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Battling Baroness says S21 notices ‘pull rug from beneath tenants’ feet’

The Baroness who leads the Generation Rent campaign has made a sharp attack on section 21 notices.

Baroness Alicia Kennedy says: “A Section 21 notice pulls the rug out from under you. As long as the landlord serves it correctly, you have to move out. That means very few tenants challenge it in court. 

“And because landlords don’t need a reason for eviction, it also means that many tenants live in fear of losing their home and families throughout England have no confidence to put down roots in their local area.


“Renters have been waiting two years for the government to make good on its promise to ban these unfair evictions. If it weren’t for Section 21, 700,000 renters would not have faced an unwanted move during a pandemic and millions more would have confidence to plan their lives.”

Kennedy’s figures come from a survey by the Renters’ Reform Coalition, a campaign body operating under the Generation Rent umbrella.

This survey says that one in 12 private renters have been given formal notice to move out without a reason since March 2020; this means, suggests Generation Rent, that as many as 694,000 private tenants have been served with a Section 21 notice to quit during the pandemic.

The survey also found that one in three private renters fear that they will lose their home in the year ahead – which represents nearly three million adults in England.

Two years ago today the government announced plans to abolish Section 21 and introduce open-ended tenancies.

While the initial Section 21 notice is only the first stage of the legal eviction process, a valid notice cannot be overturned in court. That means most tenants who receive one have nothing to gain by challenging the notice and move out before the case reaches court. Invalid notices can be challenged.

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    There is always a reason (and usually a 'fault') - no LL wants to evict a good tenant.

    Madeleine  Astor

    Yer a reason is the landlord can’t legally put the rent up past a certain amount and now that they need to do vital repairs they have an excuse !! I have lived here 7 1/2 years so if I was a bad tenant surely my landlord would of realised years ago !!?? I understand at the end of the day it’s the landlords property but it annoys me that landlords on here just think certain tenants are all the same slagging then off which is like me saying all you landlords are money grabbing, dodgy and cut corners bodging up your rentals and don’t like to do any repairs and only when you have to you will do a quick bodged repair yourself so you haven’t got to pay a tradesman as heaven for it you have to spend money on your property !!!


    Madeleine, all tenants are not the same, in fact most are good honest hard working people who pay their way and look after our properties, I have 16 such tenants at present and zero bad ones, but there are bad ones out there, I've had them, got that tee shirt, it's the few that cause the issues for the good ones, but isn't that true in all walks of life ?

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    Section 21 is the accelerated eviction route , not a no fault eviction.

    jeremy clarke

    Section 21 is a section under 1988 Housing Act, it is not an eviction. To evict, landlords must correctly serve notice but still need a court order for possession to evict tenants.

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    Section 21 is a notice requiring possession, it is not and never has been an eviction. That can only happen via a court order following a Section 8 notice for breach of tenancy.


    It is an eviction, but you are correct that it has to be backed up by a court order before the tenants can be removed, normally though the tenants leave of their own free will before we get to courts and bailiffs .


    For the first time, Andrew, I disagree with you. Have you gone over to the dark side? 🤣 it is NOT an eviction. If, as you say, tenants leave of their own free will, that cannot be described as an eviction.

    Catherine is correct. 👍

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    True we tended to use them as opposed to the weak Section 8 just to get the property back. However I will serve a section 21 for any rudeness disrespect or poor communication (aka not responding to requests re tenancy management). This applies to disrespect to my contractors as well.
    I told all the applications at the start that I only wanted nice people in my properties then asked them if they were ‘nice people’? You be surprised how the scammers and the ‘I know my rights’ type just disappear at this point saving me a lot of time and money


    S.8 gives more protection to tenants.
    A well known tactic used & recommended by councils as well as solicitors is (as experienced when evicting our unscrupulous tenants) - Tenant pays part of outstanding rent a few minutes (days/or hours) before the court hearing, and the judge can not issue the eviction order as the tenant has technically ‘paid’, therefore the claimant is technically lying in court.
    By that time, LL has become liable to pay solicitors and legal costs, alongside facing the stress of lost rent, potential further damage to property by a bad tenant.
    Fortunately our solicitor had issued s.8, & S.21 notices at the same time, so although the tenant paid 90% of outstanding rent the day before the hearing, court was able to consider S.21 factors abd issue an eviction order, which then had to follow with a bailiff order since the council wanted it to house this tenant-but the LL had to pay for it.
    Therefore S.21 is required to help evict unscrupulous tenants, who are damaging reputation of good tenants by living off good caring landlords.
    The total timeline with both S.8 & S.21 was 17 months pre Covid-19 time, it’s even worse now.

    There has to be an easier online solution to enable eviction of non paying, unscrupulous tenants, and a no fault eviction if the LL’s circumstances change and they need to use their home themselves after giving a notice of 30-60 days.

