Help at hand for under fire landlords
The Government has announced new plans to prevent private landlords from evicting tenants without a "concrete, evidenced reason already specified in law" in order to bring tenancies to an end.
Written by Paul Brown on 29th May 2019
Currently there are two available routes for a Landlord to obtain possession of their rental property:
- Section 8 – where a breach of the tenancy agreement has taken place e.g. rental arrears, antisocial behaviour or property damage
- Section 21 – to obtain possession at 8 weeks’ notice after the fixed-term contract has come to an end with no reason required.
Section 21 notices, if served correctly and if the Landlord has complied with all applicable legislation and requirements, cannot be challenged whereas Section 8 notices can be, with defences being served. Should the consultation result in the abolition of Section 21 notices, as appears likely, Landlords will only be able to rely on an action under Section 8.
Commenting on the changes Mrs May said the major shake-up will protect responsible tenants from "unethical behaviour" and give them the "long-term certainty and the peace of mind they deserve". However, the National Landlords Association (NLA) has said its members were forced to use Section 21 because they had "no confidence" in the courts to settle possession claims and that they should be able to use a Section 8 possession notice to evict someone who has broken the terms of their tenancy - for example by not paying rent.
As Section 8 actions are processed through the courts they can become more protracted and expensive. However, within the Government briefing they have also confirmed that they will be looking to review the Section 8 process to ensure "speedy redress" to landlords seeking to regain possession of their property for legitimate reasons, such as to sell the property or to move into it themselves. This is a process already in place in Scotland where Section 8 grounds for possession were amended following the removal of Section 21 actions.
So what can be done?
Not receiving rent from a tenant can leave landlords seriously out of pocket. Following the legal process, through the correct channels, to either obtain the rental arrears and/or evict the tenant, can be time consuming and costly and usually results in a loss of rental payments and legal costs.
For Landlords, who have working tenants, within their residential properties, Rent Guarantee Insurance is available. This provides cover for missed rental payments*, usually after the first month the insurer will take the eviction burden away from the Landlord meaning the Landlord can rest assured that they will not be further out of pocket and that they are following the due legal process.
Subject to a Full Tenant Reference the cover is available to the majority of:
- Landlords & Property Owners
- Pension Funds
- Investment Companies
- Resident Associations & RTM companies
- Ground Rent and Freehold Investors
- Managing & Letting Agents
To discuss our Rent Guarantee Insurance speak to your usual Franklands contact.
*Subject to full terms and conditions of the policy