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Axing Section 21 will leave landlords ‘powerless’ to evict anti-social tenants

The government’s controversial plans to scrap Section 21 of the Housing and Planning Act, the so-called ‘no fault eviction’, will leave many landlords “virtually powerless” to tackle anti-social behaviour (ASB) among tenants in the rented property sector, according to the National Landlords Association (NLA).

Over the last 12 months, 14% of private landlords reported having tenants who engaged in anti-social activities, a survey of more than 40,000 NLA members has revealed.

Anti-social activities often range from drug abuse and prostitution to playing loud music,, he study found.

Currently, landlords faced with disruptive or abusive tenants can issue a “no fault” Section 21 notice that enables them to repossess their property, typically within four months, without having to put neighbours and those affected by ASB through the ordeal of giving evidence in court.  

However, government plans to abolish this process has sparked concerns among most landlords that they will be unable to evict anti-social tenants.

Landlords’ only alternative is to issue anti-social tenants with a Section 8 notice, which allows them to repossess their property so long as they provide a valid reason and are able to provide sufficient evidence to satisfy a court.

But in practice this process all too often proves an unworkable option as anti-social behaviour can be difficult to prove without witness statements, which can be hard or impossible to get.

The section 8 process is costly, lengthy and puts all involved through months of unnecessary stress.

Richard Lambert, the NLA’s CEO, commented: “If landlords lose the right to issue a section 21 notice they will be left virtually powerless to deal with anti-social tenants living in their property.”

“Local communities often hold landlords responsible for the anti-social behaviour that takes place in their properties. But landlords cannot be blamed if they do not have effective tools to deal with the problem.

“In cases where the main issue is noise, alcohol or drugs, it can end up as your word against theirs, the reality is that neighbours and other tenants are sometimes just too afraid either to report cases of anti-social behaviour or testify in court.”

Poll: Do you agree that scrapping Section 21 will leave landlords “virtually powerless” to evict anti-social tenants?

PLACE YOUR VOTE BELOW

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    Section 8s are not going to work unless you make the descretionary grounds more simple to follow. As it stands I see no guideline as to what a judge will deem as enough of a breach, which leaves landlords either not going down the route for worry about lack of evidence, or having to spend lots of money going down the route potentially multiple times because one judge decides what they have seen isn't enough.

    A landlord should be entitled to regain possession of his property for no reason. Landlords tend not to evict a tenant just to put a new tenant in, in my experience.

     G romit

    "Landlords tend not to evict a tenant just to put a new tenant in, in my experience."

    I would put it stringer than this. Landlords will bend over backwards to hang on to a good Tenant, often not raising rents for years on end.

    The media has swallowed the sophistry of Tenant support organisations like Generation Rent, Shelter, Acorn, etc that Landlords willy nilly evict Tenants for the fun of it. But cannot answer why a Landlord would incur loss of rent (voids), advertising, referencing, cleaning/refurb costs AND the risk of renting to a 'rogue' Tenant for 'fun'. In reality they are actually supporting rogue Tenants who constantly get moved on who use their services rather than good Tenants won't never have need to use their services.

     
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    My Possession company specialise in eviction for ASB, however the complexity of the legislation around evicting tenants for ASB is an absolute painfully slow quagmire.
    We have been successful, but it can take around 18 months or longer, which is why we invariably proceed on Section 21.
    Govt and the Tenant campaigners are not thinking about the neighbours of such tenants that have to put up with the ASB as the real victims.
    A sad day when yobs attract voting-power and a sure sign the country's 'lost the political plot'

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    It’s not possible to increase rent when I have property empty & can’t find proper Tenants, everyone that comes are on benefits, wants to over crowd & ready to give birth. Only one lot that came were going to pay their own rent but they couldn’t afford really not even on minimum wage. Then not surprising a West London Council are paying out £37m pa. This is disgraceful waste of tax payers money everyone wants free living & Council willingly obliges. We all know they are designing their status to suit thy system
    & another 7 / 8 thousand on the freebie list, but not waiting to rent my property from their own pocket.

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    I concur with G Romit regarding hanging on to good tenants. In the five years of being a LL I have only increased my rent to cover my increased costs per annum ie insurances . it is in my interest that the property is respected and looked after and the two tenants that I have had during that period have been very good ones. As long as I have an income that will enable me to upgrade and keep the property in good order plus a dividend to supplement my pension then I am happy. Anyone who had watched the programme Tenants From Hell will know what potential horrors are out there with any new tenants. !!

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    Agree totally, I have many very good long term tenants, I don't want to evict them, why would I ? However I now have to be very careful where new tenants are concerned, A total ban on DSS, under 25s, and single mums, also the old gut feeling, if they don't seem right then no tenancy, I am quite lucky, no shortage of good tenants in East Anglia, just avoid Gt Yarmouth like the plague

     
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    Apply regular rent increase then most in this category aren’t or won’t pay so S8 notice

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