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When Will Section 21 Be Abolished? Everything Landlords Should Know


One of the main commitments of the Renters Reform Bill is the abolition of Section 21, but when will that actually happen?

If the Renters Reform Bill manages to pass into law, there’s a strong likelihood that Section 21 notices will be scrapped, as one of its key promises.

However, given that the Bill still has a long journey ahead before it potentially takes effect, many landlords are left with questions about Section 21 notices and what might happen if they are indeed abolished.

Here’s everything you’ll find out about Section 21 notices in this guide:

  1. What is a Section 21 notice?
  2. Can landlords still use a Section 21 notice in 2023?
  3. When will Section 21 be abolished?
  4. Why is Section 21 being abolished?
  5. How will landlords be able to evict tenants when Section 21 is abolished?

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What is a Section 21 notice?

A Section 21 notice allows landlords to evict tenants by providing them with a two-month notice once their fixed-term tenancy ends.

It’s commonly referred to as a ‘no-fault’ eviction notice as landlords aren’t required to give a reason for ending the tenancy.

If the Renters Reform Bill comes into effect, landlords will only have the option to terminate tenancy agreements using the updated Section 8 grounds.

The main difference between the two is that in order to serve a Section 8 notice, the landlord needs to prove that the tenant has breached the terms of the tenancy agreement.

Can landlords still use a Section 21 notice in 2023?

Yes, landlords can still serve a Section 21 notice on their tenants. This is because the Renters Reform Bill has not yet come into force, and may not do so at all.

Moreover, as we’ll explain later on, the abolition of Section 21 is now linked to court improvements, which means there might be a significant amount of time before it becomes a reality.

For your Section 21 notice to be valid, you must have fulfilled your obligations, for example, protecting your tenant’s deposit and providing them with the certificate, among other things.

To avoid any mistakes, make sure to use our hassle-free notice-serving tool, which will generate a Section 21 notice PDF for you, and then email it to each of your tenants at the property.


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When will Section 21 be abolished?

Originally, the plan was to abolish Section 21 at least 18 months after the Renters Reform Bill receives Royal Assent, possibly by the end of 2025 or early 2026.

However, on 20 October 2023, the government confirmed that the end of Section 21 will be ‘aligned’ with ‘court improvements,’ such as the complete digitisation of the process.

Unfortunately, there’s no indication of when these court improvements will wrap up, meaning there’s no set timeline for the now-delayed abolition of Section 21.

Rest assured, we’ll keep you in the loop with any new developments, so be sure to stay tuned for updates.

Why is Section 21 being abolished?

The proposed changes in the Renters Reform Bill, which include scrapping Section 21, are all geared towards creating a fairer and more secure private rental sector.

Michael Gove explained that some renters face ‘a precarious lack of security’ under current legislation.

A government consultation also found that ‘some tenants feel reluctant to challenge poor standards due to the risk of eviction without reason.’

Removing Section 21 evictions from the picture is intended to make renters feel more secure in their homes and push landlords to be more open and accountable when evicting tenants.

All in all, the goal of this change is to promote a more balanced rental market where tenants’ rights are strongly protected, and eviction processes are reasonable and clear.

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How will landlords evict tenants once Section 21 is abolished?

If Section 21 is scrapped, the only way landlords will be able to end tenancies and evict tenants is by using the updated Section 8 grounds for possession.

This means landlords will always be required to provide tenants with ‘reasonable’ grounds for ending their tenancy. These grounds include situations like property redevelopment and the intention to sell the property, among other things.

If you’re worried about dealing with problematic tenants, the ground for anti-social behaviour will also be strengthened.

Landlords will have the option to make a possession claim immediately and courts will consider a wider range of behaviours ‘causing nuisance or annoyance.’

You can learn more about the current legislation surrounding Section 8 notices and how to correctly serve one through our comprehensive guide.


Notable Replies

  1. If tenants want somewhere to live in the future with a chance of it being remotely affordable, they need to object to their MP against the abolishment of section 21.

  2. Avatar for Lynn1 Lynn1 says:

    I thought plans to scrap Sect 21 had been scrapped for now ? until the courts can get their act together.

  3. courts get their act together? some hope . If the other side get in they will not worry about the courts. But at least shelter have been given a kcking (so far)

  4. It was always the plan to improve court system before the scrapping of s.21. Media has done its usual trick and painted picture as shelving the scrapping of it.

    Labour have seized opportunity to jump on it.

Continue the discussion at community.openrent.co.uk

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This article is not intended to form legal or investment advice. Investments in property are not guaranteed and can decrease in value as well as increase.

Guide to Section 21 Evictions for Landlords by law expert
Law & Regulation
2 August 2017

Section 21: Eviction, Possession & Notice to Quit