The abolition of Section 21 Notices and the introduction of the Renters’ Reform Bill have sparked lots of discussions about how these changes will affect the private rental sector. Although we are still waiting for an update on the proposed reforms, news outlets and industry experts have been busy collating data to try and measure the impact of the announcement of Section 21 being abolished and to gauge any current patterns in the industry.
According to surveys conducted in 2019 and 2022, there has been a shift in the reasons for serving a Section 21 notice, with fewer landlords using it for rent arrears and more for anti-social behaviour. However, rental evictions have risen by 98% between 2021 and 2022 due to several factors, including increased mortgage rates and reduced profits for landlords, which have forced some to sell their properties.
One survey by the NRLA found that 70% of landlords were not planning to leave the sector because of the proposed changes. However, the effectiveness of the strengthened Section 8 grounds remains a point of contention, with 49% of landlords in a 2022 survey expressing dissatisfaction with the proposed changes.
The reforms must strike a balance between providing tenants with security in a rented property and giving landlords confidence that the private rented sector is a good place to invest.
If Section 21 Notices are abolished, landlords must have the ability to obtain possession of their property swiftly when they have a valid reason to do so. There are plans to strengthen the grounds for possession under Section 8, but the devil will be in the detail and these grounds must be carefully considered, clear and fit for purpose.
We will continue to follow the progress of the reforms and provide updates on any new developments.