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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Landlords will become ‘more selective’ if the government scraps Section 21

But-to-let landlords will have little alternative but to become more selective over what tenants they are willing to accept if the government removes Section 21.

Many landlords see the Section 21 ‘no-fault’ eviction process as their only safety net against unscrupulous tenants.

The National landlords Association (NLA) fears that some of the most vulnerable tenants on state benefits will be “the biggest casualties” of the controversial new initiative.

The NLA described the proposal to abolish Section 21 as “ill-thought-out” and urged the government to “think twice” before changing the rules on eviction in the private rented sector.

In a survey of landlords, the NLA found that of those who had sought to end a tenancy in the past five years, regardless of whether they used this no-fault process or specified they had grounds for eviction, 57% had done so because of rent arrears. 

Some 43% respondents said that if the government pressed ahead with its controversial plans, they would become more selective when choosing tenants for their property.

In a separate survey, the NLA found that 76% of landlords who let to Universal Credit tenants, 66% of those let to housing benefit tenants, while 63% of those who let to migrant workers experienced rent arrears in the last 12 months.

Richard Lambert, CEO of the NLA, commented: “Rent arrears are the biggest problem that landlords face, and the main reason why they use Section 21 to evict a tenant. So if the government removes what they see as their only safety net - Section 21 - they will have no option but to become more selective. That will hit people on Universal Credit, housing benefit and other state benefits which have fallen way behind rents. They will become the biggest casualties of this ill-thought-out government policy.

“It’s surely not right that the most vulnerable in our society should have to struggle to find accommodation because of the government’s failure to provide landlords with appropriate powers of eviction when faced with rent arrears.”

“We urge the government to think twice before taking this retrograde step.”

Poll: Will you become ‘more selective’ if the government scraps Section 21?

PLACE YOUR VOTE BELOW

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    NLA, Landlordtoday teams et all must stop Redefining s.21 as ‘no fault’.
    There is always a reason why any LL would need a tenant eviction.

    s.21 is not usable, If a tenant, or even a lodger makes false allegations against LL to the local council. Hence it’s technically not a ‘no fault’ eviction process, & anyone representing it as such is incapable of doing the right thing for LL’s and should be fired.

    Ultimately PRS is not a charity sector. Successive Govt’s have encouraged and many Prime Ministers led by example by renting their 2nd/more homes.

    In reality, there should be a ‘no fault’ eviction process to allow a homeowner to repossess their rooms/property after 1 month’s notice, without requiring a court hearing date and automatically triggering a Bailiffs warrant instead of 14 days after the first court order/application for Bailiffs warrant/waiting for another 1-2 months, which gives tenants nearly 3-4 months free housing at the cost of LL.




    Paul Barrett

    S21 cannot be used for a lodger.
    All that is required is a simple NTQ letter.
    Lodgers and tenants have different methods for their occupation of a property to be terminated.
    A lodger cannot prevent ahomeowner from booting them out irrespective of any complaints to the council that lodger may make.
    .
    To avoid being booted out the lodger should just leave.
    They have NO security of tenure beyond that agreed in the Lodger Agreement.

     
  • icon

    Of course we will have to be more selective, if there is the smallest chance that a prospective tenant may turn out to be a bad tenant, or if something doesn't feel right the prospective tenant will have to be rejected, if in doubt leave them to the local council to house .

  • Paul Barrett

    With the new regulations I would not rent any of my properties to my existing tenants.
    Which means it is pointless retaining the properties if I can't source the right sort of tenants.
    So I WILL be selling up as a consequence making about 14 tenants homeless.
    Well done Govt!!!...................NOT!!

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    'No fault' - who penned this misleading and ridiculous addition?
    It's about time it was challenged and as good place to start is right here.

    LET'S JUST CALL IT SCRAPPING S.21

    No add-ons no other nonsense. It's removal from the law books will be a major blow to the PRS and yet the brainless politicians (are there any other types?) just do not see this. They are not only blind but stupid. No change there then!

    Come on guys and gals let's get going on this.

  • icon

    Just the current vote winner that will be spun along for a while to milk it until it’s introduce .. it’s coming for sure as it’s been promised to the vital generation rent voters which our number landlords 10 to 1

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    Agreed James, but a vote winner for who ? i doubt snow flakes or generation rent would be voting Tory.

