Industry News Sally Walmsley 10/05/2022

Blog: NRLA win as possession grounds to be strengthened

Today’s Queen’s Speech saw the UK Government re-commit to a Renters Reform Bill, including the abolition of Section 21 in England while also strengthening landlords’ rights to possession through new grounds. NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle explains today's announcements and what happens next.

The Government has today confirmed that possession grounds will be strengthened as it reiterated its commitment to end Section 21 repossessions

The pledge was included in the detail of Queen’s Speech delivered today by Prince Charles.

It has promised new and stronger grounds for repeated incidences of rent arrears and reduced notice periods for anti-social behaviour in a bid to ensure landlords can regain their property efficiently when needed.

We welcome the Government’s acceptance that reforms to the rented sector need to strengthen the ability of landlords to tackle anti-social tenants and those with repeated rent arrears. We will continue to work to ensure that these and other grounds for possession are fair and workable.

In our lobbying work we have campaigned for the strengthening Section 8 grounds, including rent arrears and anti-social behaviour, to reduce reliance on Section 21 and have stressed the need for landlords to retain the right to repossess their properties where there is a valid reason to do so.


The detail of the replacement system for Section 21 will be announced in a Government white paper to be published in the summer. The Government said the change will offer tenants security – and will empower them to ‘challenge poor practice and unfair rent increases without fear of retaliatory eviction’.

We will continue to stress to Ministers and civil servants that while Section 21 has come to be known as ‘no-fault’ eviction, in most cases landlords have a valid reason to regain possession of their home, and that this right needs to be protected.

We know landlords want to keep good tenants in their homes, but should they wish to, for example, sell up, or move into the property themselves the mechanisms need to be in place to allow them to do this. We will continue to campaign to this end.

Decent Homes

Elsewhere the Government has confirmed it will be applying the Decent Homes Standard to the PRS in a bid to raise standards and introduce a new ombudsman to solve disputes outside of the courts – measures we were already aware were on the cards.

Whilst we support proposals for an Ombudsman to cut the number of possession cases needing to go the court, this cannot be a substitute for proper court reform as well.

 At present it can take almost a year for a private landlord to repossess a property through the courts where they have a legitimate reason to do so, something which is simply not good enough.

The Government has also pledged to introduce a ‘property portal’. Details so far are sketchy, but, described as somewhere landlords can go to understand their obligations and tenants can go to, to hold their landlords to account, it would appear to be a register of sorts. We have spoken to ministers asking for further details.

We welcome the news that the Government has listened to our advice thus far and will continue our robust campaign for landlords’ rights to be given equal consideration to those as tenants.

What next? 

Today’s announcement is not the last word on the matter. The Bill will need to make its way through Parliament and the housing minister Eddie Hughes has already confirmed to me that the  white paper the Government will publish outlining its plans will mark the beginning of further consultation and that landlords and other stakeholders will have the chance to have their say. 

We encourage you, our members, to get involved to ensure landlords’ voices are heard. Keep an eye out for more from us over the coming weeks and months about how you can do so on our news site and social media channels.

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley Magazine and Digital Editor

Sally is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

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