To abolish or not to abolish? Section 21 notices

Following on from the Queen's Speech yesterday (11 May), it is still unknown as to whether there is a commitment to abolish section 21 notices (which starts the legal process to end a tenancy) or not; some commentators have interpreted the Queen’s comments about “enhancing the rights of those who rent” to mean that this idea is still very much on the table. Others disagree having regard to the fact that a bill has still not materialised despite talks about this commencing all the way back in December 2019.

So what is the position with s21 notices under the Housing Act 1988? It is not entirely clear and is still very much a waiting game, albeit, what we do know is the devastating effect that this pandemic has had on the private rented sector, with landlords complaining that more than 50% of their portfolio of tenants have fallen into substantial arrears; by this we mean six months or more so a very stifling number indeed.

Whilst many landlords will be pleased with the suggestion that it may be a while before section 21 notices are abolished (if at all), I wouldn’t say we are on safe ground just yet with there being talks of the UK having a landlord register; a document which will register details of the property let in order to ensure that minimum legal requirements are met.

Tenants will not be too pleased to learn about yet another delay on the Renters’ Reform Bill and clearly the landlord and tenant law saga continues.

Further details can be found in the Queen’s Speech Briefing Notes here; page 113 for the discussion on tenancy reform.

If you have any questions about this topic or require support for your business, please contact a member of our Property Litigation team.

Disclaimer: This document does not present a complete or comprehensive statement of the law, nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight issues that may be of interest to clients of BLM. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in any particular case.

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