Renters (Reform) Bill – Proposed Changes to Section 8 Grounds

The long-awaited Renters (Reform) Bill had its first reading in Parliament on 17 May. The draft is here. The loss of Section 21 is certain to be replaced by amended Section 8 grounds for possession. This blog covers a few of the key upcoming changes. For a review of all the changes introduced in the Bill, refer to our coverage here: Renters Reform White Paper 2022 – Do Not Panic.

What is Section 8?

Section 8 is a notice served during the fixed term of an assured shorthold tenancy when the tenant has breached one or more obligations in the tenancy agreement. This is different from Section 21 “no-fault” eviction where a landlord didn’t have to provide a specific reason to evict. When the Bill becomes law, landlords will need to provide a reason under Section 8.

Key Changes to Section 8

  • Ground 1: Previously, it allowed landlords or their spouses only to be able to move back in but the amended ground will allow for any family members.
  • Ground 1A: This is a new ground when the landlord has a need to sell the property.
  • Ground 8A: This is a new ground for repeated rent arrears. If at least 2 months’ rent has been in arrears three times within three years. The notice period, however, will change from two weeks to four weeks.
  • Ground 14: Amendment re anti-social behaviour. Instead of “likely to cause” nuisance, the change is to “capable of causing”. It is not clear what proof will be required to use this ground.

Worried about the upcoming changes? Contact us today on 02035885115 to discuss how we can help you.

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