The future of assured shorthold tenancies
8 August 2019 by Sarah Shea
The government has recently announced plans to abolish the assured shorthold tenancy regime under which a landlord is able to evict a tenant on short notice without having to prove any fault of the tenant.
Under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, a landlord is able to evict a residential tenant on giving two months’ notice after the initial fixed term period of 6 months. The landlord is not required to prove any fault of the tenant when invoking this procedure but is simply required to provide adequate notice. It is thought that the current regime exposes a residential tenant to a risk of being evicted from his or her home at short notice without having adequate time to find alternative accommodation.
To provide greater protection to residential tenants, the government intends to remove section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 so that a landlord is only able to evict a tenant by seeking possession of the property through the court process by evidencing a ground under Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988. For example, a landlord will have to prove that he/she intends to redevelop the property or occupy the property himself/herself.
If the ‘no fault’ eviction procedure is abolished, the government intends to improve the court procedure for evicting a tenant and expand the grounds upon which a landlord is able to rely to reclaim his or her property. It is thought that this may alleviate the burden placed on a landlord wishing to evict a residential tenant.
The government has recently published a consultation seeking comments on the implementation of the above and so the future of assured shorthold tenancies remains unclear at this stage. The consultation published by the government can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/a-new-deal-for-renting-resetting-the-balance-of-rights-and-responsibilities-between-landlords-and-tenants.
If you have any questions regarding your assured shorthold tenancy, Fisher Jones Greenwood are able to help you with this. If you require any further information, please contact us by calling 01245 890110 or email [email protected].