Solihull: 0121 705 7571
Dorridge: 01564 779393

Changes to Section 21 and No Fault Eviction

July 28, 2023

The ‘no fault eviction’, also known as the ‘Section 21 eviction’ provides landlords the right to repossess a property, even if there has been no problem with the tenant. The right to possess property has provided landlords with a peace of mind, ultimately knowing that they can regain possession of their rental property with a short notice which has offered confidence to let.

However, no fault evictions have been criticised over the years. One of the main complaints regarding Section 21 is that the relative ease with which landlords can repossess their properties and the government has now committed to a Bill to end no fault evictions.

What is ‘No Fault’ eviction?

Landlords can end an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) by serving a valid Section 21 notice, in writing on the tenant at any point after the end of a fixed term tenancy. The landlords do not have to provide any reason for the eviction. Tenants must be given at least two months’ notice to quit, after which they are legally obliged to leave the rented property.

A Section 21 notice must be valid. There are certain conditions that make it invalid. These include:

  • Failure to adhere to the tenant deposit rules
  • Failure to provide the tenant with gas safety or energy performance certificates
  • Failure to provide the tenant with a “how to rent” guide
  • Served a notice after a complaint about the property

If a tenant refuses to leave after being served with a valid Section 21 notice, the landlord must obtain a possession Order issued by the Court and potentially obtain a warrant of possession in order to evict the tenant.

The Renters Reform Bill and Private Sector White Paper

In June 2022, the government published a white paper called ‘a fairer private rented sector’. The proposals were set out in this white paper, which included the abolition of Section 21 evictions which will be introduced to parliament as the Renters Reform Bill.

The white paper outlines proposals to abolish section 21 evictions and introduce simpler, more secure tenancy structure. A tenancy will only end if the tenant ends it or if the landlord has a valid ground for possession.

Once these changes come into force, the Housing Act 1988 will still allow landlords a number of ways to recover their properties from tenants but these will rely on the tenant being at fault. On the other hand, some will require a notice period to be given to the tenant before the tenancy agreement in entered into, provided that the sale is genuine and not an attempt to avoid the law. It is anticipated that the grounds for a landlord to evict a tenant will be expanded in the future, such as including the landlords ability to sell with vacant possession.

The implementation of the new law will make it easier for landlords to repossess property from anti social tenants.

The proposed new law will move all agreements, including all Assured and ASTs, to periodic tenancies, which will mean that there is no set end date on a tenancy. The tenant will be able to give two months’ notice at any time to leave the property, while landlords must provide a valid reason to ask their tenants to leave.

In some instances, such as the landlord wishing to move into the property or to sell it, landlords will not be able to evict a tenant within the first six months of the contract date.

On what grounds can tenants be evicted?

Even after the no fault evictions have been abolished, landlords will still be able to end tenancies using a ‘Section 8’ eviction. This allows landlords to end a tenancy for a number of valid reasons. However, there are proposals within the Renters Reform Bill to reform the grounds for possession, add new grounds and strengthen grounds for eviction based on persistent rent arrears and anti-social behaviour.

The current section 8 grounds include:

  • Antisocial behaviour – this covers a range of aspects from regular noise to using property for illegal purposes
  • Breach of contract – many grounds but these include breaching terms such as smoking, pets, not to sublet etc
  • Damage to the property – includes malicious damage
  • False statements – tenant lied or supplied false information during their tenancy
  • Late payment of rent – regular late payments
  • Lender repossession – landlord’s mortgage provider repossesses the property because of mortgage arrears
  • Non payment of rent – landlord can start eviction proceedings there are rent arrears of 8 weeks or more
  • Repairs and development – landlord can take possession if the property is unsafe, or the landlord wants to develop the property and can’t provide basic living conditions. Tenants can only be asked to move out if there is no other way of repairs or development can be done.

Tips for Landlords

  • Ensure a solicitor is consulted to prepare tenancy agreements
  • Check references
  • Instruct a solicitor once rent arrears start accruing or concerns have arisen regarding the tenant

If you would like to discuss your matter, please call 0121 705 7571 and ask to speak to a member of the Dispute Resolution team or emails us at

Amun Sunner
Paralegal – Family & Litigation Departments

This article is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute technical, financial, legal advice or any other type of professional advice and is no substitute for specific advice based on your individual circumstances. We do not accept responsibility or liability for any actions taken based on the information in this article. For more information, please click here.