Q. I am renting out my own home to tenants while I work abroad for the next four years. I am worried though about articles I have read saying that section 21 is going to be abolished. Is there anything I can do?
A. The government has indicated that it will be bringing in new legislation to remove a landlords’ right to evict tenants under the ‘no fault’ ground in section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. This is unlikely to come into law for a couple of years though and when it does it is unlikely to affect existing tenancies.
However, as you are renting out your own home, you should include a ‘ground 1’ notice in your tenancy agreement. This is a notice notifying the tenant that you have previously lived in the property as your ‘only or principal home’ and that you may be recovering possession under ‘ground 1’.
Provided you do this, then you will be able to recover possession of your property after the end of the fixed term, as of right, under ground 1 and you will not need section 21.
Note that landlords can also use ground 1 even if they have not previously lived at the property – provided they can show that they will be living in the property after possession has been obtained (for example if it was purchased as a retirement home) and so long as the ground 1 notice was served on the tenants.
Q. Is there anything I can do to prevent my property from being fraudulently sold or mortgaged, for example by a tenant?