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Majority of tenants unaware of today's Section 21 law change

The vast majority of tenants are unaware of new laws introduced today which change the Section 21 evictions process. 

From today, under the Deregulation Act 2015, landlords will be unable to end a tenancy using a Section 21 notice if they fail to address a repairs complaint made by a tenant which is then referred to a local authority. 

On top of this, at the start of a new tenancy a landlord must provide tenants with a valid Energy Performance Certificate, an annual Gas Safety Certificate and a copy of the government's How To Rent guide in order to legally serve a section 21 eviction notice in the future. 


There are also changes to how long a Section 21 notice will be valid for as well as a new Section 21 notice. 

A survey of 1,000 tenants, carried out by the National Landlords Association (NLA) last month, found that 88% are unaware of today's law changes. 

The study also found that 9% of tenants said they were asked to leave a private rented property after asking for repairs or maintenance to be carried out and some 78% said their last tenancy ended at the their own request. 

Now that the changes have been introduced, the NLA is calling on local councils to provide a clear framework for how they plan to deal with complaints in order to ensure that legitimate ones are taken seriously and that spurious ones don’t unnecessarily prolong the possession process.

“These kinds of evictions are extremely rare but we have to make sure that complaints by tenants don’t just get lost in the system, regardless of whether they’re legitimate or not,” says Richard Lambert, NLA chief executive.

He says it is of paramount importance that the new system isn't abused by those trying to prolong the evictions process as the majority of landlords choose to end a tenancy only when it's 'absolutely necessary'.

“We all know that local councils are under-resourced but housing problems must take priority. If a tenant complains about a potentially hazardous issue then both they and their landlord should have a clear expectation of how and when the council will deal with it,” Lambert adds.

“If councils fail to act on complaints then it will undermine the law and tenants’ confidence in a system that’s supposed to protect them”.

Further guidance on today's changes can be found here and here

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  • icon

    Sometimes it is impossible to do works on a house with the tenant in occupation. If you can't evict them then the work can't be done!!

    Jason Flicker

    There is no need to evict them.

    You need to liaise with the council to provide temporary accommodation for your tenants so that you can carry out the work you're legally responsible for on your own property.

    The council "may" then provide the temporary accommodation directly, or advise you to place your tenants, who under contract are your responsibility, whether your contract says it or not, in a B&B within 1.5 miles of a dependants school if applicable.

    Eviction as a permanent solution is not fitting for a job which will take you a few days, or weeks max. If the job continues on, then you are bound to fulfil your housing obligation until their tenancy has expired, but you have to legally notify the council and your tenants for that notice to be valid so that your tenants are not made homeless. If you break the law, you can be fined, prosecuted and punished according to the law.


    That seems to be an excuse. As a tenant, I would LOVE my landlord to do some of the essential maintenance on our home. We have waited so far over 5 years(!) and counting for new windows to fix a damp issue in our porch... just sweat the asset and take our money seems to be the attitude!


    The type of repairs the article mentions are property defects that have been identified by the council's environment officer's as either a category 1 or category 2 hazards while conducting an environmental health & safety assessment in the property. Property defects such as rising or penetrating damp, gas & water pipes that have no cover or insulation & therefore present a high risk for tenants to burn themselves, upstairs windows that open wider than the back yard/garden so restrictors would need to be fitted on those windows to prevent falls, improper or poor fire safety alarms. The landlord would have been served with a prohibition notice which requires them to carry out specific work to reduce or eliminate the category 1&2 hazards. This type of work can be very expensive,just 1 of those hazards would invalidate any building insurance. The work has to be done by a certain date & has to be carried out by certified building contractors who are registered with the appropriate bodies/agencies. If not then it's likely the LL or landlords agent will be fined a large amount of money, possible legal action if the tenant has been harmed in any way. The LL will likely have to be accredited by the local authority before they're allowed to let any future property. I don't know if evicting the tenants legally or illegally effectively cancels out the prohibition notices. The LL doesn't have to carry out the required work. I know this because I was served a legal section 21 notice in April 2008 after an assessment identified 7 category 1 hazards & 5 category 2 hazards. My landlords agent was sacked and a new agent too over the lease. This agent used to work in the environment department in the next town & she tried very hard to get me to sign a new 12 page short hold tenancy that only had 4 weeks & £70 rent for the 4 weeks. Rent used to be £75 a week. Had I signed the contract I would have been liable for all the damage & health hazards in the terraced house because paying the £70 effectively made me the LL of the property. Fortunately by then I was clued up on housing law & was identified as an homeless household in priority need by my local council (Homeless act 2002& part 7 of the housing act 1996) I had 17 points the maximum was 14 so they had 8 weeks to find me a property that was free from any property defects, it had to be permanent & affordable. The council had no properties available within that time so they nominated me for a social housing property. On signing a 12 month starter tenancy which if conducted properly automatically became an assured tenancy under the housing act 1996. The council had now discharged their duty to me as an homeless household in priority need. I still live in that property but it only worked out for me because of the hours,days & weeks I spent in my local library learning everything there was to know about housing law. 2 years later none of the work had been done in my old property & a mom & young daughter were living there completely unaware of the hazards which rendered the property unfit for human habitation. The illegally fitted central heating boiler was still in the wardrobe in the 2nd upstairs 10ft by 4ft bedroom. All the copper piping had been stripped & was replaced with plastic piping through out. The 2 gas meter clocks which are specifically used for storage heaters had not been replaced. I gave the mother all the information I had about the hazards & notices as well as everything I knew about getting a decent social housing property. She moved to a lovely 2 bedroom semi-detached 2 months later. The laws are there to protect tenants as well as landlords. My local authority has been talking about accreditation & licensing of landlords since 2006 but nothing has come of it. As far as I'm concerned that's where the problem lies not the landlord & definitely not the tenant.


