The Housing Secretary, Michael Gove, said over the weekend that the government intends to fulfil its promise to end ‘no fault’ evictions before the next general election.
The announcement appears to contradict the previous update from October 2023 when the government announced that the court system would need to be reformed before it would be capable of dealing with the changes proposed in the Renters (Reform) Bill.
| When are the changes likely to come into force?
A parliament can sit for a maximum term of five years from the date it first met. The current parliament first met on 17 December 2019. This means that the government has until 17 December 2024 to hold a general election. The government has not yet announced the date of the next general election.
Before a Bill becomes legislation, both the House of Commons and House of Lords must debate it. This Bill has not yet been presented to the House of Lords. It is anticipated that the House of Commons will not debate it again until March 2024.
If the government intends to fulfil its promise to end ‘no fault’ evictions before the next general election, we can expect that the Renters (Reform) Bill will start to move through the different stages at a much quicker pace. It may be that the legislation is in place before the end of the calendar year.
| What does this mean for landlords?
Landlords were relieved by the announcement in October 2023 that the implementation of the provisions of the Renters (Reform) Bill would be delayed until the courts had undergone sufficient reform to deal with the new proposals. It was anticipated that court reform would take an undefined amount of time. And therefore that landlords could continue to rely upon so-called ‘no fault’ evictions to remove tenants when the need arose.
The suggestion that the changes could be in place before the end of the calendar year causes more concern. A ‘no fault’ eviction requires a landlord to give their tenant at least two months’ notice to leave the property before possession proceedings can be issued at court. Prior to serving a notice, a landlord must ensure they have complied, and can evidence their compliance, with various requirements. Failure to do so may render a notice invalid and frustrate the possession process.
If you are a landlord of a property that is considering re-taking possession of your property and are concerned that you may be unable to satisfy one of the grounds to carry out a ‘fault’ based eviction, we recommend that you take action now.
At Levi Solicitors we have a dedicated team experienced in dealing with residential possession claims on a ‘no fault’ and ‘fault’ basis. We can provide guidance and assistance through the process to assist you to recover possession of your property from your tenant.
To speak to one of the team, call us on 0800 988 7756 or use our contact form.