The Post-Section 21 Notice Landscape – What Would it Look Like?
In April 2019, the government announced plans to abolish Section 21 Notices. That prompted a consultation process, under which the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) sought input from landlords, agents, legal professionals and anyone else with experience of a possession claim. The RLA have now produced a report, which makes for very interesting reading.
The RLA Report
One of the key findings of the RLA report was that landlords are not litigious. They like to keep good tenants in their homes, but where they are forced to act, they are five times more likely to use Section 21 than Section 8. It was found that 96% of those who supply homes to private rented sector tenants feel very strongly that Section 21 is important to their business.
Over 40% of landlords feel so strongly about it that they could not envisage supplying homes to tenants if it was removed. However, just over half of respondents would be willing to continue letting to tenants if the government (i) introduced substantial changes to the Section 8 process and (ii) created a new, specialist Housing Court.
What Will it Mean?
When seeking possession via Section 8, a Court hearing must always take place. However, it has been suggested that an ‘accelerated’ process (where the claim is dealt with on paperwork without a Court hearing, and which is currently only available for Section 21) could be introduced for Section 8 claims.
In principle, that would certainly offer the opportunity to streamline claims, but the RLA state it should only be introduced when fit for purpose. For the time being, the feeling is that Section 21 should remain.
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