Section 21 evictions ‘set to continue’ after loophole uncovered

Lettings experts claim a flaw in the Renters (Reform) Bill means S21 'no fault' evictions will still be possible after the bill becomes law.

Landlords and agents will be able to carry on evicting tenants through Section 21 ‘no fault’ notices, it is claimed, even after the Renters (Reform) Bill becomes law.

Lettings experts from tenant referencing company Goodlord and law firm Dutton Gregory say a loophole in the bill will create ‘a patchwork system’.

Potential flaw

The news of a potential flaw in the Government’s plans to abolish Section 21 comes after Housing Secretary Michael Gove promised to ensure it happens before a General Election this year.

Any periodic or fixed-term tenancies in place before the ban takes effect will not come under the new law immediately, the legal specialists say.

It will only apply once a fixed-term tenancy is changed to a periodic one.

Critical detail

And the experts say ‘a critical detail’ has been uncovered which shows that the ban would only be relevant to periodic tenancies once the Government’s review of the courts has completed.

Ministers pledged to hold off on S21 abolition until they were sure the courts could cope with the extra cases created by the move.

Oli Sherlock, Goodlord
Oli Sherlock, Managing Director of Insurance, Goodlord

Oli Sherlock, Managing Director of Insurance at Goodlord, says: “As the Bill currently stands, it seems that the apparent promise to delay the scrapping of Section 21 to allow for court reform is not what it seems.

It appears that the market will be delivered a fragmented process.”

“Instead, it appears that the market will be delivered a fragmented process which sees some tenancies permitting Section 21, some not, and others that could fall into either camp depending on how a tenancy renewal is handled,” he says.

“This would all be taking place alongside an investigation into the courts, which currently has no confirmed timeline or identifiable metrics for success.”

Listen to Sherlock and Ryan Heaven, a solicitor at Dutton Gregory Solicitors, discuss this issue in more detail in a webinar here

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