Understanding Section 21 Eviction
In the world of property management and tenancies, the term “Section 21 eviction” often surfaces, carrying significant implications for both landlords and tenants. This legal procedure provides landlords in the UK with a means to regain possession of their property, often known as a ‘No Fault Eviction‘
Whilst abolition of this looks certain to happen, the timescales are a little more uncertain. It is a key consideration for lenders when advancing buy to let mortgages and until it is formally abolished it is something that landlords needs to be aware of.
What is Section 21?
Section 21 is a provision under the Housing Act 1988 in the United Kingdom that enables landlords to evict tenants without specifying any particular reason. This “no-fault eviction” process allows property owners to regain possession of their property once the fixed-term tenancy agreement has expired or during a periodic tenancy.
The primary purpose of Section 21 is to provide landlords with a legal avenue to reclaim their property when they wish to sell, refurbish, or move into it themselves. It also offers landlords flexibility in managing their property portfolio without being constrained by specific reasons for eviction.
Being able to evict a tenant at the end of their tenancy is a key consideration for lenders.
Requirements for Issuing a Section 21 Notice
Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST): Section 21 only applies to properties under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement. This is the most common form of tenancy in the UK.
Deposit Protection: The landlord must have properly protected the tenant’s deposit in a government-approved scheme within 30 days of receiving it.
Gas Safety Certificate: A valid Gas Safety Certificate must be provided to the tenant before issuing a Section 21 notice.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC): The property must have a current EPC.
Serve a Valid Section 21 Notice: Landlords must serve tenants with a written Section 21 notice, providing a minimum of two months’ notice and specifying the date by which the tenant must vacate.
Tenant Rights and Protections
While Section 21 provides landlords with a necessary tool for property management, it’s crucial to recognise the rights and protections afforded to tenants. Tenants have the right to challenge a Section 21 notice if it is not served correctly or if the property is in disrepair.
In conclusion, Section 21 eviction is a legal process that allows landlords in the UK to regain possession of their property without providing a specific reason – For now.
As part of the Renters Reform Bill, Section 21 will likely seek to exist and may be something that savvy landlords want to consider if they are planning on selling properties as vacant possession.
By Dave Farmer