Following campaigns by the National Residential Landlords Association and others, the Government have accepted that the courts need to be reformed before section 21 ‘no fault evictions’ are abolished.
There was also positive news for student landlords with the Government announcing that it will now introduce a new ground for possession for student landlords to enable them to take their properties back at the end of the academic year.
The changes were announced just days before the reading of the second bill in October 2023, following a report by the Levelling up, Housing and Communities Select Committee earlier this year, which backed the majority of the NRLA’s proposals. The Cross-party Housing Select Committee warned that “it is not clear whether the Government fully appreciates the extent to which an unreformed courts system could undermine its tenancy reforms”.
In response the Government announced that any new system for repossession of properties, “will not take place until we judge sufficient progress has been made to improve the courts” and “That means we will not proceed with the abolition of the Section 21 until reforms to the justice system are in place”.
It currently takes an average of over half a year for the courts to process possession claims where there is good cause, such as rent arrears, anti-social behaviour or where the landlord wants to move back into a property.
The commitment to reforming the system is positive but there is a need to ensure that any court reform produces a system which is fit for purpose.
It was also announced in October 2023 that the proposals to introduce minimum Energy Performance Certificate ratings of C in rented properties have been scrapped.
Written by Senior Litigation Partner David Burns and Associate Solicitor Marissa Lawrence. David and Marissa specialise in disputes relating to residential property ranging from landlord tenant assured shorthold tenancy disputes, issues with common law tenancies and licences, HMO regulations, possession proceedings, leasehold disputes, and real estate disputes (e.g. trespass, adverse possession, and more).