Section 21 Eviction Notice Changes

I expect many of you are aware of the recent government announcement to make changes to the abolition of Section 21of the Housing Act 1988, resulting in changes in how the eviction process will work.

At present in England and Wales landlords can give tenants two months’ notice to quit a property under Section 21 without giving a reason.  If the tenant does not leave after this time the landlord can apply to a court for a possession order.  The Section 21 process cannot be used in the case of a fixed term tenancy.

The government proposals mean that if a landlord wishes to gain possession they must use a Section 8 notice.  A landlord will now have to state a specific reason possession to be granted.  Most often this will be for a breach of the tenancy agreement by the tenant, such as being more than two months in arrears, causing damage to the property or antisocial behaviour.

The National Landlords Association (NLA) has carried out a survey of their members.  On average a Section 8 notice took 145 days to gain possession at a cost of £5,730.  This compared to 104 days and a cost of £3,525 using a Section 21 notice.

The NLA fears there will be severe ramifications throughout the lettings market.


– Will lose confidence in the possession process
– May decide to leave the market
– Will seek to reduce risk by other methods such as more stringent personal and credit rating checks


– May see fewer properties made available
– Will undoubtedly find rents have risen
– May find it harder to be accepted as a tenant, especially if they have a poor credit rating, are in unstable employment or are in receipt of benefits

The government has not given a firm date for the introduction of these changes and the NLA hopes to change their minds with a Save Section 21 campaign.  More details can be found here on their website: