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What now for activists’ lobby campaign against MPs?

The government’s latest U-turn on Section 21 evictions powers - which it now says WILL be abolished, following earlier leaks that it would not - appears to have caught activist group Generation Rent on the hop.

The group, which had spent recent years courting Conservative governments led by Theresa May and Boris Johnson, yesterday started a lobbying campaign criticising the latest Tory administration when it was thought to be reneging on its commitment to abolish Section 21.

So Generation Rent had prepared a standard letter that it wanted activists to send to their MPs, complaining about the dropping of the commitment: it's tone was markedly less pro-government than its recent statements. 

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It is not known how many of Generation Rent’s letters were sent when Liz Truss changed her mind on the subject at Prime Ministers Questions in the House of Commons yesterday.

Generation Rent’s standard letter said:

“I was horrified to read rumours that the Conservative Government is planning to abandon its plans to reform private tenancies.

“Section 21 no-fault evictions mean landlords can evict their tenants without needing a reason and with just two months’ notice.

“Because a threat of eviction hangs over every private renter it is hard to fight a rent increase or complain about disrepair in your home.

“Renters who are evicted through not fault of their own have the stress of finding a new place to live, squander their savings on moving home, and their children face the upheaval of a new school or a longer journey every day.

“No-fault evictions are one of the leading causes of homelessness and cases are at their highest level since 2018.

“The Government was right to promise the abolition of no-fault evictions and after one manifesto commitment, two Prime Ministers and three Queens Speeches, we finally had a set of reforms with wide support that were ready to put into law.

“After so much work has been done and being so close to the legislation being published, it would be a huge betrayal not to give renters a rental market that actually works for them. 

“As my MP please can you write to the Prime Minister and urge her to not scrap the plan to reform renting and move ahead as pledged – it's time to get renting done! 

“I look forward to your response.”

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

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    Why do we allow Section 21 to be described as 'no fault'?
    Very often the tenants actions have caused eviction to be necessary.
    It is unfortunate that Section 8 is an uncertain eviction route as it would do all of us a favour if problematic tenants were dealt with in a totally separate way to genuinely blameless tenants.

    Maybe we need a complete overall of the eviction system with new Section numbers for both fault based and other reasons. The government have only said they will abolish Section 21. They haven't said they won't introduce a new Section to replace it. Maybe landlord groups should now be vigorously campaigning for an acceptable replacement of Section 21 to be introduced before Section 21 is abolished.

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    That is more or less what they have done in Wales. No fault termination of tenancies is still possible(now known as section 173), but it takes longer than it did under Section 21. This is what it says on the relevant website:

    "Where the contract-holder has breached the occupation contract the minimum notice period that must be given is one month. This notice period can be shorter where it relates to a breach of the anti-social behaviour or the serious rent arrears terms.

    Where a ‘no fault’ notice is issued, the minimum notice period that must be given is six months.

    A landlord will not be able to give such a notice until 6 months after the contract starts."

    The Welsh system also distinguishes between social housing and private housing, giving security of tenure to tenants who have "community landlords"

    The Welsh system is more sensible than the Scottish system. The Communists want the Scottish system coupled with total security of tenure for all tenants. They seek a redistribution of wealth, not a functioning private rental sector.

     
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    We could call S21 - Non-Specified Fault Eviction, that would be more accurate.

     
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    Jo. We don’t need another system to replace Section 21. We just need to retain Section 21, which has been the back bone of Private Rented Sector for 34 years fair to all and a
    proven record, no point in meddling with other scenarios and getting involved in a whole lot of legal wrangling for ever more with no satisfactory outcome. S.21 is there tried & tested where are all those eviction they are dreaming about, no such thing a recent report said average stay over 4 years which is amazing that some Tenants would want to stay that length of time. I have had some Tenants for years while others come and go, in fact I have a house that housed scores of Tenants that has mutated for decades and never been advertised in over 30 years even before Computers and Digital Academics came along making a mess the root cause.

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    While sec 21 works okay as it is the fact of the matter is that we ARE loosing it so something in it's place would be welcome

     
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    Michael - it's been made very clear we want to keep it. However, politicians have been backed into a corner and have said Section 21 is going. All I'm saying is something acceptably similar with a different name could be introduced so we would be happy to remain as landlords and the government saves face.
    As Ellie has said they've got a system in Wales with different notice periods. If fault based evictions were swift and certain surely we could be a bit flexible on timeframes for no fault evictions. The current Section 21 can take best part of a year so something with certainty at 6 months for example would be an improvement.
    Maybe I'm coming at it from the perspective of someone who mainly uses Statutory Periodic Tenancies and perhaps it's different if you use a series of fixed term tenancies?

     
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    Whilst I agree with you 100% about being tried and tested it has such a bad name. A stigma to it. It's so politically toxic that no party wants to keep it. They just need to bring it back under another guise somehow. Two PMs said it's going and now Truss.

     
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    Let’s face the hard truth of all this, they want to take away control by landlords of their own property, nothing less will do. It really is time to call it a day, let the local authorities help the evicted tenants.

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    I would approach this from a slightly different angle, though agree with nearly all that has been said so far.
    Somehow we have been severely demonised, this needs to be countered. Whether we have S21 or a similar replacement we need to show that there is a reason for an eviction. If they want it to be 6 months fine, but make it a criminal offence to owe money on a rental property. They want us to be more European, in a lot of countries it is one year notice. But, it is a criminal offence to owe money to your Landlord, therefore rents are paid.
    This would remove a lot of concerns by Landlords.
    But ultimately we need much better PR. As currently we are exposed and as such are constantly under attack.

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    Good idea. But we have a large benefits culture here. Giving the 'needy' criminal records for not paying what they owe wouldn't go down well politically. They can do what they like and be protected!

     
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    I like the idea of making it a criminal offence to owe money on a rental property.

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