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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Have your say: Section 21 consultation ends tomorrow

With the government consultation on tenancy reform ending tomorrow, time is running out for landlords wishing to have their say by completing the survey

Buy-to-let landlords, who can also email a submission and any comments to TenancyReform@communities.gov.uk, are likely to be adversely affected by the proposed change. 

A number of landlords are likely to consider existing the PRS if the plans go ahead, thus reducing the supply of much needed private rental stock. 

A recent report by Capital Economics on behalf of the National Landlords Association (NLA) forecasts that there will be a 20% drop in the number of properties available to rent if the most common route private landlords can take to regain possession of their property under the Housing Act 1988 is scrapped. 

The report, ‘A new deal for renters? The unintended consequences of abolishing Section 21’, also predicts that a 59% reduction in housing available to tenants on housing benefit or Universal Credit, and a potential increase in rents for 13% of properties.

Chris Norris, director of policy and practice at the NLA, said: “The government has clearly failed to recognise the realities of the private rented sector by proposing the abolition of Section 21.

“Any government which thinks it appropriate to risk the loss of nearly one million rental homes at a time of housing crisis needs to reassess its priorities as a matter of urgency.” 

Tenant eviction specialist, Landlord Action, reports that up to half of Section 21 cases they handle are as a consequence of tenants wanting to be re-housed by the council. 

The company fears that the scrapping of Section 21, and subsequent expansion of Section 8, could put thousands of tenants at greater risk of receiving a County Court Judgement (CCJ) and ending up homeless as local councils will not be obliged to re-house those with rent arrears judgements.

Some 95% of Section 8 cases are for mandatory two months’ rent arrears, according to Landlord Action, and although it is unknown how many Section 21 cases are as a result of rent arrears, the evictions firm says it is the number one reason landlords serve notice. 

Data from the Ministry of Justice reports that there were 22,527 accelerated possession claims issued in 2018 (section 21 claims). Of those accelerated possession claims under Section 21, 10,127 resulted in evictions carried out by County Court bailiffs. 

Therefore, if landlords are forced to use Section 8 route in the future, thousands more tenants will have rent arrears judgements against them, rather than simply being evicted using Section 21. 

In addition, more tenants could find themselves with a County Court Judgement (CCJ), which will severely impact their future credit rating.

Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action, commented: “Local councils will see when a tenant has a rent arrears possession order made against them so will consider that that tenant has made themselves homeless. Therefore, the council will not be obliged to re-house them as they do at present under Section 21 accelerated procedure. 

“If those tenants cannot get accommodation in the private rented sector and cannot be re-housed by the council, what will happen to them?”

Planning to post a comment below? 

‘You agree not to (i) post content which is deliberately intended to upset or harm other users; (ii) use this Site to post or otherwise transmit content that victimises, harasses, degrades, or intimidates an individual or group of individuals on the basis of any impermissible classification, including, without limitation, religion, gender, sexual orientation, race, colour, creed, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship, age, marital status, military status or disability.’

Poll: Do you think scrapping Section 21 could fuel a rise in homelessness?

PLACE YOUR VOTE BELOW

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    ‘You agree not to (i) post content which is deliberately intended to upset or harm other users; (ii) use this Site to post or otherwise transmit content that victimises, harasses, degrades, or intimidates an individual or group of individuals on the basis of any impermissible classification, including, without limitation, religion, gender, sexual orientation, race, colour, creed, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship, age, marital status, military status or disability.’

    What's all this about? Are we now unable to make a statement of the obvious?

    This makes the whole report a complete waste of time. This seems much like the communist state in that you are unable to make an adverse comment without being penalised.

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    I tell it as it is, if that offends then so be it, the truth hurts some out there

     
  • Bill Wood

    I have much appreciation for Landlord Action, and have used them once to great effect, but

    'Tenant eviction specialist, Landlord Action, reports that up to half of Section 21 cases they handle are as a consequence of tenants wanting to be re-housed by the council'

    implies that a bit less than 50% of cases involve this scheme. But 'up to half' can mean anything from 0% to 49%, and so gives use no idea at all what the percentage actually is. Might even be none at all!

    It's a bit like a shop displaying signs saying 'up to 50% discount' There could be no discount at all and the sign would still be true.

    Am I being a bit pernickety?

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    So now are are supposed to say nothing while we are being being wronged & taken to the cleaners, abused & taxed out of it, robbed & criminalized, pay for everything and worked to the bone just to keep the Regulators in fat jobs plus Local Authorities fill their pockets with stupid fines like £5k first offence civil penalty or possible £30k second so called offence + criminal record, what ever happened to the punishment to fit the crime or is it even a crime, is it any wonder the prisons are full and people loosing respect for the law, so we are supposed to say nothing & keep saying it, now bordering on illegal to tell the truth.

  • Paul Barrett

    S21 is only being abolished as it goes with the AST which is being abolished.
    However Govt could retain a FAULT based variant of S21 for RENT ARREARS ONLY.
    Rent arrears by their very nature are a FAULT based reason to evict.
    However even if such a S21 variant was possible it would still be inadequate as it already currently is.
    Such a changed S21 process would require that a LL need not have to use a County Court to get rid of a rent defaulting tenant.
    Just a 2 month notice which would be 1 month and 1 day of 2 months rent default where rent paid in advance.
    The following day the LL should be allowed to remove the tenant and his goods with Police assistance if necessary to prevent a Breach of the Peace.

    Retaining a revised S21 process for Rent Arrears only would I suggest prevent 95% of all current S21 and S8 cases.
    It is a fact that Rent Defaulting is the largest cause of homelessness.
    The problem is LL can't easily get rid of rent defaulting tenants EVEN with the current S21 process.

    Making it even more awkward to get rid of rent defaulting tenants will just cause even more LL not to let to those tenants especially those in receipt of HB who will be declined by LL.
    I refuse to let to HB tenants preferring to keep a property empty until I am able to source tenants who don't need HB.
    Mostly irrelevant anyway as no HB tenants can afford my rents; but even if they could I would still decline them as I can't easily get rid of them if they rent default.

    It must be obvious to Govt that LL don't readily choose to evict tenants for no fault.
    It is rent defaulting that causes most evictions.
    Govt making it even harder to evict rent defaulting tenants will cause many LL to get out of conventional AST lettings.
    This issue is just one of many which is causing me to get out of AST lettings.
    The risks of not being able to quickly get rid of rent defaulting tenants is a business risk that I and many other LL are not prepared to take anymore.

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