    Laws must be fair to all parties but it is clear that the laws are unfair towards Private Landlords, which must be changed.
    Justice delayed is justice denied to landlords.

    As many LL’s have commented-nobody evicts a good tenant.

    Remember which political party not to vote for during the next local, and general elections.
    Best wishes to all good LL’s and good tenants.

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    And what a surprise She’s from the Labour Party! Desperate for Votes.

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    There will be an accelerated possession route in a reformed Section 8. That will in essence be the same as a 'S21' if a Tenant is in breach of their Tenancy....which is why 95% of S21's notices are served anyway!
    This whole abolition of S21 is nothing more than a waste of time / resources and will have zero impact on Tenant security for bad Tenants. Such resources could be providing homes for the most vulnerable that need support the most.
    I have 2 words for the Baroness.... Derrrrr and McFly!


    I hope that you are right with the new accelerated section 8, I look forward to reading the conditions, when ever I have used section 21 in the past it has always been for a justifiable reason - none payment of rent !

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    • 15 April 2021 12:44 PM

    Baroness should start paying taxes and give out all her lands and properties to the people.


    Another person who needs a good libel lawyer.


    I second that! Baroness must lead by example if genuinely concerned about reducing homelessness.

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    Tenants move when ever they want, they have full power to move and LL has no say, is that fair?. They can stay as long as they like even though its not their property but they do move when it suites them or sometime when they have built up arrears, if they never move Estate Letting Agents may as well close down.

  • George Dawes

    Baroness , I thought labour were anti-peerage ?

    Typical lefty hypocrite


    Maybe 'Lord' Prescott could comment..


    Or Lord Kinnock😱

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    Lets break the Statement down 700,000 faced un wanted move during Pandemic, During the Lock down there was a ban on evictions.

    As many as 695 000 Given Notice to leave , Where does this figure come from ? Let`s assume this is figure Is correct So why are Landlord Giving notice , Mainly in the Areas I have Properties is because they are selling up. They are fed up with being over taxed and over regulated. If it was not for Capital Tax Thousands more Landlords would be selling. The Private Rental Sector is no longer such an attractive investment.
    There is also the looming Problem of un-obtainable EPC requirements on much of the Housing Stock.

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    Does the Baroness not realise most Section 21 evictions are because of rent arrears but easier to get than Section 8.

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    Does she not understand that the removal of Section 21 is enforcing Sitting Tenants on the landlord which clearly is not on.

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    The Baroness clearly doesn't care about reality, truth, justice or for that matter tenants!

    There simply isn't an epidemic of landlords tossing out their tenants who are paying on time and looking after the property for no reason... not least because it's dumb and results in loss of money.

    When you drill down into the "assumed" problem of S21 evictions there are actually only two situations that are a possible problem. Only two!

    1) The landlord gives notice because tenant complains about repairs. I said there possibly two, but really there is only one, this one. It's entirely unacceptable for landlords to give notice rather than carry out repairs.... but this issue is very easily resolved!

    Pass a law that requires landlords to document complaints and to fix all complaints that might affect the enjoyment of a property prior to advertising the rental or signing a new rental agreement... with a sworn statement by landlord or agent, on pain of perjury!

    This being passed into law would remove this issue.

    2) Landlord putting rent up to unaffordable level to current tenant. This isn't actually a problem and least not in the sense of injustice or freemarket forces. Landlords can legally increase rent 5% per annum without any possible complaint, but if they choose to put the rent up by more, the tenant has three choices... i) pay the amount ii) move out iii) challenge the rent for review.

    The landlord cannot simply raise the rent to unreasonable levels and has to demonstrate that the rent being asked is fair in comparison to other properties. That being the case, it would be artificial and possibly illegal for the government to try to restrict the rent rise to a comparable reasonable level, no matter how a tenant feels about it or by how much it was being increased.

    In other words, rent raise isn't a problem if the rent being asked is reasonable and if it's unreasonable there is a legitimate legal mechanism in place.... and it doesn't require banning of S21.

    However, the banning of S21 evictions is going to cause tenants problems not least for those tenants who have fallen behind in their rent because S8 is going to result in their credit being adversely affected with long term implications. In such circumstances S21 is kinder and better for the tenant!


    The Baroness will be spitting feathers at today's news about Section 21 that government has pledged that section 21 repossessions will not be scrapped until improvements have been made to the way courts handle legitimate possession cases.


    @ Annoyed Landord or until Labour get into power and, according to Rayner, abolish it on day one. 😠

    Have they yet made the correlation between Section 21 notices and landlords selling up because they have had enough of being vilified by Generation Rant and their buddies in Shelter?

  • Peter Lewis

    Remove section 21 and you will remove 20% of private rental properties over night. Put rental controls in place and bang goes another 20%.


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