WATCH: The five main ways to evict a tenant after reform bill becomes law

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evictions webinar

Two experts have spelled out the challenges landlords will face when evicting tenants once the Government’s plans to reform the private rented sector become law, most likely late next year.

This will include, crucially, Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions being scrapped.

Landlord Action chiefs Paul Shamplina and Paul Sowerbutts (main picture, LtoR) told a packed webinar that landlords and letting agents removing tenants from properties will have just five tools at their disposal once the Renters Reform Bill becomes law, one of which will be somewhat surprising for some landlords – see below.

Sowerbutts told the webinar that although there will be 33 grounds for evicting a tenant, including 22 mandatory ones, only five will be used by most private sector landlords in practice.

For those unfamiliar with the arcane language of the courts, a ‘mandatory’ ground is where a judge will be compelled to issue a possession warrant as long as the evidence shows the ground or grounds to be valid.

Discretionary grounds are where a judge is given more latitude in deciding whether an eviction take go ahead or not.

The five mandatory grounds will be (please note these are proposals and not yet law):

Grounds 1 and 1a:  Selling or moving back into a property.

“You won’t be able to just say you want to sell a property or move in as you can at the moment with Section 21 notices – a landlord will have to provide the court with proof that at least they’ve instructed an agent to sell the property,” said Shamplina.

Sowerbutts added: “On the upside, under Grounds 1 and 1A as they will be known, you won’t have to give ‘prior notice’ of selling the property as you do with Ground 1 now, but on the other hand you won’t be able to evict until the tenancy has run for six months.

“Also, if you sell or move back into the property, you won’t be able to re-let it for three months, although it’s unlikely councils will have the resources to police this aspect of the new legislation – nevertheless there will be a fine of up to £5,000 if you are caught.”

Section 8 – Rent Arrears

“Under the proposals, if a tenant gets into arrears more than three times in three years then a landlord will be able to claim a ‘mandatory ground’ for eviction,” said Shamplina.

Sowerbutts added: “I think this will be reduced to 18 months as the legislation passes through parliament – three years seems a little unfair on tenants who, for example, may have paid their rent consistently but go through a few life-changing events and have temporary financial difficulties”.

Shamplina added: “Remember that one rule that will go forward from Section 21 is that delayed Universal Credit payments will not count as arrears even though, for many landlords, that’s what they are”.

6a – Breach of regulations

Sowerbutts said: “This is a surprising one because it appears that if a landlord doesn’t run a property well and has been served a notice in regard to certain housing offices such as an improvement notices, banning orders or licencing transgressions, then they can evict a tenant.

“And it’s true, they will be able to – but the idea is not to help bad landlords, but to ensure tenants living in badly-run properties can be evicted promptly if their landlord is a rogue operator”.

Read a full guide to the reform bill.

Ground 14 – Anti-social behaviour

“The big change here is that the evidential base is going from ‘likely to cause nuisance’ to ‘capable of causing nuisance’ which, although it sounds subtle, will mean landlords will have to only gather evidence that a tenant ‘might’ behave badly rather than that they ‘have behaved badly’ during a tenancy”, said Sowerbutts.

Watch the webinar in full

23 COMMENTS

  1. “Also, if you sell or move back into the property, you won’t be able to re-let it for three months, although it’s unlikely councils will have the resources to police this aspect of the new legislation – nevertheless there will be a fine of up to £5,000 if you are caught.”

    That’ll be 3 months of Air bnb then.

    • How can you legally move into a letting property that has a BTL mortgage on it!?

      If you do then you would be committing mortgage fraud!

      So how could any LL state to a tenant that they would be moving in when to do so would mean the LL was committing mortgage and insurance fraud.

      The LL could not state in any S8 proceeding that they would be moving in as with a BTL mortgage repossession could only occur once the tenant has cacated.

      How could a LL prove that on the day of the tenant vacating with the LL moving in the LL would have the correct residential mortgage and insurance!!??

      The Civil Sevants DONT seem to understand that their revised S8 process where LL have BTL mortgages will mean mortgage and insurance fraud is essentially being permitted by the law!!

      How does that work!?

      For LL who DONT have mortgages then not a problem.
      They just have to convert to residential insurance.

      But this revised S8 process effectively criminalise any LL with a BTL mortgage!

        • I would imagine that with free legal representation the likes of Shelter will be pointing out to the judge the potential mortgage and insurance fraud.

          It would be fairly easy for the Shelter lawyers to threaten the LL that their lender would be advised of potential mortgage and insurance fraud.

          • I can always rent it to my son. There is no law against charging rent from your son. This way Shelter shall have no remedy for.

      • I’m sure lenders will come up with a strategy that nears LL using the S8 moving in conditions won’t be subject to sanction by the lender such as calling in the loan etc.

        I would imagine that BTL lenders would give a period of say 6 months for a LL to convert the BTL to a residential

        Though I can’t see how that would occur.

        Very few LL would qualify for 2 residential mortgages.

