By any account 2020 has been a turbulent year for landlords. The legislation surrounding issuing notices to vacate has been amended numerous times as a result of the pandemic and (hopefully) all landlords are aware that Section 21 Notices, the so-called ‘no fault eviction’ are due to be abolished as soon as parliamentary time allows. But what are the possible consequences of this?
In layman’s terms, if ‘no fault’ evictions are off the cards, then any eviction will be fault based and therefore subject to legal proceedings and a relevant court order. Given the significant backlog faced by courts the only certainty we have is that proceedings will be a long time coming and incur significant costs.
Looking ahead, it seems that some form of rent control will become inevitable as an unintended consequence of this – here’s an obvious example why. In a post Section 21 Notice world, landlord X wants their property back, but the tenant wants to stay and is up to date with their rent and has been an exemplary tenant. The obvious solution is to increase the rent to such an extent that the tenant can no longer afford to stay, and the landlord regains vacant possession as intended. This completely undermines the intent behind the abolition of the Section 21 Notice but would appear to be entirely valid unless the legislation enshrines some form of protection by way of rent control.
Watch this space…..