     
  • Paul Barrett

    It might seem counter-intuitive to Govt but if they introduced a very fast -track eviction facility for rent defaulting tenants only it would actually encourage many more LL to take on the riskier tenants!
    All other eviction requirements could be transferred across to S8.
    Indeed S21 should be retained but only allowed to be used in rent defaulting cases.
    It should obviously be enhanced to allow speedy removal of a rent defaulting tenant the day after the 2nd month of rent arrears which would be after 1 month and 1 day for monthly advance rent.
    Retaining use of S21 for rent default only would certainly end the notion that S21 is non-fault!
    Rather than throw the baby out with the bathwater better to restrict S21 usage for rent default cases only.
    Just the knowledge that a LL could boot out a rent defaulting tenant quickly without the need to use any Court process would transform the PRS and would certainly see many more accepted as tenants.
    The more risky it is made for a LL to get rid of wrongun tenants especially rent defaulting ones the more LL will be extra choosy on whom they are prepared to to let to.
    It is a natural business response to increased business risk.
    Why can't Govt see this!!??
    Surely it cannot support tenants to rent default with impunity!!!!??
    As it stands currently LL are being forced by business.
    imperatives to be very cautious as to who they rent to.
    The main thrust behind the campaign to get rid of S21 is that it is non-fault.
    Well we all know that is rubbish.
    But enhancing S21 to be used only in rent default cases would remove the non-fault issues as a S21 could hardly be non-fault if it was only allowed for rent default cases!
    I don't see why all other circumstances that might cause a LL to give NTQ cannot be dealt with by enhanced grounds within S8.
    Yes it will be a bit of a fag for a LL to have to go to Court for all other reasons except rent default but I believe most LL would accept such changes.
    Tenants would also know that providing they pay the rent the LL would be forced to use the Court process to get rid of them.
    Of course it would be relatively easy to force the tenant into rent default by increasing rent to unaffordable levels.
    I would amend rent increase regulations so that only annual rent increases would be allowed even if a new 6 month AST is issued.
    I believe it is fair that tenants should not expect a rent increase more than once per year.
    Now this may then be raised to unaffordable levels but a tenant would know they have security for at least a year before their LL used a new fast track S21 facility.
    Very few tenants would remain in a property to be booted out by the LL after 13 months and one day.
    At least with this suggested enhanced process tenants who pay their rent and behave in all other circumstances would know they could remain for at least 13 months and one day before the LL could boot them out.
    Of course S8 grounds would overcome this if a LL wanted to sell or move into the property themselves.
    So Govt needs to carefully consider the total removal of S21.
    Just retain it for rent defaulting cases only!!!

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    What is wrong with the current section 13 process?

     
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    It goes without saying s21 has been undermined completely, only one remaining tread left, now they are getting rid of that for Government to avoid their responsibility. The LL will be stuck with them indefinitely at his own cost, welcome to a major collapse, I can’t se it any other way / building thousands subsidised of Flats clearly not required.

  • Paul Barrett

    LL will be stuck with tenants but they will have to use the S8 process.
    Unless it is improved then it will be a disaster as there simply aren't enough hours in the working week or sufficient County Courts to process all the former S21 cases that will now become S8 ones.
    A LL could easily be waiting 2 years to evict.
    This would simply cause mass bankruptcies of LL.
    Unless RGI would be achievable on tenants then LL would be mad to let to anyone who couldn't qualify for RGI.
    Very few tenants are capable of qualifying for RGI.
    In such circumstances LL would be better off selling up wherever they have no chance of RGI on tenants.
    I would imagine RGI premiums would increase if S21 was removed.
    Currently RGI is so cheap a LL would be mad not to have it if the tenant qualified.
    Govt clearly doesn't understand the basics of the PRS.
    It has started a process which will result in mass homelessness as LL give up and leave the PRS.

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    The Govt. is not worried re homelessness.
    It’s relying on Build to Rent (B2R) developers. Some have now been completed in Scotland and North.
    South East Council’s are encouraging people on housing waiting lists to explore a relocation, including providing financial resources to visit for viewing/short term stays.
    Many B2R developments are near completion in South East as well hence the Govt. is confident to fill the gaps created by PRS LL’s leaving the sector.

    Local authorities come to an agreement with the Developers at the Planning approval stage re the no. of homes to be provided to the council. More can be acquired using various laws by the councils.