    So a house owner leaves a property when work needs doing, most do not


    I have lazy tenants. Crap everywhere. The builders that visit moan. Some refuse to do certain things or return. I have a new floor required in the living room and vinyl to the kitchen. Several have said 'these people don't move for anything'. I can see their fridge freezer being full of their food and the living room untouched. The builders turning up and walking away. And still sending me the bill. So I am going to evict. I will not pay for temporary accommodation for them. They are the problem and they are going. Before the government make that illegal too!

    Peter  Yednell

    Jason.. So what if I want a complete refurbishment to upgrade my property and charge considerably more rent? Too bad? I should have invested in Carbons, Military equipment and Brazilian beef farming in the Amazon instead?

  • Annie Smith

    If your property us that bad you shouldn't be renting it out in the first place! What can't you do while they are there?


    I think anything that involves having to remove the plaster is immensely disruptive for the tenant, such as a full damp course or wall tie replacement. Also asbestos removal including artex. Lead piping replacement can involve ripping up the floorboards. Agreeing with the tenant to do these things when they are on holiday is fine in theory. But when you are at the behest of contractors or water authorities who may let you down, you can't take the risk. Having had this problem myself I would never again consider letting a property until all outstanding major works are fully completed.


    What makes you certain that the property was in that condition when it was first rented to the tenant? My experience is that by far and away most serious repair work is caused either by water leakage or tenant damage. Water damage is almost always worse than is should have been because it was not reported. So, now do you think it unfair a tenant has to move out?


    rewiring replumbing dpc insulation roof replacement


    You can't do a major refurbishment with roof replacement, new kitchen etc etc with anyone living there.
    Get Real

  • icon

    I would be interested to hear the views of the forum on what will LA's do to protect landlords from the professional "BAD" tenant. I am very concerned that LA's do not have the resource or knowledge to be in a position to act within the new section 21 notice periods. What constitute a repair? or failing of the landlord to comply. Do we have to wait for the LA to issue a repair order? What if the tenant deliberately damages the property? I had one tenant that capped off the open vent pipe on a heating system which resulted in failure of the boiler. Cost to me £6K plus. Where's the landlords protection from this?


    las will do nil other than encouraging bad tenants

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  • icon

    What more changes in legislation what a surprise! One day maybe some legislation will be to assist the hard working, right thinking professional landlord.......nahh must be dreaming.


    Remember every piece of land you/ we own in this country belongs to the queen. The govt May legislate one day to take full charge of the privately owned properties to ease the homelessness because govt is almost bankrupt to build enough houses to do so

  • icon

    I've had enough now. Ive started selling my properties off. A Landlord can't control his own property anymore which makes it frustrating. I have and had great relations with my tenants and we were in harmony but now giving tenants every knife in the box to stab us with is just one sided. Nothing for Landlords when tenants are bad accept a hefty law bill. The Government is forcing a wedge between Landlords and Tenants now and they just can't see that!


