Section 21 Concerns
It is worrying that the media is highlighting so many landlords who are obviously very concerned about the future removal of the Section 21 notice as a no fault eviction. This worry is self perpetuating and is causing a lot of unnecessary tension in an already over burdened rental market, leading to an exodus of landlords from the market. Such scaremongering will eventually lead to less property available for families to rent and will cause the rents to rise as a consequence.
In order for the Section 21 notice to effectively be withdrawn, two things will have to be put in place first.
Firstly, as the only other option for eviction will be the use of Section 8 Notices, and in their current state there are a variety of grounds that will need to be changed or added so they work effectively for landlords to both use and be confident in the result of use. Coupled with confidence, is the speed of action that using the grounds take and at present a Section 21 notice, whilst slow in many parts of the country, is still far quicker and simpler than a Section 8.
Secondly, the housing courts need to be fit for purpose, which currently, they patently are not, especially if the number of evictions is likely to increase as a result of the withdrawal of Section 21. The government will either need to put more money into the system or set up a special housing court, then the time frames should become more realistic, the problems less and the resultant evictions quicker and palatable for landlords.
This change, whilst desired by many, will not happen overnight, given the huge number of surrounding issues that need to addressed first, even before the grounds are altered and the court system improved. On this basis, the media should definitely keep a watchful eye on proceedings but not pronounce Section 21 Notices as banned almost immediately – an intention is not an immediate action, especially one as complicated as this is going to be.