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House of Commons asks: What’s the problem with Section 21?

For landlords who may want a brief update on Section 21, the House of Commons Library has published a concise description and history.

The Library in the Commons is an independent body, operating without political interference, and it publishes occasional updates on specific public policy issues.

It has published this new update ahead of the widely-expected White Paper on rental sector reform, likely to appear early this year.



The Library gives particular detail on the consultations for abolishing S21 powers, originally pledged in the 2019 General Election manifesto by the Conservatives, and reiterated in the Queen’s Speech of that year, and then repeatedly delayed until - it appears - the near future.

You can see the Library report, which includes the S21 equivalent powers in the different UK nations, here.

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    Why would House of Commons need a report to know what’s wrong with Section 21 or why would I need to read it, I have lived it. They know what’s wrong with it, it been repeatedly chipped away at and undermined to a point it’s virtually dysfunctional now need Parliamentary time to waste to know what they have done.
    The White Paper should be about restoring S.21 to its original position before you bring the Country to its knees & collapse the whole economy, the most likely outcome.

  • icon

    There was a time that I would take a risk on a new tenant, as I could get rid of a rogue tenant, that time is gone, if they don't check out to a 5* rating they don't become a tenant of mine.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    The problem is Not with Section 21, the problem is dealing with Bad tenants. !

    Tenant campaign groups don't want rent and other bad tenant behaviour to result in prompt eviction.
    Central and Local Govt don't want tenant eviction either, as the state, Rightly has to pick up the cost.

    Savvy Landlords are already increasing their tenant screening ahead of even any discussion about removing Sec 21, let alone when that's implemented. The result of Any meddling with tenant eviction results in further difficulties in tenants finding properties to rent ( with the inevitable rise in the cost of scarce resources. )

    What's ironic, is the other article in LandlordToday, about political parties supporting rent freezes ! The demand and competition for rental accommodation ( strongly in part due to Tenant campaigners and Govt imposing legislation on the sector ) is so high that Tenants themselves are offering MORE than the rent asked to secure accommodation that their competing with between 50 - 300 other applicants for the same property.
    There couldn't be less joined up thinking and appreciation of consequences if they tried.


    I'm now getting new tenants offering 6 months rent up front in order to get the property, there is that much competition .

  • Theodor Cable

    But a bit tricky if you need to evict them quickly whilst they wreck your property!


    They have offered it, but I won't be taking it , I still have more viewings booked this week, I did have a guy pay 3 monthly a few yrs ago, but I had known him through the motor trade for more than 30 yrs.

  • icon

    It would be good if this same body took a constructive look at the inherent failings of the court "system" that is - and has been for so long - an inefficient and expensive means of legally removing "rogue tenants".
    Sadly that is unlikely to happen because such facets as "rogue tenants" don't appear to exist as far as Governments, their advisers, Shelter and the "do-gooder" element is concerned.

    Theodor Cable

    UK needs to take up the German and Australian rules:

    If rent is not paid on the correct date, then the police are obliged to make a visit to the property the following day and the tenant is politely evicted with no questions asked.

    I assure you that there is virtually zero rent defaults in both countries.

    And why can that not be introduced in UK? It would also relieve much of the work from the courts and save money all round.

    WIN, WIN and WIN.


    Theodor, that's not the law in either Germany or Australia.

    German eviction laws are laid down in section 543 of the German Civil Code (the Bürgeliches Gesetzbuch or BGB) which mandates that no possession proceedings can be brought for arrears unless the tenant is two successive months arrears of rent.

    Australia doesn't have any eviction laws. It's a federal state and housing is a matter for the states. Laws vary between states, but none of them have the law you claim. All of them require the landlord to obtain a court or tribunal order.

    Theodor Cable


    They are indeed on the statutes, but in both countries, the truism is that the police and the wishes of the population want it as was and therefore that socially remains as was.

    I have just been in both countries the last few months and the operational expectations are the same and NOT the Govt. wishes.

    In both cases the eviction system works the same it always has. Especially when non payment is involved.


    If the Police in both those countries are routinely flouting the law and the courts by carrying out mass illegal evictions at the drop of a hat (in fact you said they are "obliged" to break the law in this manner), I'm sure you'll be able to prove it. There must be a mountain of evidence to back up your extraordinary claim, particularly given Germany's influential renters unions.

    Alternatively, it would have been better to have admitted to have been mistaken rather than double down on this nonsense.

    Theodor Cable


    To Quote:

    The eviction process in Germany.

    In a tenant eviction process, the most important step is to check against the provisions of the tenancy contract (which mostly calls for immediate evictions if defaulted and to identify which clauses have been breached.

    This provides to landlords the most powerful ground for starting an eviction process. After you identified your legitimate reason it is important to inform the tenant on the imminent eviction.

    The eviction period is usually stipulated in the contract and you need to respect the clauses included in the tenancy agreement. Both parties have also the option to enter a termination agreement, which may speed up the eviction process. In case the tenant does not leave the property you may bring the situation to police and or the law.

    It all surrounds the contract. Most Germans stay in properties for many years as they are reluctant movers. The contract remains in place.


    None of which overrides the German Civil Code nor provides a shred of evidence that German Police are obliged to evict every tenant once they're a day late with the rent. Where is the evidence that all of these evictions are taking place? It's just nonsense.


    Oh Theodor look at what you've done here, got old Leics on his soap box again !

  • Matthew Payne

    The Tenant Fees Act helped win the 2019 Election, a huge swing of young labour voters delivered the supposed blue wall. The Renters Reform Bill is the master plan for 2024. Nothing like robbing Labour votes with Labour policies.

    The reason the white paper has been kicked into the long grass for later this year, they want it fresh in voters minds as we approach the ballot box in May 24, too soon it will become forgotten. You may remember the TFA was delayed and delayed, and then boom, through in 2 shakes of a lambs tail a few weeks before the 2019 election. What have the Romans ever done for us? Is a Q they will have answered just in the nick of time once more.

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    The last election was about Brexit.

    Matthew Payne

    It only became about Brexit in the few weeks after Johnson was elected leader, and his charisma dare I say it. Theresa May would have failed in the same seat.

    When the TFA was enacted, Labour was well ahead in the polls and the Tories were scratching around trying to find ways to fracture the young Labour vote knowing a general election was just around the corner, that yes would be dominated by Brexit. Remember that a Brexit driven election would usually drive young voters to Labour as they mostly wanted to remain, yet so many voted Tory against their supposed principles. A few quid in their pocket was the reason why.

  • icon

    Mr Payne, students were voting twice.Further people outside the M25 belt are very conscious of how British Industry and mineral extraction has been decimated along with their jobs by joining the European Union (Commen Market). Inside ghe M25 (plus the home counties) EU has been very good for them, So the red wall collpased. Teresa May was trying very hard to destroy Brexit and the Conservative party was decimated in th Euro elections. So she went. Unfotunately we really have the shambles of Brexit that she negotiated (capitulated).

    Theodor Cable

    Andrew T
    Don't worry, "for he know not what he does"

    Would help if he understood that the thought of instant evictions would be a great help to the Private Rental Sector in the UK.

    And that is the whole issue I was talking about.
    Would be better to talk about that than have a bash at be.

    I am sure he is a fine bloke.


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