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UK Real Estate Insights
The long awaited Renters’ (Reform) Bill 2023 (‘the Bill’) was introduced to Parliament on 17 May 2023. Is there a hidden cost to the abolition of ‘no fault evictions’?
The Department for Levelling Up believe the reforms will benefit around 11 million tenants and protect around two million landlords. On 17 May, Housing Secretary Michael Gove said: “Our new laws introduced to Parliament today will support the vast majority of responsible landlords who provide quality homes to their tenants, while delivering our manifesto commitment to abolish Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions”.
The abolition of ‘no fault’ grounds means a landlord must necessarily rely on ‘fault’ grounds to evict a troublesome tenant. Under the Bill, the amended section 8 ‘fault’ grounds will allow a landlord to evict an anti-social tenant, but it raises questions about what will constitute ‘anti-social’ behaviour and how far a landlord must go to evidence it.
For example, if a landlord receives complaints about their tenant’s behaviour, what are its options? It will have to accuse the tenant of wrongdoing, but will landlords be required to involve the police? It seems likely that more matters will be forced into the courts which will be costly and time consuming, all the while, the tenant continues to occupy the property.
In addition, tenants who are ultimately evicted by court order under the new section 8 grounds may then struggle to find new homes. They will have a court record of prior anti-social behaviour which may cause them issues in the future.
We will continue to watch the progress of the Bill through parliament and provide regular updates.
We previously summarised the changes the Bill seeks to bring into force (please see here) – the key changes to note are:
The Bill, however, does not include measures to deal with unaffordable rents, such as rent freezes.
If you are a landlord or a tenant affected by these changes and require advice, get in touch with our experienced Real Estate team.
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