    The Govt is shifting more powers to local councils to reduce homelessness by using almost any means-eg refuse planning permission if the Developers do not agree to a % of new homes for Council usage, Cap PRS rents in privately rented homes by the developers/owners, redefine Lodger status to Tenant-thereby prolonged eviction process for homeowner/LL.

    Lodgers, Tenants and Councils will/do have more rights than PRS homeowner/LL.

    A lodger refusing to leave can not be evicted with just NTQ-s.8/s.21 eviction process must be followed, up to Bailiffs warrant.
    A good/unaware lodger would leave with NTQ may be,
    an unscrupulous lodger who rents with an intent to get a Council home can not be evicted with just NTQ unless charged with ASB.
    Police treat lodgers as an ‘invited person’ hence will require full evidence-even if the homeowner calls 999 in case of an assault /damage in home by the lodger-a lengthy process requiring visual evidences/ongoing complaints to council not just by the homeowner but neighbors/local/businesses etc etc. Homeowners can face criminal charges if evicting Reluctant lodger/s without Bailiffs warrant-especially if council decides to pursue a case on behalf of the homeless lodger.
    London’s Labour mayor is pushing for PRS rental cap. With over 5 B2R projects approved just in East & South London to provide over 1,000 rented homes, it will be interesting to see the ratio of Developer owned/rent:Council rented, reduction in homelessness in East & South London Councils, and the impact of PRS rent cap.
    The Govt. is waiting for B2R Properties Councils usage Data. If successful in reducing homelessness and waiting lists for council homes - Data will definitely be used by both Labour & Conservatives during the next GE.

    It seems that s.21 change will not be repealed now.
    Time will tell if Govt’s B2R policy has been successful in reducing homelessness, whilst also keep PRS profitable for LLs.

    Paul Barrett

    I don't know how many times you need to be told.
    Lodgers do not need any other NTQ process other than a simple letter given to the lodger.
    You must STOP disseminating your INCORRECT assertions that lodgers can only be removed by S21 or S8 process.
    If you do not stop I shall report you to this site to have you banned.
    LL rely on information given on this site and you quoting incorrect information doesn't assist one iota.
    Now having said that your comments regarding TENANTS are perfectly correct.
    However I would suggest that B2R will not solve homelessness.
    This is because the rents charged are far more than most of those can afford.
    This is because they are in receipt of HB and don't bother working.
    B2R will not reduce rents to LHA levels unless they are near market rents.
    So B2R won't solve the problems.
    Only by building subsidised accommodation................council housing to you and me will there be sufficient affordable properties for those who are reliant on HB.
    Once more please STOP quoting your incorrect information about lodgers.
    Their legal status hasn't changed yet though I do agree with you that this and a future Govt are so bonkers that they may well enhance the rights of lodgers.
    I wouldn't put any such craziness past Govt.
    But fortunately as it stands now LODGERS do NOT have the same rights as tenants.
    This means that homeowners can continue to take on lodgers confident in the knowledge that all it requires to get rid of a lodger is a NTQ for the period agreed at the outset of the lodger agreement.
    If you still insist on contending that lodgers have the same status as tenants I will report you to the site to have you banned.

     
    Suzanne Morgan

    Your lodger's tenancy type
    The way you share your home with a lodger affects what kind of tenancy they have. This in turn affects their rights and how you can end the tenancy.

    Your lodger is an excluded occupier
    Your lodger is likely to be an excluded occupier if:

    they live in your home
    you or a member of your family share a kitchen, bathroom or living room with them
    In this case, you only have to give them reasonable notice to end the letting - and you won’t have to go to court to evict them.

    This is cut and paste from the Governments own website on Spare Room letting.

