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Landlords cast doubt on government's plan to scrap Section 21

Buy-to-let landlords are concerned about the proposed scrapping of Section 21 in the absence of a new system that allows them to regain possession of their property in legitimate circumstances.

The government finally published the consultation of abolishing Section 21 repossessions in the private rented sector last week, which will run for 12 weeks, until Saturday 12th October 2019.

The consultation, which you can access by clicking here, includes proposals to improve the court system and alternative process for regaining possession of a property, known as Section 8, which is welcome news as far as the National Landlords Association (NLA) is concerned.


Chris Norris, director of policy and practice at the National Landlords Association (NLA), commented: “The court system has been in dire need of reform for a long time, so we’re happy to see action on this.”

But Norris insists that any improvements to this system need to be in place, properly funded and fully functional before the government even contemplates changes to section 21.

He added: “Landlords have been relying on section 21 to compensate for the many failings of the section 8 fault-based process, which has become too costly and time-consuming.

“If the government want to deliver a fairer, better quality and more affordable private rental market, as they claim, they should try listening to the concerns of landlords, not just court the voting renters.”

Also reflecting on the government’s publication of the consultation on abolishing Section 21, David Smith, the Residential Landlords Associations’ (RLA) policy director, also cast doubts on the government's plan to abolish Section 21 without ensuring there is alternative system in place that provides clarity.

He said: “Landlords’ concerns over scrapping Section 21 remain unchanged unless and until a new system is in place that provides the confidence and certainty needed that they can regain possession of their property in legitimate circumstances.

“We have engaged extensively with the Government over these proposals and we are pleased to see that many of our points have been taken on board. This includes on improving the court system and alternative process for regaining possession of a property, known as section 8, to account for how landlords can be certain they can regain their property when faced with rent arrears or anti-social behaviour.

“Section 21 notices are not used for no reason; our research found that of those who had used the process, 84 per cent had used it because of tenant rent arrears, 56 per cent because of damage to a property and 51 per cent because of anti-social behaviour. This is backed up by this week’s English Housing Survey which found that only 12 per cent of private tenancies were ended by the landlord. It is mostly used as the Section 8 process and court system are not fit for purpose.

“We will continue to make the case for a system that works for both tenants and landlords and will be responding to the consultation once we have reviewed the full details. It is welcome that the government has listened to our calls for the consultation to run for a proper length of time to give the millions affected time to respond, at 12 weeks.”

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    Replace the ''so called no fault eviction'' with a quick cheap way of evicting rouge and non paying tenants, why not ?

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    Hopefully Boris Johnson will listen to sense and abandon this. What we really need is a strengthened Section 21, so that it doesn't take 6 months to evict a non-paying tenant as it currently does - despite nonsense about Section 21 enabling landlords get their properties back with 'only' 2 months' rent owing. Theory is irrelevant in this context; in practice Section 21 has just been the least awful repossession route used mostly to get rogue and 'criminal' tenants out. I say 'criminal' as they clearly effectively steal thousands from landlords which we invariably cannot get back.

    • 22 July 2019 21:46 PM

    Ros what would you say if S21 was abolished for all circumstances EXCEPT. for rent default.
    That would end the false notion that S21 is a non-fault Notice To Quit.
    Obviously to then beef up the S21 process to facilitate possession very quickly and for S8 to be beefed up for all the other circumstances that S21 would have been used for previously.
    For most LL S21 is used for rent defaulting cases.
    Most LL could tolerate having to use S8 but would absolutely need to retain S21 for rent defaulting.
    The PRS has to give something so that Govt can say they are stopping LL from evicting tenants who are maybe not at any fault.
    Of course with S21 remaining it would mean that if any tenant going through a S8 process stops paying rent then the LL could use the far faster S21 process.
    If S21 was retained for rent defaulting the likes of Shelter etc could hardly then state S21 is a non-fault eviction process!!!

  • Daniela Provvedi

    I used a Sec 21 on tenants in one of my properties last year.
    The tenants were subletting (advertising MY property on their website); they were taking drugs on the balcony so that the neighbour's kids could see; they were making loud noises and music till 3 or 4am every morning; they drilled holes in the walls to have WiFi installed in every room and they upset my downstairs gay neighbour by calling him names. They also fought between themselves, resulting in the police being called 3 times in a 6 month period (that I'm aware of)
    However, all 3 of them were polite to me, they passed the credit reference, and they paid their rent on time every month.
    I was able to kick them out with the Sec 21 after 2 months - but what on earth are we expected to do with tenants like this now??

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    There is no doubt that it is difficult to spot a tenant that is likely to cause such problems.
    The way things have been going in the last twelve months, I have decided to be much more discerning in my choice of suitable tenants.
    Although, my new approach cannot be guaranteed to be effective, at least I know that I have done my very best to attempt to prevent such an event occurring in the future.

  • Suzanne Morgan

    Unfortunately we as good responsible LL are paying the price of those who indiscriminately evict their tenants for no valid reason . if I were renting I would be on tenderhooks all the time that I would lose my home especially when children involved. There has to be a balance between tenant and LL which will encourage the PRS to have confidence that they can evict a BAD tenant. Those LL who have done retaliatory evictions have made this new legislation inevitable. If my tenants who are amazing ever go I would not rent again. I would use it as a holiday home for me and friends. I could never ever risk handing it over to a potential rogue tenant.

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    I don't know who's supposed to be doing all this evicting its not me or anyone i know. There is so much Data, Surveys & statistics thrown at us all the time. Why not provide the a list of those evictions from the County Courts as a matter of public record then we'll know who is abusing the system making trouble for the rest of us. Then perhaps for repeat use or miss-use make them time barred as to how often they can avail of this, say for argument sake not more than 3 times in 10 years regardless of the size of their portfolio. I think the larger LL's are most likely to abuse the system and with Property scattered in so many towns around the UK, they are not going to be good LL's certainly not hands-on & often don't even see the property. Keep Section 21 / Assured Short Hold Tenancies for main stream lettings to avoid the worst Recession ever known, everyone must know that you can't have an economy based on Housing alone which is what the mutton heads are doing.

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    most evictions are by social landlords--try local high court lists


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