    Very true.
    We seem to be getting criticism from all sides and Radio 5 Live were having a right go at landlords on their phone in.
    Some were suggesting that as Councils charge £350 per month, private landlords were ripping tenants off?
    It wouldn't be worth renting places out for that with all the administration and costs involved?


    John that would mean in many cases Landlords would be letting out property for less than mortgage cost. I look on Rightmove and see average cost of rent for property similar to mine then charge that rent. I only increase rent every second year to cover inflation provided tenants are good tenants. If bad tenants I would raise rent higher for second year to nudge them to leave after end of one year lease.


    Hi Glenn, if your serious about selling your properties I might be interested in buying them all of you.
    Contact me on mehtak@hotmail.com with all the details of your properties.


    I am always amazed at peoples wording, ie control, if you rent out a property its not yours to control is it, yes a customer should not alter the property structurally, but thats where control should end, you may well think your cutomers like you, in reality they just want a place to rent and call home, they dont want a best buddy any renter probably likes their property owner until they increase the rent, or issue a section 21 or fail to do repairs

  • icon

    Agree with all the previous comments. The government bring in new legislation to apparently weed out rogue landlords but all they’ve done is make the environment hostile towards all the legitimate ones. The situation is now untenable as a rogue tenant can basically put a landlord out of business and have a criminal conviction against them by filing complaints against them. Absolutely disgraceful but they will soon realise that when we have all sold up they will be in an infinitely greater mess than before

  • icon

    If all Landlords sold up tomorrow the number of homeless families would spiral out of control costing LA millions in B&B charges. The government needs to wake up and show good Landlords some appreciation not drive them out the market.


    My LA (Nottingham) does not look beyond the short term. They would rather make a quick buck today than make double that in the future. Their legislation bought out in 2014 to make any property with more than 2 unrelated tenants a HMO is a reflection of that. The £910 fee and increased compliance costs are only being passed onto tenants whilst the council is increasing their revenue and literally nothing more. They have made so much money from this that they are now bringing in the same licensing for any rental property. Landlords who are barely breaking even will now be looking to sell up and move on


    If all Landlords sold up tomorrow, prices would become more affordable and homeless families would "spiral" into homes of their own. The same properties do not vanish. Renting out is a professional service serving specific needs. Families need homes and long term security at affordable prices.


    @Echis R , you think property values would drop low enough for homeless families to become home owners ? sir you are dreaming.


    @echis this is the typical response from the ill informed and ill educated masses. A majority of renters would not be able to buy even if property prices were halved!

    To substantiate my comment unlike yours which is just an ill informed opinion. The average 3 bedroom property in the uk costs £200k. I sold a 3 bedroom Terraced property earlier this year in Derby, fully renovated for £80k. There were zero offers from any first time buyers or those in rented accommodation. A first time buyer would of had to put down a deposit of 10% or 8k. Most renters can barely afford to pay rent, let alone have savings to actually buy a house and I’m sorry but if you can’t afford 8k as a deposit then I doubt you can afford half of that either!

  • icon

    910 is extortionate--what about kingston case?


    yes it is but even worse is their attitude towards licensing. They dont come out to inspect the property until at least a year later and it can take up to 2 years for them to actually issue the license and then they claim that they are doing this to improve living conditions for tenants. in that time a number of tenants would of come and gone if the property was substandard!

    so far i have paid £2730 for my 3 properties, had only 1 inspection last year and they havent even got back to me to suggest improvements or advise of issues. to contrast this to derby where i have done the same, the LA was out to inspect the property within 2 months and had issued the license within 4 and they only charged about £750

  • icon

    To keep you all updated, I have now sold 9 of my 10 rental properties over the last 12 months. The final one is for sale currently.

    To give you some stats on the sales, 5 were around the 80k mark, none of those were purchased by renters or first time buyers. The remaining 4 were around the 130k mark, of those only 2 were purchased by first time buyers.

    Personally due to all my previous reasons given in this thread, I would rather liquidate my assets than provide housing, pay taxes on income and be considered a parasite and an opportunist. I will wait with baited breath to see how this helps the rental market whilst I expatriate and sip cocktails looking at the sea view from my balcony in the Far East lol

    • 21 October 2020 19:57 PM

    Well done in escaping the PRS.
    I am very envious of your achievement as I'm sure many other LL will be.

    I can't even sell now until an EWS1 form has been obtained.

