Under the Renters Reform Bill (“the Bill”), it is proposed that the Section 21 notice will be scrapped and instead, landlords will be required to satisfy one of the existing or new Section 8 grounds in order to serve notice to recover possession of a property let under an assured shorthold tenancy. Under the Bill, some of these new Section 8 grounds include:

  1. Landlord requires vacant possession to sell the property, or if they want to move in, or they want a close family member to move into the property.
  2. Repeated serious arrears – Where a tenant has been in at least two months’ rent arrears three times within the previous three years, the Judge is required to award a possession order, no matter what the arrears are at the time of the possession hearing.

At the second reading of the Bill on 23 October 2023 in the House of Commons, the government confirmed that it will not proceed with the abolition of the Section 21 notice until a more robust Court system is introduced. The government’s target areas in achieving this robust system included:

  1. Digitising more of the Court process to make it more accessible for landlords to use.
  2. Improving bailiff recruitment and reducing the administrative tasks of bailiffs to facilitate bailiffs being able to prioritise possession enforcement.
  3. Exploring the prioritisation of certain cases, including anti-social behaviour.
  4. Providing early legal advice and better signposting for tenants – to help tenants find appropriate housing solutions.

As of last week, Michael Gove vowed that the Section 21 notice will in fact, be scrapped before the general election and money will be provided to improve the Court system in order to facilitate its abolition.

Please note that the above does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions, please contact the Property Litigation team via possession@ellisonssolicitors.com.