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Sat 06 Jul 2019

Almost four out of 10 landlords want the Government to introduce a fast track housing tribunal if the Section 21 no-fault eviction process is abolished as planned, a new survey has found.

Overall 39% back a tribunal being introduced while 24% want to see a shorter court process for evictions, according to the latest private rented sector trend report from Paragon.

The Section 21 no-fault eviction process was introduced in the Housing Act 1988 and has been a mainstay of the UK’s PRS. It allows landlords to give tenants two months’ notice of their intention to take possession of a property at any time after the initial fixed term of the tenancy agreement has expired.

The Government announced its intention to abolish Section 21 in April this year. In its place, it proposes that landlords should follow the Section 8 process which requires them to demonstrate that tenants are in breach of their rental agreement when serving notice.

Paragon’s survey comes ahead of a Government consultation this summer, designed to gather views on how best to make the existing Section 8 process work more effectively.

The survey also found that 15% of landlords would like a guaranteed way to cover their costs and 7% argued for the ability to submit evidence online while the majority of landlords, some 84% said they felt the maximum time from serving notice to taking possession should be no longer than eight weeks.

The report points out that according to the Ministry of Housing, Community and Local Government’s recent English Private Landlord Survey, the vast majority of tenancies end at the tenant’s request.

‘Some of the main concerns for landlords around a move to the Section 8 eviction process relate to the efficacy of the existing court process. What we see here is widespread support for a fast track housing tribunal that can deliver a fair and timely solution for both landlords and tenants,’ said John Heron, director of mortgages at Paragon.