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Possession claims under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988

The Residential Landlords Association believes we can abolish the need to automatically have to obtain a court order to obtain possession from an assured shorthold tenant under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. Where Section 21 applies the Court must made an order for possession anyway. Landlords therefore are put to extra time trouble and expense of having to take Court proceedings which are really not necessary and the tenant may end up having to pay the costs. The purpose of this is to ensure that the tenant is protected from do it yourself evictions. This protection can be given more simply and cheaply without adversely impacting on tenants rights. The RLA believes that they provided the necessary requirements were met, having given a Section 21 Notice, the landlord should be entitled to instruct a licensed bailiff to carry out the eviction. The bailiff would have to be satisfied with the paperwork was in order before evicting the tenant. Under our proposals there would be prescribed Notice for Section 21. This would have to warn the tenant that instead of the landlord having to go to Court the tenant would need to apply to the Court to stop the eviction e.g. because the tenant claimed that it was not an assured shorthold tenancy at all or the landlord failed to follow the correct procedures. The tenant would also be safeguarded because the licensed bailiff would have to make sure that the correct procedures were followed. We are not proposing that anyone can carry out an eviction. The necessary process of a supervising  the eviction should be instead be carried out by licensed bailiff without having to get a Court Order.

Coupled with this we advocate that Section 21 Notice for periodic tenancy (which must currently run out on the last day of term period of a tenancy) should be able to run out at any time. This is a position where the notices are given while the fixed term of the tenancy is still running. This unnecessary requirement causes a lot of problems to landlords. This is a trap for the unwary. The tenant would still be protected because he/she would have to receive a minimum of two months notice anyway. Any rent payable in advance could then be refundable. It would be refundable for the broken period of the tenancy which then remains. 

Why does this matter?

It will benefit many landlords in the private rented sector and save legal costs without adversely affecting protection for tenants.


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