The end of No Fault procedure to recover possession of a rented property.
The Government has recently announced details, set out in the Renters Reform Bill 2022 (“the Bill”), to end a landlord’s ability to terminate a residential tenancy on a ‘no fault’ basis. To do this, the Government will move all tenants who would previously have had an Assured Shorthold Tenancy to a single system of periodic tenancies.
The proposed changes are the biggest shake-up of the law governing Landlord and Tenant relationships for over 30 years.
Currently, a landlord can serve a tenant with an ‘s21 notice’ to bring their tenancy to an end, without having to give a reason. An s21 notice can only be served if a landlord has complied with a number of procedural requirements beforehand and is commonly referred to as the ‘no fault notice’.
The Government believes that the outlawing of the ‘no fault’ route to possession will offer tenants greater protection from alleged rogue landlords who seek to terminate tenancies without giving any reason. Government statistics state that 22% of those who moved last year did not end their tenancy by choice.
Recognising that landlords’ circumstances change, the Bill will also introduce new grounds for eviction for landlords who want to sell their property and/or move into the rental property. This ground cannot be used for the first six months of the tenancy (similar to how the current s21 procedure works).
New mandatory grounds for repeated serious arrears will also be introduced. This aims to help landlords who have tenants that pay off a small amount of arrears, keeping them under the mandatory repossession level of two months’ arrears (and thereby defeating the ability for the tenant to ‘play the system’).
Eviction will be mandatory where a tenant has been in at least two months’ rent arrears three times within the previous three years, regardless of the arrears balance at the possession hearing.
Under the s8 procedure, the notice period for the existing rent arrears eviction grounds will increase to four weeks and the mandatory threshold at two months’ arrears at the time of serving notice and hearing will remain unchanged. The reason being is to ensure that tenants have a reasonable opportunity to pay off arrears without losing their home.
The Bill will also allegedly introduce, amongst other things, a property portal to help landlords understand their obligations, give tenants performance information to hold their landlord to account, and help Local Authorities reduce poor practice. It will also be unlawful to apply a blanket ban on pets.
If you require assistance or advice on obtaining possession or a property, Talk to Tollers on 01604 258558 where our experienced Dispute Resolution team is on hand to provide you with the most up-to-date information and guidance.
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