The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government have launched a consultation on the abolition of section 21 Housing Act 1988 and Assured Shorthold Tenancies. The government are proposing to end the right of landlords to obtain possession via service of a section 21 notice after a transition period; during said period, s21 notices would still remain valid.

The government takes the view that the current regime does not provide enough certainty to tenants, due to the ability for landlords to obtain possession orders to evict tenants with relatively short notice periods of 2 months. The position is that grounds for possession ought to be required, as opposed to the ‘no-fault’ mechanism which exists currently.

The documents inviting comments are titled, ‘A new deal for renting: resetting the balance of rights and responsibilities between landlords and tenant’.

As well as repealing s21 altogether, the government are proposing to strengthen the s8 route to possession, by revisiting the existing Grounds within Schedule 2 of the 1988 Act. They propose to add the grounds to obtain possession:

  • where required for occupation by a family member, as a mandatory ground
  • in order to sell the property, as a mandatory ground
  • where the tenant is preventing the landlord from maintaining legal safety standards, as a discretionary ground

Responses can be made via an online survey, email, or written submissions by post. The consultation closes on 12 October 2019.