1. Introduction

Over the past year, the Government has sought to better understand the rental sector and to ensure that it is positioned to deliver quality homes for today’s society. Part of this was our consultation on Overcoming the barriers to longer tenancies in the private rented sector, which took a fundamental look at the landlord and tenant relationship in the private rented sector.  
 
The Government is clear. It should not matter whether you rent in the private or social sector. Tenants deserve the same high standards of services regardless of who their landlord is. But this is a two-way relationship, and landlords quite rightly expect their tenants to meet the conditions of their tenancy. Landlords need powers to enforce tenancy agreements or to remove tenants who are in significant breach of their agreements. 
 
It is time for a generational change to the law that governs much of the rental sector. That is why we are proposing that our changes apply to all landlords who use the Housing Act 1988. 
 
For tenants, this means being able to rent with certainty. Certainty that you will not be asked to leave without being given a fair reason and certainty you will be protected from rogue landlords who seek to abuse their position.  
 
For landlords, this means being able to rent properties safe in the knowledge that your investment is protected, and you will be supported to provide the safe, secure, and decent homes the nation needs. It means knowing you can swiftly take action when things go wrong, through a redress system that works, and works fairly.

Though the housing landscape has fundamentally changed since the Housing Act 1988 came into force, the basic principles of fairness and transparency have not. It is fair that a landlord should have the right to reclaim their property when necessary – and it is fair a tenant should understand the circumstances in which they could be asked to leave a property and that they can challenge where appropriate. 
 
The use of section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 to evict tenants, without providing a reason or avenue for challenge, no longer fulfils these basic principles. That is why the Government has announced the intention to repeal section 21, while strengthening the grounds for possession.
 
This consultation seeks your views on:
  • the impact of removing assured shorthold tenancies, and whether there are any circumstances a tenancy should be ended without the tenant being at fault
  • whether our reforms should relate to all those who use the Housing Act 1988 – in both the private and social sectors
  • how existing grounds for possession covered by Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988 can be used effectively or reformed in the future once section 21 is no longer available and how new grounds should be added to cover the landlord selling or moving into the property; and
  • how the courts could consider applications for possession orders under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988 more efficiently.
This survey should be completed alongside the consultation document, available here. It will take approximately 25-30 minutes to complete this survey, but longer if you wish to add comments. It should be completed in one sitting, so we recommending reading the document and questions beforehand.

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