As new statistics emerge around the frequency of using Section 21 notices, we await further details in the Renters' Reform Bill White Paper on the abolition of Section 21 in 2022.

The government has confirmed its intentions to repeal Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 in the May 2022 Queen's Speech, as originally set out in the Renters' Reform Bill released in late 2019, and "strengthen the rights of tenants."

Shelter has released statistics claiming that a Section 21 notice has been issued to a tenant every seven minutes since 2019, affecting 230,000 people - although Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, counters this, highlighting that the overall use of Section 21 notices has in fact been falling since 2015. 

What is Section 21?

In normal circumstances, when the extended notice periods are not in place, landlords can evict their tenants under Section 21 by providing them with two months’ notice once their fixed-term contract has come to an end.

Landlords aren’t required to provide their tenants with a reason for eviction, hence the term “no-fault” eviction. In contrast, to serve a Section 8 notice, the landlord needs to prove that the tenant has broken the terms of the tenancy agreement.

What's changing for Section 21?

One of the proposed changes, as originally set out in the Renters' Reform Bill, included in the briefing notes to the Queen's Speech in 2019, is to remove Section 21.

The abolition of Section 21 would put an end to so-called “no-fault evictions” as part of the on-going project to create longer tenancies. 

This means landlords will always need to provide their tenants with a reason for ending a tenancy, for example, breach of contract or wanting to sell the property.

Tenants will be able to choose to end the tenancy, as long as they provide sufficient notice to the landlord.

What will replace Section 21?

In addition to the removal of Section 21, the government has also proposed  strengthening the grounds for repossession under Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988.

This would not directly replace Section 21, but will strengthen the rights of landlords who want to recover their properties, including when they want to sell or move into the property themselves.

How will these changes to Section 21 affect possessions and tenancy lengths?

The government has also said that it plans to work with the Ministry of Justice and the Courts and Tribunal Service on reforming the court processes for possession, alongside ending Section 21.

However, the government will consider limiting the use of these new Section 8 grounds until the tenancy has lasted for two years. They do note there has been “no consensus” around mandating a tenancy length.

A previous consultation found tenants preferred different tenancy lengths depending on their circumstances, whilst landlords favoured the status quo.

The government has also said any legislation around changes to tenancy lengths will be “accompanied by appropriate safeguards for landlords”.

When will Section 21 be abolished?

There is no proposed date for when the changes to Section 21 could come into effect, though, if we look to recent legislation changes, such as the Tenant Fees Act, as a guide, this could take between 18 months to two years.

Before the changes can become law, a new consultation on the proposed changes will need to take place, followed by publication and consideration of the consultation document. The new legislation will then need to be drafted and make its way through Parliament.

The government will publish a white paper on all the proposals in the Renters' Reform Bill in 2022, and has published a research paper on the history of the debate around Section 21 in the interim.

The Government has issued new guidance for letting agents and landlords who have been questioning how right to rent checks will be impacted by the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. The Government has now clarified that there will be no changes to the current law until 1st January 2021.

Under the current law in England, letting agents and landlords must check that all prospective tenants aged 18 and over can legally rent a residential property before starting a new tenancy.

Citizens from the EU, EEA and Switzerland can currently prove their right to rent by showing their passport or national identity card to their letting agent or landlord. This government has said that this will stay the same whether or not the UK leaves the EU with a deal.  The guidance says that there will be no change to the way citizens from the EU, EEA and Switzerland prove their right to rent until 1st January 2021.

Irish citizens will continue to have the right to rent in the UK and be able to prove their right to rent as they do now, for example using their passport.

Letting agents and landlords won’t need to check whether new EEA and Swiss tenants arrived before or after the UK left the EU, according to the guidance, or if they have status under the EU Settlement Scheme or European temporary leave to remain.

There also won’t be any need to retrospectively check the status of EU, EEA or Swiss tenants or their family members who entered into a tenancy agreement before 1st January 2021.

Letting agents and landlords should “continue to conduct right to rent checks on all prospective tenants to comply with the code of practice on illegal immigrants and private rented accommodation and the code of practice for landlords: avoiding unlawful discrimination,” according to the guidance.

The Government has plans to introduce a new, single immigration system from 1st January 2021 and new guidance on how to carry out right to rent checks from this date “will be issued in due course.”

Visit for more information on right to rent checks. It's important to note that this article isn't exhaustive and doesn't constitute legal advice.


Source: Goodlord

The Tenant Fees Act 2019 comes in to effect on the 1st June 2019 bringing sweeping changes to the what agents and landlords can charge tenants wanting to rent properties. The fines for failure to comply are substantial. Full details and guidance notes can be found Tenant Fees Act 2019 

The act has been introduced to stop the many agents that charged very high fees to tenants to suppliment their income, and as a result of the ban, a great many agents will have no choice but to pass these costs on to thier Landlords resulitng in them paying higher fees in order to minimise the loss. As our ageny was never set up on that model, our fees remail unchanged and will now be even more competitive in this ever chaning market. 

If you are a landlord being hit with increased agent fees, why not give our team a call on 0161 826 9190 to see what we can do for you.