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The use of section 21 evictions in the private rented sector

Published Monday, December 3, 2018

On 6 December 2018, there will be a Westminster Hall debate on the use of section 21 evictions in the private rented sector. The debate is scheduled to start at 1.30pm and the Member sponsoring this debate is Karen Buck MP.

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Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 (which applies in England and Wales) enables private landlords to repossess their properties without having to establish fault on the part of an assured shorthold tenant (AST). It is sometimes referred to as the ‘no fault’ ground for eviction. Critics of section 21 argue that it facilitates and encourages poor management practice; for example, tenants may be reluctant to report disrepair for fear of facing retaliatory eviction. Numerous bodies, including Generation Rent, are calling for the abolition of section 21. The Scottish Government legislated to remove no fault evictions from new PRS tenancies created after 1 December 2017.

Landlord bodies argue that most ASTs are ended by tenants and not landlords. The reliance on section 21 is attributed to problems landlords face when seeking to evict tenants using section 8 of the 1988 Act. The Residential Landlords Association and the National Landlords Association support reforms to section 8 and the development of a dedicated Housing Court.

This debate pack explains section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 and summarises stakeholder commentary on its use and impact. This pack also brings together a selection of relevant news articles and parliamentary material


Commons Debate packs CDP-2018-0258

Authors: Alexander Bellis; Wendy Wilson; Cassie Barton; Frances Little; Selena Steele

Topics: Homelessness, Housing, Private rented housing

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