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  • Legal FAQs

    Section 21 and preparing for the worse

    I understand from reading the consultation about Section 21 https://landlords.org.uk/news-campaigns/...nsultation which was released recently that the abolition of Section 21 (when it is passed) ie no fault eviction is NOT going to be applied retrospectively to existing tenancies.  My interpretation of this (rightly or wrongly) is that a Landlord will have the opportunity to use Section 21 to regain possession before next renewing their contract with their tenant if they feel anxious or concerned at that stage.  Would this be the same if the tenant had served their first 6 or 12 months and it had turned into a rolling contract.  Would a Landlord still get this opportunity (if required).

    PS  Is there a clause that I could put into a tenancy agreement which might help ie Landlord will require their property back in due course (xx years) ie for the purpose of selling or moving into themselves?.  I know there is talk of strengthening section 8 in this area but I would think the more indication the tenant was made aware of it upfront the better in court proceedings.

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    Notice served under S21 of the 1988 Housing Act was amended in The Deregulation Act of 2015.

    Notice can still be served during the fixed term provided it does not end before the last day of the fixed term, in periodic tenancies there is no longer a need for notice to coincide with tenancy start date/rent due date.

    In both instances the notice required is at least 2 months and is now served using prescribed form 6a.

    The other change is that the notice expires 4 months after the end date, so, if notice (2 months) gives tenant notice that the landlord requires possession after 5th September 2019 and the landlord does not enforce that notice by applying to the courts, then after 5th January 2020 that notice will no longer be valid and the landlord would need to serve new notice.

    The 1988 HA already allows under Ground 1 Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988 for the landlord to advise within the tenancy agreement at the outset of the initial tenancy that he/she/they have occupied or may in the future occupy the property as their main residence.

    There are other grounds such as Ground 2 Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988 which advises the tenants that there is a mortgage attached to the property and advises re repossession.

    As far as I know nothing in Schedule 2 in respect selling, a good example of correct use of Section 21!

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    If you have lived in the property prior to letting it, you can tell the tenant before the start of the tenancy in writing that you may use ground 1 of section 8 of the 1988 housing act to recover possession to live in it again. Putting anything else into an agreement isn't going to make any difference (assuming anyone ever reads it).

    There's no point worrying about the abolition of section 21 until the proposals have more detail. It's bound to be horrible for landlords, it always is, but there's no point worrying about details that don't exist yet.

    English Law isn't retrospective, so there's going to be a transition of some kind, and the government isn't going to want thousands of tenants evicted "just in case" a problem arises in the future.

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    My family owned the property. I lived there from time to time?
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    Residence isn't that simple a notion.

    If you had a main home somewhere else, you weren't living in the family home, you were staying there. If you were mostly away (college or employment, say), you might still consider it your main home, even if you didn't stay there very often.

    So it would depend on the particular set of circumstances. Evidence might be where you had documents sent, where you told the DVLA was your home, where your doctor or dentist was etc.

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