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The UK government tabled the renters' reform bill recently. It is aims to abolish section 21, which currently allows landlords to evict tenants without a reason.

Renters’ Reform Bill UK: The Potential Dangers of Abolishing Section 21

The UK government presented the much-anticipated renters’ reform bill (RRB) last month. Dubbed a step towards change in the insecure private rental sector, this bill will make it harder for landlords to evict tenants without a valid reason.

Currently, according to Section 21 of the Housing Act, landlords can give a two-month notice without any obligation to provide an explanation to the tenant, even if the tenant has been residing there for a significant duration.

Experts in the UK have raised concerns that the abolishment of Section 21 could have negative consequences for renters. There are predictions that private landlords might choose to sell their properties, resulting in a shortage of available rental options and exacerbating the challenges faced by low-income renters in securing tenancies.

The question at hand is whether this measure aims to protect tenants or, conversely, has the potential to yield adverse effects. 

Potential dangers of the Renters’ Reform Bill

Our CEO, Kostas Zachariadis, believes it could trigger an exodus of private landlords while acknowledging its benefits for renters who face unjust evictions.

Here’s a stat: Renters who file complaints with the council have a 46% likelihood of receiving an eviction notice. Also known as retaliatory eviction.

Elliot Hughes, VP of Business Development at Adjoin, argues that removing Section 21 may not have the proposed effect on retaliatory eviction. He also comments on the potential unintended danger it could bring to the rental sector:

“Section 21s are invalid if the council has been notified about a repair and has issued an improvement notice or emergency works notice. However, when such notices have not been issued despite the presence of an issue, tenants may be vulnerable to retaliatory eviction.” 

What can we do instead? 

We believe, investing in tenant education regarding their rights and the proper procedures to follow when encountering issues, would better combat rogue landlords. Education is the key to eradicating such practices from the industry.

The abolishment of S21 is just the latest of a raft of changes that increase pressure on landlords in England.

As we have seen, whenever there is increased risk or cost to owners, the burden tends to fall onto tenants.

The RRB has increased uncertainty in the market, as we wait for confirmation of how the new grounds for eviction will work.

Rents are already skyrocketing, and if there is additional risk, more landlords could leave the market. And many renters are not yet in a position to buy these homes. We could see corporate bodies buy them, rather than individual landlords or owner-occupiers.

“These companies are more likely to make decisions based on financial data, rather than a tenant-by-tenant basis, which could lead to rents continuing to rise at a staggering rate. Removing private landlords, particularly those that operate on more of a tenant-by-tenant basis, from the rental sector is likely to exacerbate the supply issue, intensifying the challenges faced by renters.”, Hughes concludes. 

How can Adjoin help?

We aim to ensure that renters and private landlords considering selling are aware of the potential benefits offered by the rent-to-buy scheme. Our platform facilitates the fruitful connection between landlords and tenants.

For landlords, we meticulously screen tenants to ensure they meet the highest standards. It is important to note that both parties, the buyer and the seller, must eventually agree to proceed with the arrangement.

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