Do private tenants deserve more protection in terms long-term right to stay in a property, or would new rules make the housing crisis worse?
Tonight’s episode of Panorama, to be aired on BBC1 at 8.30pm, investigates the widely debated Section 21 no-fault eviction procedure and whether tenants deserve greater security, amid claims that no-fault evictions have trebled in the past eight years.
In the show, reporter Richard Bilton meets the families whose lives are being turned upside down by their landlords because they were ordered to leave their homes with little by the way of notice or explanation.
But the show also features tenant eviction company, Landlord Action, which highlights the some of the main reasons why buy-to-let landlords turn to Section 21.
Panorama interviewed Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action, and their senior solicitor, Emma Philips, about the rise of section 21 no-fault evictions.
Commenting on the programme, Shamplina said: “When asked to appear on Panorama, I felt a necessity to present the landlords’ side on why so many use no-fault Section 21.
“The term ‘no fault’ is really a bit of a red herring. There is always a reason why a landlord ends a tenancy, but it’s a far cry from the headlines showing that landlords use it just to throw tenants out.
“If a landlord has a good tenant, the last thing they want to do is get rid of a them. However, in our experience, the main reasons for serving Section 21 notices are for rent arrears, tenants requesting to be evicted so they can be re-housed or, most recently, because landlords wish to sell their property owing to impending tax liabilities.”
He added: “There are some very good tenants out there. Sadly in some cases, they are being evicted through no fault of their own but rather because of their landlords’ circumstances, which must be very upsetting. However, in my opinion, the abolition of Section 21 in England would compound the housing shortage.”