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  • 19 May 2023

    Renters’ Reform Bill 2023 | No-fault evictions set to be banned

    A proposed reform of the rental sector could ban no-fault evictions, meaning that landlords would not be allowed to evict tenants with no justification. 

    The bill as a whole would see several changes including:

    • End bans on tenants claiming benefits
    • Easier for landlords to repossess properties from anti-social tenants
    • Tenants allowed to request to keep a pet which a landlord cannot unreasonably refuse
    • Illegal for a landlord to refuse tenancies to families with children or those who receive benefits
    • And of course, the abolition of no-fault evictions

    What is no-fault eviction?

    Known as a Section 21 notice, a no-fault eviction is where landlords are able to evict tenants without a reasoning behind it. 

    When a tenant receives a section 21 notice, they have 2 months before the landlord can submit an eviction application to the courts.

    What changes have been promised?

    The new reforms would mean that landlords would only be able to evict tenants in certain circumstances after 6 months. This includes when they wish to sell the property, or they have a close family member who wants to move in. Then only after 3 months are they able to put the property back on the rental market. 

    In addition, the current proposal also would mean that tenants who receive a possession notice, will no longer have the right to immediate help form their council in order to avoid homelessness. 

    The bill would make it easier for landlords to repossess their properties from anti-social tenants or tenants who repeatedly fail to pay their rental costs. 

    Furthermore, the bill would mean that tenants could challenge above-market rate rent increases through the process of a tribunal. However, landlords will still be able to raise rents in annually in relation to market prices. 

    Last year research by housing charity Shelter, concluded that nearly 230,000 renters were served with a no-fault eviction notice since April 2019. 

    Whilst campaigners have long called for safe, secure and affordable housing for tenants, people are concerned that the bill could force landlords to leave the market, reducing the number of rental homes available. 

    The timeframe for the bill becoming legislation is currently unclear, however it is suggested that the government plan to pass the bill before the next general election next year.

    What do landlord’s think to the changes?

    Landlords have expressed some worries about the reforms, with many concerned about their ability to repossess their own properties quickly if they need to. 

    The government has said that the bill will legislate to:

    • Empower a new council to provide quicker and cheaper tenancy dispute resolutions
    • Set up of an online portal to help tenants signing a tenancy agreement to make the right choice
    • Apply the Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector
    • Strengthen enforcement powers for councils to target criminal landlords

    How can Hegarty Solicitors help?

    We can advise on your housing issues as well as drafting any Notices or Court Documents that may be required. Please contact Andrew Hornsby or Kally Singh if you have any questions or require our assistance.  

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