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New law: Government proposes to take away landlords’ rights to end shorthold tenancies simply by giving notice

Landlords of residential property let on shorthold tenancies should start to plan for changes removing their right to terminate such tenancies simply by serving notice on the tenants, without having to give a reason.

June 2019

This update was published in Legal Alert - June 2019

Legal Alert is a monthly checklist from Atom Content Marketing highlighting new and pending laws, regulations, codes of practice and rulings that could have an impact on your business.

Existing law allows landlords of shorthold tenancies to terminate them once the initial term (often six months) has ended - the tenancies then rolling over on a month-by-month basis - by giving a ‘s21 notice’. These give the tenants two months’ notice, and no reason for ending the tenancy needs to be given.

The Government has announced it will abolish this right for new shorthold tenancies, so that landlords will only be able to end them if they are able to show the court that they meet one of the specified grounds for doing so. Those grounds are, for example, the tenant has not paid the rent for two months or has damaged the property, there has been antisocial behaviour or the landlord requires the property for themselves. Existing tenancies will not be affected.

No date has yet been fixed for introduction of the changes but landlords need to start thinking about the effect this will have on their portfolio of properties and consider taking professional advice to identify the options.

Operative date

  • TBA

Recommendation

  • Landlords of residential property let on shorthold tenancies should start to plan for changes which will remove their right to terminate such tenancies simply by serving notice on the tenants, without having to give a reason.

Disclaimer: This article from Atom Content Marketing is for general guidance only, for businesses in the United Kingdom governed by the laws of England. Atom Content Marketing, expert contributors and ICAEW (as distributor) disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions.

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