain in the property. You simply must get the correct paperwork in place ahead of them taking occupation. Of course, this is the view for a landlord and the majority the time errors made are made innocently, simply by not understanding the complex world of letting property. The wider issue is that the more difficult it is to obtain vacant possession of property, the fewer private landlords there will be in the market and that raises a great many other issues regarding housing in general.

In many cases the Renters Reform Act cannot come too soon and in fact many of its protective measures are with us already. Both Tenants and Landlords should take advice.

So, what does this mean for you? Landlords – focus on good tenancy management and transparent communication. You simply have to get the procedures correct before you let a house. Tenants – stay informed about your rights, take advice.

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Tuesday, 21 May 2024
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