Uncertainty around the Renters’ Reform Bill and the intended scrapping of Section 21 notices is placing immense pressure on the legal system. Two new pieces of research illustrate how landlords are looking to exit the lettings market now, rather than wait until it potentially becomes more difficult to regain their properties.
The professionals at Dutton Gregory Solicitors have spoken out about their increased workload, which has been fuelled by an influx of landlords serving Section 21 notices. The firm’s head of landlord and tenant, Gina Peters, says landlords are opting to serve section 21 notices while they still can, especially as the details on how Section 8s will be strengthened in favour of landlords remains unclear.
What is known is that Section 8 evictions currently require the landlord or their legal representative to attend a court hearing, whereas a hearing is not always necessary with a Section 21 notice. Legal experts agree that if all evictions in the future require court hearings, regaining possession of a rental property will take significantly longer.
Echoing the findings of Dutton Gregory Solicitors is new data analysis from property software supplier, Veco, but its discoveries also come with a stark message for landlords hoping to quickly regain possession of their property before Section 21 notices disappear.
Using figures from the Ministry of Justice, Veco found eviction hearings started by landlords and letting agents have snowballed since the Government first announced its intention to scrap Section 21s, with almost 61,000 no-fault eviction court proceedings starting since 2019.
The desire to regain possession has intensified as the Renters’ Reform Bill makes its journey to becoming law, with the number of Section 21 notices served up 16%, when compared to 2022. In fact, 6,820 landlords started Section 21 proceedings between January and March this year.
The rush to regain possession is already putting immense pressure on tribunals and county courts. Veco’s analysis revealed current wait times for possession are as high as 37 weeks from claim to regain. It also says it could be as long as 12 months before some rent arrears cases make it into court. These timescales are not ideal for landlords struggling to make their mortgage repayments, those who want to sell property fast and reinvest their money in higher-yielding savings accounts and landlords whose tenants are in arrears due to the cost of living crisis.
Time is running out to serve Section 21 notices and regain possession before the Renters’ Reform Bill becomes law. Sadly, the more landlords that exit the market, the longer the possession process will take. Exploring alternative ways to exit the market is essential and LandlordBuyer is already helping landlords who can’t wait for a lengthy eviction process to conclude.
We specialise in buying tenanted properties so there is no need to enter into the notice and eviction process. The current tenancy will simply transfer to LandlordBuyer, with our property management team providing a seamless service and ensuring there is no disruption for your tenants.
LandlordBuyers’ crucial benefit in the current climate is speed – we can make you a free and quick cash offer, and organise for exchange within seven working days. For an added advantage over the lengthy eviction process or selling on the open market, LandlordBuyers’ average completion is xx days from receipt of the legal documents. Our time frames are excellent if you are under pressure from rising mortgage rates, the cost of living crisis or external financial pressures.
The team at LandlordBuyer is waiting to talk through the options open to you, so please get in touch.
Is Section 21 being scrapped?
The Government has used the Renters’ Reform Bill to detail its intention to scrap Section 21 so-called ‘no fault’ evictions. Section 21 notices are currently used by landlords who want to regain their property for a variety of reasons, including to sell the dwelling or to live in it themselves. While there is no set date for Section 21s to end, it is thought they will cease to be valid in late 2024 or early 2025.
What are the alternatives to Section 21?
It is possible to sell a property with tenants in situ, so landlords don’t have to go through the eviction process at all. It can, however, be challenging to find a buyer on the open market when tenants are already in place. LandlordBuyer specialises in buying tenanted properties as we are landlords and properties managers, as well as professional investors. Those landlords with time on their side can give the tenant notice and regain a vacant property when the tenancy ends.
How long does it take to evict a tenant UK?
Every possession case is different but currently, the courts are under immense pressure and even the simplest of evictions can take weeks or even months, especially if a court hearing is required. If the tenant challenges the eviction or there are irregularities, expect the process to take up to a year.