Today Prime Minister Liz Truss confirmed that our government intends to go ahead with a ban on 'no-fault' evictions - a ban originally outlined in the Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper published in June. This announcement appears to be in response to a report by The Times earlier this week, where leaked documents seemed to indicate that the government was considering a U-turn on the ban.
So is this a reason for landlords (or owners) to panic?
Taking back possession
In short: absolutely not. Landlords will still be able to take back possession of their property for legitimate reasons, like
- To move in
- To sell
- Their tenants (or residents) are in rent arrears or are exhibiting antisocial behaviour
This ban does not mean that landlords will be forced to put up with bad tenants. Landlords will be able to gain repossession of their property under the defined grounds of Section 8, and according to the Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper, the grounds of Section 8 will be reformed to be more comprehensive, fair and efficient.
Striking a balance
One example of the proposed strengthening of Section 8 is around repeated serious rental arrears. Currently, a Section 8 eviction on grounds of rent arrears requires arrears to be over a threshold of 2 months at the time of a court hearing. A tenant can pay to reduce their arrears to under 2 months for this date and in some cases avoid eviction. Under the new grounds, eviction will be mandatory if a tenant reaches at least 2 month's rent arrears at least 3 times within the previous 3 years, whatever their balance on the date of the hearing.
This helps strike a balance to be fairer to landlords, while reassuring tenants that they won't lose their home based on a one-off blip in their financial situation.
The purpose of banning Section 21 'no-fault' evictions is to help protect tenants from the so-called 'cowboy' landlords who give our industry a bad name. These are the landlords who evict tenants that demand necessary maintenance to be completed in the property, tenants they find too needy or tenants they just don't like.
Paramount owners can rest assured...
At Paramount we have a standard of landlord (owner) that takes cares of their property and their residents. We also have a rigorous multi-step referencing process that ensures the financial situation and reliability of an applicant - it's as thorough as it can be short of predicting the future! The ban of Section 21 should not be something to panic over.
Are you protected?
So what should landlords be thinking about in light of Liz Truss' announcement? Two words: Rent Recovery. If you don't already have a Rent Recovery policy in place, it's something to seriously consider. It's an incredibly easy, affordable way of protecting yourself in the event that your tenants encounter an unexpected change to their financial situation. There isn't a single person in our office who hasn't said "it's an absolute no-brainer".
Check back here for more details on the Renters Reform Bill, what we know so far, and what this means for you in the coming weeks!
And to enquire about Rent Recovery for your property, send us an email at email@example.com or give us a call on 020 7644 2303.