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Scrapping Section 21 could lead to ‘open-ended tenancies and rent controls’

The government’s plans to scrap Section 21 notices to evict tenants could potentially pave the way for the introduction of open-ended tenancies and rent controls, according to London Assembly member Tom Copley. 

The Labour politician is urging the government to press on with plans to outlaw the use of Section 21 eviction notices. 

In a letter to the housing secretary, Robert Jenrick, Copley said that with more than a quarter of Londoners now renting, more stringent measures should be put in place to prevent tenants being forced to leave rented homes with two months’ notice, without having to provide a reason for the eviction.


In July, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) launched a public consultation on its proposals to scrap the use of section 21 notices. 

The MHCLG expects any changes to come into force by late 2020 or early 2021 and have highlighted that this will also be dependent on where other government priorities may take precedence.

But in his letter to the housing secretary, Copley called upon the government to swiftly scrap section 21 now that the consultation has closed. He said this was a “vital first step” towards providing more robust protections for the growing number of private renters.

Copley also wants to see the government take a further step towards sparking wider reform in the PR by following the example of other European countries and introducing open-ended tenancies.

Copley said: “The threat of no fault evictions can deter tenants from reporting problems with repairs to their landlords for fear of retaliatory eviction. Abolishing ‘no fault’ evictions is the vital first step in protecting tenants in an often unfair and unforgiving private rented sector.

“There were thousands of no-fault evictions in London last year, but this is likely to be the tip of the iceberg. So we need to get on with scrapping section 21 without dither or delay.

“We know that the end of a private tenancy is now the leading cause of homelessness in the capital. It is clear that the sector needs quite radical reform as a matter of urgency.

“Of course, after abolishing section 21, the government have a golden opportunity to go further and follow the lead of many other European countries by introducing open-ended tenancies and rent controls.”

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  • James B

    Clueless comments not backed up with facts

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    No fault evictions ?? Sec 21 is used to get non paying tenants out quicker and more cheaply than sec 8, that's why we use sec 21, without sec 21 we are going to be ever more selective when choosing tenants, leave the dross to councils and housing assocs where they belong.

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    • 14 October 2019 09:47 AM

    If it is decided to scrap 21 and to introduce rent caps and open ended contracts (can be terminated by the tenant of course and NOT the landlord!), then the Government better be prepares for a mass sale of to rent properties the moment the law is approved, hence making 10's of thousands and more tenants out on the streets.

    The Govt. will have a much larger problem on their hands that can ever comprehend.

    Well done again boys and girls....You will surpass yourselves in Government idiocy, thoughtlessness and understanding of what you will be doing. They at least should be banned from selling their properties.

    Hypocrites to the end. All 650 of them.

    Grow up and look at the real facts.

    I bet the MP's who actually rent houses, will divest themselves of their houses as soon as the bill will look like passing.

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    This will bankrupt landlords.
    Think about it ! mortgage rates go up,costs go up to service a property,maintenance costs go up.
    Rents frozen !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Landlord can't absorb the costs,can't evict = bankrupt.
    Property taken back by banks = tenants out on streets !!!!!!!!!!!!!
    My answer to section 21 ending = stop paying your mortgage,force a sale! mad I know

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    • 14 October 2019 10:11 AM

    Just even discussing these possibilities will cause LL to sell up well before any legislation is enforced.
    Even if there wasn't a S24 which is my main reason for selling up just the mere threat of these latest pronouncements would have been more than sufficient for me to start to sell up.
    If I was starting out again there is no would risk being a BTL LL.
    I'd go for FHL probably or get a larger residential property to take in lodgers.

    I simply could not afford to gamble that there wouldn't be a bonkers Marxist Govt every 5 years.

    Rent controls would destroy the values of all properties.
    This as lenders would only be able to lend on controlled rent figures which would mean far larger deposits would be required.
    Few LL would have deposits sufficient to invest.
    It would be a very poor return on capital invested.
    So why bother!?
    Just introducing such controls would see the PRS reduce to the size it was in the 60 and 70's.
    That would be horrendous for the tenants..
    There would literally be millions of homeless.
    To the point that I reckon Govt would have to step in and stop LL selling on the open market.
    They would effectively have to Compulsory Purchase for Social Housing.
    Whether such CP would be at market prices is another big question.
    But I know without S24 I would now be selling up.
    The threats to all round profitability are just too much.
    The PRS needs to take long term views; it simply can't cope with the threat of expropriation etc every 5 years.

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    We have had this in Scotland since December 2017 and getting rid of tenants who cause problems is now a nightmare. Two avenues still open to landlords are that tenants must move out if the landlord wants to sell or undertake major refurbishment. The first means that the property is no longer available for rent and the latter means that the rent charged is much higher. The latter also means we now postpone refurbishment as a potential means of getting rid of undesirable tenants so good tenants don't get their homes routinely upgraded as we did before. BTW market rents are now much higher and availability of properties much more restricted than before. No good news here for tenants but does the loony SNP care?

    • 14 October 2019 11:09 AM

    Yep I'm sure the Scottish experience is being avidly monitored by the idiot Tories.
    They will be introducing very similar policies.
    Scotland is often used as testbed for policies to be rolled out to the rest of the UK.
    It is starting to make very little business sense to remain an AST LL.
    By all accounts many Scottish LL have given up on AST letting and diverted to things like FHL and AirBnB thereby reducing the available stock of rental properties which probably accounts for one if the reasons rents are increasing.
    But I remember years ago this was being predicted by LL.
    And so it has come to pass!!!
    Not being able to effectively control your business assets is a major impediment to bring able to effectively manage that business.
    Why bother!?

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    They say in the article Section 21 Consultation has ended or Course there was never a Consultation considering they made the decision to Scrap it 6 months prior to Consultation. That's some democracy but no surprise giving that Shelter makes the Laws for LL's who are not elected representatives, their stupid "How to Rent" literature has also now grown to 15 pages although they tell us 13, also 2 versions of it to cause maximum confusion to ensure you will have issued the wrong one, How to Rent a Safe Home is new one but no use as I understand it, not part of the Act, this is the tenth change in less than 6 years, what a waste of paper printing & throwing away, disgraceful behavior by people who don't supply anything but make fat living out of destroying Private Sector Housing and have the ear of Government. enjoy the Recession.


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