        These alleged revised S8 conditions are far from clear.
        There are criminal legal judges which the drafters of the RRB DONT seem to have considered.

        I wonder whether they have consulted UK Finance as to how these new S8 conditions would work in practice.

        Because at the moment it would require a LL to commit mortgage fraud

  2. All too much hassle and always facing courts and judges that are social justice warriors in which every case begins with the premise that the Landlord is considered guilty and the tenant always considered innocent.

    The principle of Tenancy Agreements like Contracts were originally designed to prevent every dispute going to law.
    The agreement should include all possible terms & conditions to which both parties agree and sign voluntary.
    These include the rights of termination by either party.

    Why are we suddenly now treating Legal Agreements as no longer sufficient to address a relationship between LL & Tenant?And are now mandating EVERY termination by the Landlord ( not by the tenant of course, who can still leave at any time without court approval) as a matter for the courts.

    Imagine if we applied this to every business contract in the country.

    This is taking us back to medieval law, where every legal issue had to be put before the Sheriff & local magistrates or even the King in circuit.

    This is regressive and totally inefficient but of course lots of potential revenue for lawyers. ….Ker-ching £££££.

  3. No mention of a ‘money making’ register for Landlords? It should be a 2 way street: if a register for Landlords is required then more urgently there should be one for Tenants- but I guess aTenant’s register wouldn’t be so lucrative.

    • Agreed. A tenant register would be a good thing. A tenant could elect to go on it if their LL gives them a good review and will give references. Those who are crap tenants obv wont sign up. Then when I come to let my house I can let it to those on the register with their good review. This register can help good tenants.

  4. I would like more info on the ‘delayed UC payment’ issue. If housing tkement ghrn fine but if any part of UC delayed, can T claim this waiver?

    • Don’t be so stupid.

      For a start it is leeches not leaches.

      Potentially mortgage fraud cannot be prevented due to the stupid RRB.

      Few LL will wish to commit mortgage fraud.

      The revised S8 process will force LL to commit mortgage fraud.

      LL will only get away with it as long as the likes of Shelter aren’t aware.

      Lenders are going to have to do something with their mortgage conditions as LL will be forced by law to commit mortgage fraud!

  5. Info required on delayed UC payments not being treated as arrears. Im going to presume that this means payments that are made direct to Landlord rather than to the tenant??

    • You can’t presume this would be the case.

      I believe the RRB doesn’t specify.

      So whether direct or via the tenant the UC claim orkneys would be stopped.

      So eviction takes even longer!

  6. Is there any of those 33 grounds covering ‘m my tenants asked me to evict them so that they could get a council LA tenancy because their family has increased in size and they cannot afford to rent via PRS for a larger home’’, and does this reform bill say how the judge or courts will respond to this request? Or the Councils response? That’s what I have used Section 21 for. What do you recommend I use when this bill goes through?

  7. Prove you at selling to get your Tenants out of your House, that’s right your House not the Tenants House as the media would want the Public to believe, how could that be ? you pay half a million + for it to be belong to someone else.
    So you get the Tenants out of your House but that means they got the owner out of his House also if that’s not taking the urine what is.
    Selling is not an option as I was previously a victim of this with c/gains tax.
    When you sell it terminal the Landlord is out and no way back, the Government is rid of you which what they want and a big pay day for them from the sales tax the lump of Stamp Duty Land Tax from new buyers.
    What a stitch up, Paul my friend please stop calling this an option and me 45 years an abused Landlord, in many cases
    before those regulatory brats were pupped.

  8. Anna. I think we have a Tenants Register already in the Form of Right 2 Rent more or less.
    I wouldn’t necessarily take much notice of Reviews.
    I know an Airbnb not much cop for sure but great Reviews because the stayers give them good Reviews and in turn they get a good Reference from them for the future.

  9. Whether its Pauline or Paul waffling on about sweet nothings, we know what’s happening to us we are being stitched up like a kipper.
    Pauline dearest don’t be daft there’s no such thing as no reason, at the very least they own it and that’s a very good reason for wanting it back.
    Please can I have a definition of Owner or have you changed it so that when you buy something it belongs to someone else, grow up and go count your soft money from a Charity we earn ours.
    Oh, £28k Shared between Tenants for living in the Landlords House it gets dafter by the minute, it beats paying rent, corruption at the highest level and by law.

  10. I cant believe that the these new laws will override the tenancies created when there were section 21 evictions.
    It should be tenancies made prior to the law change can still evict with section 21.
    New tenancies created after the law change are subject to the new laws.
    Totally unfair by the Government to alter the law and expect to be able to say that’s how it is now when property owners have made the decision to let a property with these current laws because of section 21 evictions being available…you can’t just move the goalposts like that and this should be taken to the high Court by landlords association to action that

    • “this should be taken to the high Court by landlords association” I wish, Peter. If NRLA shouted as loudly as Shelter then maybe we wouldn’t be in this mess.

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