     
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    Abi, if I may call you that, has got it right with regards to what Government is up to, in short its what I have been saying for a long time, they want us out because they need our Tenants for the thousands of subsidized Flats they are building clearly not required. It doesn't matter to them how long we have been LL's or how much tax we pay or the quality affordable accommodation we have provided for years. They get their big Salaries and Holidays anyhow of course they don't have to earn it or they would starve. its so much corruption now that the prosecutor / Council is also a Beneficiary undermining the rule of law, how can anyone have any confidence in the justice system with this rubbish taking a big financial slice of what purports to be a penalty / So called incentivisation Scheme its another name for fraud. Every LL pleads guilty whether guilty or not but they have the option to plead guilty if they want to have their fine doubled but naturally they don't like that option. After every Court outcome every council leader claps themselves on the back as if there was ever going to be any other outcome, saying let it be lesson to all other LL's not to dare stand up for themselves or we'll cripple you. Section 21 consultation farce it only going through the pretend motions, they are minded to do it anyhow ( or the remnant) or whats left of it. I now have conformation from my MP that he supports getting rid of S,21 if elected, he says he wants to strengthen the security Tenure for Tenants, apparently he doesn't know the balance of power is already strongly in the Tenants favour as only they or the Courts can end Assured Short Hold Tenancy and they will always be backed by Local Authority / Shelter / Citizens Advice, notwithstanding the fact that S21 has been so depleted already coupled with all the anti-private LL add ons debacles incl' deregulation Act, How to rent + another dozen to stop you using it. etc' its a stitch up plain & simple. Saint Paul used to do a lot of writing to the Corinthians but I think our Paul would give him a good run for his money, no offence.

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    Thant you, that's what I have been saying there is no shortage of Housing so why are they building thousands of Subsidized Flats clearly not required, it just media hype and if they don't take our Tenants to buy them where are the people going to come from. I have property vacant but very poor response although 3 Council did want them for people with many issues but I have enough of problems already, incidentally only 2 lots inquiring that intended to pay from their own pocket at least 30 other lots were wanting the system to pick up the tab. Regarding Help to Buy huge numbers of purchasers earn over £80k pa and some over £100k pa so they didn't need help & could have bough anyhow. I see some houses sitting there for year & half and no buyer the market has been distorted by the help to buy scheme where stamp duty don't apply and existing stock clobbered

  • Paul Barrett

    I consider HTB as scandalous as RTB
    Why should taxpayers subsidise purchase of private residential property!!??
    I'd like to buy a detached 5 bed property but the taxpayer won't subsidise me to be able to purchase.
    So unfair!!!
    Govt intervention in the housing market is distorting the market.
    One thing I believe the taxpayer could subsidise is by reintroducing MIRAS.
    BUT S24 would have to be abolished at the same time.
    MIRAS made all the difference in affordability back in the day.
    But HTB and RTB should be abolished.

  • Paul Barrett

    @suzanne
    There is no telling some people.
    However I strongly suspect that Abi has been confused by those LL who operate HMO with alleged licences.
    Now we all know these are not valid.
    They are effectively tenancies and it is this recognition by the Council that necessitated S21 or S8 usage.
    The Council would be correct in the circumstances of an HMO where the LL doesn't have his home.
    A LL can have as many homes as he likes and have lodgers in each of them; but must attend the home at least once a month even if that is just to satisfy home insurance requirements.
    But he cannot have BTL mortgages on the residential properties and would need lender permission to have lodgers.
    Very few resi lenders allow more than two lodgers.
    I suspect this is the issue.
    It is well known that licence or lodger system is abused by those who are let us say not of traditional British stock of 80 years ago!!
    These are the areas where illegal immigrants tend to congregate and definitely where the licence system is abused.
    When Councils come across such circumstances then their contention that S21 and S8 must be used where it is obvious that the occupiers are fake lodgers and are actually tenants.
    Many rogue LL try to pull the wool over the eyes of innocent tenants by saying they are lodgers which means fewer rights.
    This is what I suspect occurs with a lot of naive tenants.
    It isn't their fault they don't know what their rights are and many LL take advantage of this ignorance.
    I can see Govt resolving to clear up any perceived ambiguity and I believe Govt will introduce compulsory paperwork for lodgers to advise them of their rights.
    This would be no bad thing in my book.
    Lodgers should be assured of their status in paperwork form.
    Perhaps there should be a formal Govt Lodger Agreement that must be used for each lodger.
    I wouldn't think this would be intrusive.
    After all if a homeowner takes in a lodger then a Gas Certificate is required.
    I wonder how many homeowners with lodgers have Gas Certificates!?
    Perhaps a How to Rent booklet for lodgers similar to the one required for tenants should be issued to lodgers.
    I believe that lodgers will become an increasingly popular form of tenure as the AST market dries up as LL exit that AST market.
    Lodgers deserve to have their rights explained to them with formal documentation.

