Currently, there is a nationwide campaign headed up by Generation Rent and supported by Salvation Army and Crisis amongst others. The campaign has over 50,000 signatures so far calling for section 21 to be scrapped.
Section 21 evictions, also known as no-fault evictions, are used when a landlord needs the property to be vacated for any number of reasons at the end of tenancy agreement. These can include the following, although the section 21 notice does not require any rationale for a notice to be served:
- Wanting to sell the property
- Wanting to move into the property themselves
- Wanting to renovate or extend the property
For landlords section 21 notices are necessary as it gives them the ability to regain possession of their property at the end of the tenancy agreement without the need for justification.
When there are reasons for repossession before the end of the contact the only way they can do is with a section 8 eviction notice where they’ll need a reason such as rental arrears.
Lack of social housing
The real issue appears to be the lack of social housing because, if there were enough social housing available for tenants there would not be such reliance placed upon on the private rental sector and therefore there would be more stability for those that rent.
The current situation is that the affordable housing supply is low, whilst right-to-buy gave people the financial incentive to own their own property, the government hasn’t been replacing these properties.
This, in turn, has meant that those who would have been able to live in council housing have had to enter the private rental market, this has left landlords inundated with the type of tenants that may be reliant on benefits, that may be vulnerable or have any number or other issues making the private rental sector not the most appropriate solution, but without the available social housing it is the only solution.
David is an authorised High Court Enforcement Officer and our Director of Corporate Governance