Landlords: Your 5 Main Ways To Evict a Tenant after Section 21 is Abolished

Posted on September 8th, 2023.

The Renters Reform Bill has been given its 2nd reading on June 5th. Since then, there has been much debate and lobbying from industry bodies and landlord associations around the details and what this will mean for landlords in the future.

In this article, I will share with you the challenges landlords are likely to face when evicting tenants once the Government’s plans to reform the private rented sector become law, most likely late next year.

The main area of concern for landlords is the scrapping of Section 21.

Landlords and letting agents will have 5 main tools at their disposal when it comes to removing tenants from properties once the Renters Reform Bill becomes law. Incidentally, one of them comes as a surprise for landlords,  more on this below.

There will be 33 grounds for evicting Tenants,  to include 22 Mandatory grounds, though Private Sector landlords will mainly rely on 5 of these.

To  demystify the language used by the Courts a ‘mandatory’ ground is where a judge will be obliged to issue a possession warrant provided the evidence shows the ground or grounds to be valid.

Discretionary grounds are where a judge is given more scope in deciding whether an eviction will go ahead or not.

The five mandatory grounds will be (please note these are proposals and are not yet law)

Grounds 1 and 1a: Selling or moving back into a property

As an Owner you will not be able to simply state to your tenant that you wish to sell the property or move in, as  you can currently with Section 21 notices . You will have to prove to the Court that you have formally instructed an Agent to sell the property.

These will be known as Grounds 1 and 1A. The good thing is that  you won’t have to give ‘prior notice’ of selling the property as you do with Ground 1 now, however, you won’t be able to evict until the tenancy has run for six months.

It’s worth noting that if you sell or move into the property, you won’t be able to re-let it for a period of 3 months. Given the limited resources available to Councils to monitor this, they, (Council’s) have enforcement powers and you could be fined up to £5000 if it’s brought to their attention.

Section 8: Rent Arrears

As part of the proposals to overhaul Section 8, (that will be heavily relied upon), where a tenant falls into arrears more than 3 times in 3 years, the landlord can make a possession claim on a Mandatory Ground for eviction. This appears somewhat harsh on Tenants who may have otherwise been reliable with their payments and are facing a period of financial difficulty. It’s likely that this will be reduced to 2 years or 18 months. The delay of Universal Credit payments will be carried forward from Section 21 and won’t be regarded as rent arrears, though for landlords, that’s exactly what they are.


Ground 6a: Breach of regulations

Ironically, where landlords are found to be flouting regulations, be it for licensing, legal notices on the property as regards safety and other breaches, they will be allowed to evict tenants. The idea is not to support irresponsible Landlords, rather to empower tenants to vacate non-compliant, badly run properties owned by rogue operators.

Ground 14: Anti-social behaviour

Anti-social behaviour was a significant problem in the rented sector during the pandemic and continues to be so. Landlords will be able to evict on the grounds of   ‘likely to cause nuisance’ instead of  ‘capable of causing nuisance.’ This subtle difference  will mean landlords will have to only gather evidence that a tenant ‘might’ behave badly rather than that they ‘have behaved badly’ during a tenancy. 

Final Thoughts

If you, as our readers have any questions about how these proposals may affect you , please feel free to contact us with your queries to 

I would also encourage you all to write to your local MP expressing your concerns around these proposals  and get to Rachel Maclean, who is the current Minister of State at The Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities.