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Section 21 is sometimes mis-used, admits landlords’ chief

The chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association has admitted in a newspaper article that some landlords do misuse their Section 21 powers.

However, Ben Beadle says this is in a minority of cases and most landlords use it responsibly despite the slow court process, and sometimes resort to it because of the unsatisfactory alternatives when they want possession of their property. 

Writing in the I newspaper, Beadle says landlords now want the government to get on with the much-hyped but long-delayed Renters Reform Bill, because it may be the opportunity for the sector to introduce reforms which landlords want, as well as those advocated by tenants and their supporters. 


“[Landlords] want the opportunity to be used for fundamental reforms to the private rented sector. These need to be fair and workable for both tenants and landlords and seek to sustain tenancies wherever possible” he writes.

“We realise that Section 21 can be open to misuse by a minority of landlords. For the most part, responsible landlords rely on it because the alternatives do not work where tenancies have failed irreparably. This is due to courts being slow to consider legitimate cases, courts having insufficient means to deal with complex cases and difficulties accessing legal advice for renters early in the process” he adds.

The reforms that Beadle calls for include setting out specific grounds upon which landlords should be able to regain possession of their properties. This includes tenant rent arrears, anti-social behaviour and situations where landlords want to sell.

Where possession notices are challenged, the NRLA is calling for the creation of a new, publicly funded conciliation service, similar to the employment dispute body, ACAS.

This would seek to resolve disagreements between landlords and tenants without the stress and costs associated with going to court.

The most serious cases, such as those related to criminal activity by a tenant, would need to go straight to court but most could be considered by the conciliation service. 

This would help the tenant and landlord to reach an agreement to keep the tenancy going or bring the tenancy to an end in a way that works for both parties, the NRLA claims. Both tenants and landlords would be able to access the advice and support they needed to make their case.

Where landlords failed to abide by the terms of the agreement they would be banned from being able to re-possess the property using the same ground for six months. Where renters did so, the case would be fast tracked through the courts.



Later in the article Beadle states: “Even prior to the onset of Covid-19, it took an average of almost six months between a private landlord seeking a repossession through the courts to it happening. We hope that the introduction of conciliation would see a lot fewer cases ending up in court, but there still needs to be procedural changes and a boost to resources to ensure justice is not delayed, for either party.”

He also says the NRLA backs the government’s commitment to lifetime deposits for renters, and his association proposes a new deposit ISA for renters or a new financial facility to bridge the transition from one tenancy to another.

“For too long the sector has been characterised by power struggles between landlords and tenants. This Bill provides the opportunity to end this and develop a fair and workable framework for the sector. We believe our proposals achieve this” he concludes.

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    They got their headline didn’t they
    Note to Ben Beadle dont speak to INews or The Guardian - schoolboy error

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    • 04 December 2020 11:30 AM

    How dare he say that?

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Beadle should be Sacked ! but the NRLA aren't any better


    Time For an organisation that actually represents landlords. NRLA is mainly silent on any issues affecting us. Pointless.

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    Landlords will use S21.....yes quite often.....as it is a quicker route to possession (well it used to be!), and to mitigate their losses! In the main this is due to rent arrears or Tenant's breach of contract (severe breach of contract). Section 8 isn't used BUT... S21 can't be used to pursue a Tenant financially, so a Tenant moves on without financial penalty and leaves a Landlord licking their wounds and counting the debts. Take away S21 and every Tenant will be sued for every penny they owe under S8.
    S21 is better far better for Tenant to recover from hard times in the long run. No one in the PRS will touch a Tenant with a CCJ for rent arrears.
    I say this almost every day but the fools driving this change really need to be careful what they wish for.


    S21 was the essence of maggies reform of prs--without it no sane person would let a property

    Yonnette  Roberts

    Oh boy! Oh boy! I am with you on this. Sec 21 is on the table because, sorry landlords but, it’s because you abused it. Housing Act 1988 give other grounds but they are rarely used. Unfortunately, I understand why so let’s fight for better powers to remove bad tenants.


    @ Yonnette, I use sec 21 to evict non payers, I could use sec 8, but sec 21 is quicker and cheaper, we know we will be losing sec 21, so new tenant selection now has to be very selective, no risk taking from here on in, no one under 25, no one on benefits, and no single mums, because from 30 yrs experience these are normally the problem areas.

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    So, who else is cancelling their NRLA membership in absolute despair??

    • 04 December 2020 16:03 PM

    As many as possible should throw it back TODAY.....


    I'd love to cancel my NRLA membership. Have wanted to for years, maybe jump ship to the RLA but decided they were no better. Of course now we don't have any choices. As much as it pains me I have to admit as poor as they may be its better to be in than out. Just in the same way that as much as I now hate the Conservatives selling us out and despise them I will still vote for them rather than Labour.


    Already done in June.

    @Paul Hart... The Landlords Guild is supposed to be pretty good though not had personal experience.


    i left 3 years ago--nla then--as it was more interested in making money from members rather than representing members


    British Landlords Association is free to join and doesn't try to sell you rubbish all the time.

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    NRLA, Mr Beadle say's get on with 'Renters Reform Bill' but not in my name there is never anything in anything they do to improve the Private Rented Sector only add more rules & costs. He should be Campaigning to scrap it and also to Scrap 2015 De-Regulation Act, which was never needed, brought in by a lobby group which get Funds from Government, also have Charity Status, with a No.1 agenda to destroy Private LL's. I agree sometimes S21 was abused occasionally mostly by some Asian LL's when they just wanted to put-up Rent, lets be honest about this. I had 2 lots of Tenants come to me that this had happened to but there was nothing wrong with them. I had one lot stayed with me 14 years then bought their own House, the other lot stayed over 10 years and never a bad word between us.
    Tenants abused S21 a lot more by far even sometimes filling out the forms themselves & get LL to sign, to get Housed by the Council, why is this never mentioned ? if LL's didn't play ball he was going to suffer no end, stop paying the rent and do as much damage as possible, then he had to go for S21 whether he wanted to or not, this is the truth about what went on, just sweep it under the carpet & blame the LL.


    So true. I have had my share of tenants ask for a 21. Not that we had any problems with each other or the house but sometimes as simple as falling out with neighbours and wanting to move but not having the funding or ability to find a prs property. Got a sec21 and the council moves them quicker than they could possibly do themselves.


    I have a problem tenant, or at least she is a problem from time to time. SIngle mum with 6 kids and whilst she can't control them, she'll attack anyone that threatens them in any way. As a result an anti-social behaviour situation arose and the Council summoned me to a meeting where there were 4 of them (including a police officer) and lil ol me. What they actually wanted was for me to serve S21 on the woman to get her to behave but wouldn't go as far as saying they wanted me to evict. However it was made clear that if I did on anti-social behaviour grounds then the police would write me a supporting letter.

    An interesting conundrum for councils that use S21 to control this sort of thing.


    This is the problem, the NRLA does not campaign. Government have been allowed to walk all over us simply because there is no resistance or representation. The NRLA needs a new Chair,Board and CEO who can actually make a difference.

    Yonnette  Roberts

    Wow! Asian landlords? I guest your comments must be based on your experience. I work in south east and Essex areas, 40 years experience and we don’t have many Asian landlords out here. Some bloody good landlords as well as bad one. And all use section 21 because it’s easier. Yes some tenants and landlord do work together so that tenants can apply for council housing. Since we don’t have many council properties they are usually directed back to the private sector and Environmental Health.

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    • 04 December 2020 16:40 PM

    If she is like that......Do everything you can to get her out....S21, CCJ's absolutely anything.
    And do it sooner than later.

    Christmas Day is a good target.


    A single mum with one brat is bad enough, let alone with six of them.


    Haha. Tbh guys I'm soft. I did start S21 with the intention of selling the property a while ago but then changed plans.

    The lady is a PITA from time to time but is way better than she used to be. The second oldest has learning difficulties and it's this frustration that sometimes gets him into mischief. I like the lad but he's also an influence on some of his siblings.

    The problem was that when I told her I was selling she tried to get help from the council and they were completely and utterly bloody useless. They have nowhere for her to go and frankly I didn't want to be the evil scumbag landlord that puts 6 kids on the street. You can imagine what the local press would say about that!

    So we came to an arrangement in that I'll stick with things until her oldest two are old enough to leave home. In fact the first should be off to join the army very soon.

    Meanwhile the rent is good even though the wear and tear on the property is intense.

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    Paul. I don't think there is much difference between Landlord organisations. I was with NFRL but my membership became NLA as I remember it, now NRLA after merger with RLA, small Landlords became seem to disappear or interrogated into NLA possibly, with the split seems to emerge Southern Landlords Association which I was a member of too, but now called iHowz. I suppose it don't make much difference to us anyway they seem to exist to implement Government Policy and get us involved in courses to comply to this effect. I used to have what I considered good Insurance policy's but now we have what is called specialist LL Policy's with about 7/8 down loads who the hell is going to know what's in there, read and understand it they all say, Terms & Conditions Apply, its concerning if the worst happened, they could probably drive a horse & cart through it as they say.

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    john mckay--you do not have to attend--if you decide to attend--always take a witness and refuse to be interviewed under caution unless you have lawyer present

    plod has powers to deal with scum but are mostly bone-idle

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    A good example of a CEO who is completely out of his depth. The NRLA are mainly silent in all landlord issues but on this occasion the CEO speaks and puts his foot in his own mouth. This organization has completely lost its way since amalgamation, Government ignores them, making their very existence pointless,.

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    • 05 December 2020 18:11 PM

    Better current members resign.
    If not, nothing will change.

    I bet the NRLA do not even read these comments!!!!!!!!

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    • 05 December 2020 18:15 PM

    Strangely, their Web Site says on its front page:

    "Representation in Government"

    When and where, I have no clue. If so, why do they never tell us what representation they have made and to whom?

    Please tell us NRLA, if you have done anything in terms of Govt. representation and what is it? And with whom?

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    Never have been a member of the NRLA , however I have been a member of Eastern Landlords Assoc since the early 90s , used to attend all their meetings, and learn't a lot from them, they are local to me and very helpful, however not a lot of use when it comes to representing us in government, I have often emailed my local MP George Freeman, needless to say I just get fobbed off with empty promises and bull sh*t.

  • Matthew Payne

    How can Section 21 be mis-used, I don't follow? The whole point is no reason has to be provided and I cant think of any reason that a landlord may wish to regain possession that would be regarded as unreasonable, bearing in mind that no landlord would give notice to a reponsible contract observing tenant, who is paying a market rent on time each month.

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    Agree, sec 21 every time after the gentle word has no effect. Who says process is abused?
    Professional LLs know far better than council and government bods.works everytime. Very rarely have to use it though, as have No single mums, No daily curry eaters, No UC or Housing benefits, No pets. All this normally equals No arrears No antisocials and No trashed properties.


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