The Wokingham Paper

Herrington Carmichael: Is this the end of so-called ‘No Fault’ evictions by resident landlords?

Herrington Carmichael

If you are a landlord you may already know that you can evict your tenant on the grounds that their tenancy has come to its end. You do not currently need any other reason to serve a Section 21 Notice and start the court process on two months’ notice. This has become known as the ‘No Fault’ eviction.

Recent headlines repeatedly inform us of the housing crisis in the UK. It is estimated that 1 million new homes are needed to meet with increasing demand due to Britain’s growing population. Homelessness has increased year on year, with at least 320,000 homeless people living in Britain in 20181. There has also been a 63% increase of households in the private rented sector in Britain from 2007 to 20172 as councils struggle to cope with the high demand for social housing. Repeatedly, the ‘No Fault’ eviction has been blamed as one of the major causes of the surge in homelessness in the UK.

It is therefore unsurprising that the Government is now considering abolishing No-Fault evictions altogether. If scrapped, this will have a huge impact on landlords who expect to recover possession at the end of the tenancy period.

How likely is it that the law will change?

In 2015 the Government changed the law to protect tenants from retaliation evictions. Where a tenant notifies their landlord of a legitimate complaint about the condition of the property and their landlord fails to respond adequately and within a timely manner, landlords are barred from using the No Fault eviction procedure to evict their tenant.

The Government did consider abolishing No Fault evictions altogether in May 2019 and the media reported at length on the Government’s plans. However, those plans did not result in any change as Parliament’s focus was firmly on the Brexit problem and like a lot of other domestic issues, went on to the back burner.

Now that “Brexit is done” the Government has revisited this issue and it appears more likely than ever that No Fault evictions will be scrapped. This could mean that landlords will be unable to regain possession of their property if the tenant is not breaching any of its tenancy terms and the landlord does not want to live in the property himself. Currently it is a case of ‘watch this space’ and we will be publishing further articles as the situation develops.

If you are concerned about how you can get your tenants out at the end of a tenancy or your tenant is not complying with the tenant please contact our Dispute Resolution team on drteam@herrington-carmichael.com or 01276 686 222.

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