A new deal for renting consultation - Law Society response

The proposals

On 12 July 2019, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) released a consultation looking to improve the security of tenants.

This consultation proposes removing the assured short-term tenancy regime. This would landlords' ability to evict tenants before the end of the fixed term through section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.

This consultation is part of the wider goal of MHCLG to improve relationships between landlords and tenants and to generally create more security of tenure for both parties.

Our view

We welcomed the opportunity to respond to this consultation.

Section 21 is currently a leading cause of homelessness, with local authorities struggling to find the resources to act against rogue landlords under the Deregulation Act 2015.

However, there are some situations that warrant landlords evicting the tenant before the end of the tenancy. We therefore favour the more balanced proposals to widen section 8 of the Housing Act 1988.

We also do not want to discourage landlords from entering into longer fixed-term tenancies. We've balanced the rights of the tenants and the landlords in arguing for more court discretionary powers, rather than making possession orders mandatory in certain situations.

Next steps

The consultation closed on 12 October 2019.

The MHCLG is currently analysing the results of the consultation.

View the consultation on the MHCLG website

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