Housing Act 1988, Section 21 - ABOLITION

From Open Rent (in the same email that covered the announcement that there will be no pet deposits):-

Halfway through September, an unexpected cabinet reshuffle happened, leaving the aforementioned Robert Jenrick demoted to the backbenches, and the experienced Michael Gove stepping into his role. Gove will have a lot on his plate: a white paper on rental reform - potentially including the scrapping of Section 21 - is set to be published this autumn.

I had been half hoping that the government has realised this is going to bite them in the posterior and would quietly let the abolition of s21 drop.

If the White Paper does include the abolition of s21 then I think this will be the end of our time as private landlords. Without s21 it is just too risky a business to be in unless you have a large number of properties and can spread the risk. We will be discussing this over the next few weeks but I think we may need to get our skates on. We had a vacancy recently and I thought then we should sell the property but we have been managing rental properties for a long time and it will be sad when we eventually have to give up and sell up.

What are other landlords thinking? Will any of you see the abolition of s21 as the final straw and pack it in?

My plan is to remain a landlord for 5 more years, sell up and move all the money to a cheaper country and buy a mansion. Possibly manage some holiday rentals in the same area. Sip sangria all day long.

So it doesn’t affect my plans.

I have assumed that for all the promises about reform of schedule 2 of HA88, (the section 8 grounds), that all they will actually do is add a new ground for landlords who wish to sell the property. I would expect a notice period of about 6 months for this.

I got my MP to write to the Housing minister when s21 abolition was last on the agenda, before Covid. I specifically asked whether a landlord’s decision to sell the freehold would be an acceptable ground for bringing a tenancy to an end. I had an acknowledgment from my MP but no reply from Housing. I chased - still no reply.
My expectation is that a decision to sell will NOT be a ground for obtaining possession. That is why I think abolition is a huge worry.

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