    So I'm stuck being a LL making great profits for the foreseeable.

    Would much prefer to sell up tomorrow if I could.

    S21 has effectively been abolished already.
    Govt will just keep on adding extensions to the eviction ban until S21 is formally abolished.

    LL need to sell up urgently.

    I can't see many BTL lenders remaining once it is made impossible to repossess.
    Without BTL credit the housing market collapses

    I just can't see S8 being made more effective.
    If it was why bother abolishing S21!?

    Nope we are returning to the days of the sitting tenant.
    That will massively devalue letting properties.

    Time to sell up if you can.


    Sadly its legal to evict a renter even if they have paid all the rent and a landlord has no obligation to ensure they find a suitable alternative home before you sell ( at the moment ) even under the new section 21 a landlord can evict to sell, to me the best idea would have been for the govt to buy up your properties and continue renting them, they can borrow at almost zero and have to pay no taxes and at the same time offer life long tenancies and cheaper as well


    So I guess you made a killing in selling up properties you brought and received rent for years so I think you should be grateful for the renters you have evicted, your welcome to live in the far east with other snobs

  • icon

    Thanks Paul

    well i wish you well. i got lucky in being able to predict when things were about to fall off the cliff last year. i started marketing my properties for sale in about June 2019. things were slow to begin with but eventually towards the final months of the year into next year, the houses sold quickly. literally getting offers accepted within a week of listing. i was even able to sell on a couple of houses to people who were unsuccessful in buying another of my houses and in one case was interested in one and asked if i had another which i did.

    i did take a small hit of about 2-4k on mortgage early repayment charges per property but to be honest i would just happy to get rid of them. by the time the pandemic had kicked in, i only had 3 properties going through the completion process and they were all done and dusted by the end of august

    the only advice i can give is to hang in there and ride out the storm for the next few years and make plans to sell up whenever the situation is ripe. personally i wont ever come back to the PRS in this country after all the issues I had with local authorities and their blind support for rogue tenants. they will be reaping what they sow within a few years thats for sure. the fabric of this country has been steadily and progressively allowed to deteriorate and its not going to get any better


    The same thing was said (by the same people) when the smoking ban kicked in "Oh! It will ruin our business "! It didn't. But restaurant owners like myself knew it would speed-up the decline of unsuccessful businesses.
    I made more money, not less with the smoking ban!

    I rent. The 'section 21' isn't worth the paper it's written on. If a LL wants you out- your out. It's the down-side of renting. Just as a problem neighbor could make selling a house and moving impossible. Courses for horses.
    And the Government hasn't got a clue what it's doing. It's changing something that doesn't work into something that doesn't work. More of the same thing, or less of the same thing, but not something different.

    Consider this: when they extended the section 21 notice to 6 months during lockdown, it became possible to sign a 6 month lease agreement, then the next day, issue a section 21.
    eviction notice!

    What we REALLY need is a working group that brings LL's and tenants together, to discuss a balance, not a Government hell-bent on protection of LL's, at the cost of renters rights, then on the same pieces of legislation, give renters MORE rights, at the expense of LL's economic viability.

  • girish mehta

    Rouge landlords is invented by government, councils and media. One way of fleecing landlords by reclassification of assets on asset . Then bring in laws to fleece them.
    Most of laws passed by government is to cut their cost and and allowing councils to fleecing landlords and reducing their grants to councils and blaming invented bogy man evil rough landlords to blame.
    If investors can’t make BTL work then they will leave leaving government and councils to pick up and house these people.
    Short sighted policies will only make life hell for tenants in the long run.


    If you ever had to rent you would find landlords make renters life hell all the time, they can sell whenever they like and issue a section 21 whenver they like and the renter has to spend months looking for a new home and pay all the moving costs, the landlord if the renter moves out without fuss, the cost to the landlord is zero, the renter on the other hand has to take time off work to look for a new home, find thousands in associated moving costs, then repeat in a few years or less

  • icon

    My Goodness so many spongers and free loaders milking the system, instead of working go to the library to find a way for the Council / tax payer to house you, now that’s a much better idea that’s cuckoo live in someone else’s property at some other persons expense for ever Assured Tenancy indeed, do they not have a hazard category rating for people taking advantage of their fellow human being’s. Yes the windows should have restrictors on them, of Course they open out wide its a requirement to fit fire escape hinges on them, so why complain about them opening wide, if the didn’t open enough that would be another category !!!


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