Will selling up be a mandatory ground in the Renters’ Reform Bill?

Will selling up be a mandatory ground in the Renters’ Reform Bill?

9:35 AM, 1st June 2023, About 6 months ago 18

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Hello, will selling up be a mandatory ground in the Renters’ Reform Bill? Like others, I was concerned that while the white paper mentioned a new mandatory ground for persistent rent arrears the new proposed ground to enable a landlord to gain possession in order to sell or move themselves or a relative did not mention the word “mandatory”.

The feeling was that this could be a deliberate omission and not just an oversight and could open up the possibility that a court could prevent a landlord from selling when they wanted to. All I could find online in relation to the Renter’s Reform Bill as currently published (https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/58-03/0308/220308.pdf) is basically a list of insertions and deletions to be made to the existing 1988 Housing Act rather than a document in its own right.

On the reasonable assumption that eviction Grounds 1-8 in Section 8 will still be mandatory as they are now, the Renters Reform Bill will add a couple of new mandatory items to Section 1 (which currently covers a landlord or relative moving in). The new sections 1A and 1B both have a common item as a Ground A: “The landlord who is seeking possession intends to sell the dwelling-house;” there are some other provisions under items 1A and 1B which do not appear to me to apply to a typical PRS landlord. So, maybe the concerns are unfounded, if they are it’s a pity the government didn’t make it crystal clear.

The current Section 8 does not make any provisions for selling up mandatory or otherwise as, presumably Section 21 currently would take care of this eventuality. As Selling up (and moving in) will be a mandatory ground and involves no more proof than the landlord expressing a desire to do so, this would lend itself to a simple online procedure with no need for court appearances. Just fill in an online form upload some documents like the tenancy agreement and gas certificate, pay a fee and that’s it, possession order is quickly granted to give to the tenant along with the Section 8 notice (or it could incorporate the Section 8 notice) and no court delays. Once the due leaving date has passed without the tenant leaving, the possession document could also serve as authorisation to appoint bailiffs. Maybe that is too much to hope for.

What is not clear is how a landlord would be prevented from evicting to sell or move in and then not actually doing either and re-letting the property. The solution could be in the proposed landlord registration scheme mentioned in the Bill. Not only will a landlord be registered but so will every property they rent out. Under the scheme it will be illegal to advertise a property for rent unless the property registration number is present (which is a good way to ensure everyone does register). In order to gain possession to sell the property the registration number would have to crop up somewhere in the proceedings.

So if the landlord tried to rent out the property again the property number could be cross referenced by a potential tenant or letting agent to see if the property was actually available to rent, a sort of reverse “right to rent” procedure. While the letting ban could last until the property is actually sold, maybe there could be a statute of limitations, if the landlord did not actually sell they would not be able to rent the property out again (officially at least) for, say, two years. If the property was actually sold the property could be removed from the register as part of the conveyancing process.

The act makes it quite likely that there could well be a charge for the registration scheme, the Ombudsman scheme etc. if the Secretary of State sees fit (and I am sure that they will) there will be nice contract up for grabs to set it all up. Hopefully the government will give the contract to a UK based contractor who had nothing to do with “Track and Trace” or the Post office “Horizon” system or anybody with government connections.



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dismayed landlord

11:00 AM, 1st June 2023, About 6 months ago

It matters not what’s in the reform bill if the courts do not deal with it. Please see previous posts on the complete lack of access and therefore comms with Dartford Court.

Judith Wordsworth

12:16 PM, 1st June 2023, About 6 months ago

Mandatory possession. Ground 1A
Evict at short (two months’) notice to sell the property. These powers cannot be used within the first six months of a tenancy.
Landlords could face a fine of up to £30,000 or prosecution for misuse of these powers.

Appendix B

Dylan Morris

15:26 PM, 1st June 2023, About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by dismayed landlord at 01/06/2023 - 11:00I agree. As every landlord who wants to sell has to issue a Section 8 notice then go through the Court process the extra work load will be crippling. The Courts will never cope. It’s going to be years before your (non urgent) case will be heard. It’s got to be discretionary otherwise why would the approval of the Court be required ? I can’t believe all you will need to do is simply tell you the Judge you intend to sell. No it’s all by design so the Judge can decide if you sell up or not. The many years of delays is intentional so the Council don’t have to deal with a homeless situation. I’ve zero trust in this Government from the scamdemic and their experimental injections to the way they’re providing an endless supply of dinghies for the Channel crossers. What happened to “life time deposits” seems that’s been deemed unworkable like we all said at the start of that nonsense. What happened to a specialist Housing Court ? Sorry I don’t trust Gove and the rest of the Tory junta one inch.


15:31 PM, 1st June 2023, About 6 months ago

Expect the bar to be raised on proving intent to sell in the parliamentary debates. There are powerful voices who think the provision in the bill is too soft


16:14 PM, 1st June 2023, About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Dylan Morris at 01/06/2023 - 15:26
Well put


10:11 AM, 2nd June 2023, About 6 months ago

Just imagine how many rent increases there will be and how many Section 21's will be issued just before the Bill becomes law.

I wouldn't want to be a tenant with this sh!t about to hit the fan

dismayed landlord

11:39 AM, 2nd June 2023, About 6 months ago

Be loads but the tenants will just remain. LA will tell them to stay until the bailiffs arrive. The section 21 will never get through the court princess so the bailiffs will never arrive. And to top the lot your tenant will not pay the rent. Why bother once you have served notice? If your tenant has kids rent arrears and CCJ mean nothing the LA will house the kids regardless. Luckily as a parent you go with them .
Any savvy tenant knows this and will get away with it as not worth the stress as a landlord to chase rent arrears from a tenant that does not have pot to urinate in. If your not out already then your probably too late.

Luke P

12:02 PM, 2nd June 2023, About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by dismayed landlord at 02/06/2023 - 11:39
Which is why you never ever rent without a homeowner guarantor and make it grandma’s problem their darling offspring haven’t paid.

dismayed landlord

12:29 PM, 2nd June 2023, About 6 months ago

True. Just make sure they do no not die, get dementia or vanish!! Yep had all three. Hence I am getting out as fast as the courts may allow me .

Luke P

12:32 PM, 2nd June 2023, About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by dismayed landlord at 02/06/2023 - 12:29
Don't wait for a 'total' on the arrears/damages. We regularly sue the same guarantor multiple times, beginning as soon as they fall enough in arrears to irk us. It often has the effect of preventing a worsening situation when they lose, are forced to pay out and know another one will be right behind it if they don't continue to comply. Over several thousand tenancies, very rarely has anyone gotten away without paying us.

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