This is a story that has been around for a while now. I didn’t cover it before as any changes that might happen will be quite some time away, but according to some press reports, it is now starting to affect landlord behaviour, with some quitting the profession, seeing this as the final straw.
The government is considering abolishing ‘Section 21;’ the rules allowing a landlord to take back their property when the initial term of a tenancy ends without having to give a reason.
Government Minister, James Brokenshire MP has said “By abolishing these kinds of evictions, every person living in the private rented sector will be empowered to make the right housing choice for themselves – not have it made for them. And this will be balanced by ensuring responsible landlords can get their property back where they have proper reason to do so.”
It’s not for me to tell landlords they are right or wrong in their business decisions – but before deciding to quit, remember there is still the Section 8 route to regaining your property. Mr Brokenshire has said the government intends to look at redefining section 8 so that landlords still have a realistic way to end a tenancy if its conditions are breached; the landlord needs to dispose of it or wants to move back into it.
This is probably a good place to stick in a reminder about record keeping. (My pet subject). If you do ever need to take someone to court under Section 8, because of rent arrears, it is essential that you have kept proper records of their rent account. Sadly and surprisingly this is something that some landlords fall down over. If you can’t prove that the tenant is in substantial arrears or frequently makes late or only partial payments, you will struggle to get any sympathy from a judge. You should also make sure that you keep records of all contacts made or actions taken around rent arrears or about any issue of dispute that you may have with your tenant.