Landlords considering vacant possession should act now

31 August 2022

Nyree Applegarth, Partner and Head of Property Disputes advises residential landlords considering vacant possession of their property to act now.

We have already written extensively about changes that are going to be made to the landlord and tenant residential sector which will permanently shift the balance between landlords and tenants.

Most significant is the abolishment of Section 21 Housing Act 1988 – or no-fault evictions – which is a pledge that formed part of the Conservative Party’s manifesto back in 2019.

This new ‘modern tenancy system’ will prevent landlords from evicting without a reason. Furthermore, tenants will no longer be locked into fixed-term contracts but will be able to end their tenancies on two months’ notice.

Landlords will need to state legitimate grounds for repossessing their properties. The law will work on the assumption that, unless the landlord is intending to sell the property or move in themselves, tenants who don't break their contracts have an indefinite right to stay.

The Government has been de-railed by the pandemic in bringing forth the legislation but has now confirmed that a bill is to be drawn in 2022 - and that this is likely to become new law in early 2023.

All existing tenants will eventually transition to the new system, following a staged implementation process.

While this move will be cheered by many a tenant and housing charity, some landlords will have concerns about the inflexibility and uncertainty the rules bring.

If you are a residential landlord and you are thinking about obtaining vacant possession of your property then you now need to give serious thought to serving notice to avoid the process becoming much more difficult when the new law is enacted.

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