    Suzanne Morgan

    Your posts are always informative Paul and anyone who is Letting a property or using a spare room for a Lodger needs to be on top of their brief. Misinformation , misguided but well intentioned though it may be, is dangerous so thank you again for your wealth of knowledge here. Hoping now that it puts the Lodger/'Tenant conundrum well and truly to bed.

     
  • Paul Barrett

    I must admit I have never given any of my lodgers anything other than a Lodger Agreement.
    I believe that in future in the absence of required documents I need to put together an information pack for a lodger.
    There are of course a few sites which give excellent lodger information but I highly doubt whether any lodgers bother searching for them.
    Whilst lodgers don't have the same rights as tenants I believe it would be the responsible thing to effectively mirror as near as possible the documentation that tenants are obligated to be given.
    I haven't given this much thought but this thread has given me pause for thought especially the paucity of information for lodgers.
    I believe lodgers have every right to be informed if all their rights as lodgers at the outset of the lodging.
    I have always verbally explained but I accept that this is not an ideal way to impart information to lodgers who have to easy way to refer to that lodger information.
    Not that it is of major concern to me as I am not due to take on lodgers for another 3 years.
    But I think it would be useful to have a template of documentation that could be given to lodgers so that they are fully aware of their rights and responsibilities.
    I would imagine that a site like Spareroom would be the ideal originator of such a template.
    They are probably more aware than most as it is their main business.
    I reckon they could be relied on to produce accurate information for lodgers.
    It would obviously be so much easier to just click a link on Spareroom and print off all relevant documentation as well as sending the link to the lodger.
    I think lodgers should be given the same consideration as tenants.
    Funnily enough I will be removing a lodger due to rent default.
    No S21; S8 or anything.
    I will be escorting him out of my home unless he pays the rent arrears and the deposit I used for one month rent default with his agreement.

  • Suzanne Morgan

    Anyone who answers my advertisement on the Spare Room site will have seen my requirements in the tick boxes when they navigate . If they then chose to make an appointment to view , I reiterate the terms and'rules' which apply to any Lodger who stays. If this is acceptable then prior to them taking up the room, I will email them my Terms and Conditions. They will be for instance. No smoking and no pets. I will state what is included within the price of the room. I.e. all utility bills, No added cost of daily living needs, ie. loo paper, and similar commodities. I include laundry in the cost of the room if they wish me to do it and their ironing. The email will include whether they can have an occasional overnight guest or friends for a meal. It will include payment details and notice period which I always give a month and my lodger need only give me two weeks. If these Terms and Conditions are satisfactory and they wish to proceed, then I ask for an acknowledgement email to that effect . Job done.

    Paul Barrett

    Hmm!
    You have obviously given far more thought to this than me and I would hazard a guess that very few live-in LL are so emphatic with information.
    I must admit I like your methodology.
    It certainly makes you look professional which guess is what a lodger would want.
    In light of what you do I think I definitely need to adopt such a professional approach.
    Such a strategy certainly leaves no doubt about what the required parameters are.
    You've certainly got me thinking!

     
  • Suzanne Morgan

    Thank you Paul. I believe it gives clarity and my Lodger should feel comfortable and 'at home' . I am away from my cottage for long periods so they do tend to have it to themselves a lot. It saves embarrassment if terms are set down as a reminder of how I want my home used when I am not there. I believe written e.mails will also ensure that a Lodger 'didnt know ' argument won't wash as they have will have sent me a confirmation email that they have agreed to terms before they move in.

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    I am all for servicing Central Heating boilers regularly, especially those days with modern so called energy efficient Boilers that are so much more troublesome than traditional Boilers gas central heating boilers, when they were better and seldom broke down, because no electronics virtually, magnetic circulating pumps that lasted for ever, just the odd little thermo-couple to change very occasionally, hoover out the heat exchanger that was before we were banned & all labeled stupid and need a professional, fair enough. Modern Boilers so many things to go wrong & they do, so much Electronics ? Circuit board, Valves, Sensors, Filters to clog up especially with condensing Boilers which they mostly are. When you travel about Town you'll have noticed the Fleet of Vans by the many different Companies clogging up the Streets just to keep Boilers running, Also gone are the loft storage tanks which were trickle fed to even out the supply, just wait until we have a real dry summer there could well be a big shortage with all the extra Flats, even though we have a new ring main for L London. However they increased the water pressure already in Acton to accommodate the new development busting my existing pipes putting cost on me. Is it really progress.

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