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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Section 21 Bombshell - it may NOT be scrapped after all

The government may be changing its mind on scrapping Section 21 eviction powers according to a bombshell story in The Times.

Outlining what appears to be a government-leaked set of proposals, the newspaper says the long-held pledge by the Tories to scrap S21 powers could be shelved under changes demanded by Prime Minister Liz Truss.

Few other details of changes to eviction powers were set out in the newspaper but there has already been strong reaction.

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Baroness Alicia Kennedy, director of activist group Generation Rent - and a former Labour Peer - tweets: “Totally flabbergasted. The Conservatives commitment to abolish evictions for no reason was made after a consultation, at a general election, confirmed by two prime ministers at three Queen’s speeches – if this is true it is shameful.”

Matthew Pennycook, Labour’s shadow housing minister, accused the Prime Minister of “betraying” private renters.

The Times says the new Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Secretary Simon Clarke - known to be a close ally of Truss - has outlined a new set of priorities to boost house-building and economic growth.

This could include an increase in the threshold at which affordable homes are required to be built in housing developments, and lowering environmental criteria to be met by existing and new properties.

Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action, commenting on the Landlord Zone website, says: “If this true, after three years of indecision about being abolished, it would be a major victory for landlords. I speak to landlords and agents every day and the feedback has been they generally have been worried about being able to gain possession of a property back.

“This move will also see a lot of landlords change their mind in selling up, which can only be good for tenants.  Housing stock has been dwindling and rents have been rising. I’ve said it all along it’s called non fault eviction, but there is always a fault.”

And Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, adds: “Whatever the Government’s plans, a wide range of reforms are desperately needed to support the sector. The supply crisis in the sector must be addressed urgently, while much more needs to be done to root out criminal and rogue landlords. Likewise vulnerable tenants can and should be better supported by unfreezing housing benefit rates.   

“The NRLA will continue to work with all parties to ensure that reforms are fair and workable and command the support of tenants and responsible landlords.”

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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    Not scrapping Section 21 will help tenants, not the reverse. Supply will go up and rents will come down. More properties will mean that Landlords have to improve their standard and tenants will benefit in that way, too.

    I find it incredible that Shelter and Generation Rent cannot see the harm that they have already caused in the private rental sector by seeking legislation which would lead landlords to sell up. You cannot destroy the private rental sector unless there is social housing to replace it.

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    I believe you are correct in that supply will be positively effected and possibly increase but I don't think we'll see much of a downward trend in rents on this news alone. S24 and forthcoming expected EPC changes are being factored into rents so they would have to go to have a real impact.

     
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    Hi John,

    It does say in the article that they are also "lowering environmental criteria to be met by existing and new properties" so that may be good news for landlords with Victorian properties where it is very difficult indeed to meet EPC C.

    I think it is unlikely that the Conservatives will reduce any more taxes right now.

     
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    I suspect you're right on both counts. As we can't be sure though, I am just about to give the go-ahead for solar on one of my Victorian HMOs. What's a mere £12k to a landlord?? Well, quite a lot of money actually!

     
    Peter  Yednell

    Few appear to have stood up to the propaganda of Shelter that claims landlords can arbitrarily evict on twomomths notice. Section 21 is the enforcement of a fixed contract ending when the tenant refuses to leave.. There are a few (very few) lsndlords who deliberately create periodic tenancies so as to be able to intimidate tenants with post contract Section 21 notices.. That should be curbed and could be easily by making periodic tenancies "roll over tenancies" with a limited time for LL's to serve and enforce a section 21...such a reform should be welcome by LL's as it would take the wind out of the sails of Shelter and Gen Rent in regard to their anti LL propaganda.

     
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    Retaining S.21 make more private Renting available at more reasonable prices. It’s the attack on private Rental that has done the current damage.
    It will never be replaced by Social Housing the Government would be swamped with free loaders

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    We will have a labour government in 2 yrs time, you can be sure they will quickly scrap sec 21 and freeze rents, sorry to be negative but that's the way it'll be

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    You are right, Andrew, that that possibility remains a threat to the private rental sector. We will have to hope that things improve for everyone in the next two years.

     
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    Sadly I fear you’re right.

     
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    At least English Landlords now have some hope, an alternative possibility and once again a party to vote for.

    Scottish Landlords will just have to settle for the kind of rent hikes that the energy cap has brought. Any offers for my Glasgow flats?

     
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    Looks like another u turn from Liz!

    Her correct decision to ignore Nicola Sturgeon shouldn't have prevented her from learning from the chaos which the lack of fixed term tenancies and inability to evict problem tenants is currently causing in Scotland.

    Universities advising students to defer, 500 chasing a single flat, tenants pleading for sealed bid offers to be considered in the place of advertised rents etc.

    Come to think of it, what's not to like from the Landlord's viewpoint when a property becomes vacant?

    Good old Liz is maybe a real Tory after all?

     
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    Someone in government is listening 😂 they know the total crap storm which will hit them… now bin Epc C as well !

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    And S24! We might all have a business worth staying in then!

     
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    No one evicts a good tenant for no reason.

    Landlords often use Section 21 when Section 8 would be more appropriate but that's only because Section 8 needs to be more certain.
    A better separation of fault and no fault evictions would help just about everyone: landlords, future landlords, Local Authorities and good tenants. It would also discourage people from becoming bad tenants.

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    Exactly S21 is a healthy deterrent that encourages good tenant behaviour. Sadly not in my tenant atm! If it was gone we can all expect poorer behaviour.

     
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    Remains to be seen whether the backlash will create another u-turn. We all know abolishing S21 will make things worse for both renters and landlords, and hugely overload the courts system to boot.

    Nothing will improve the rental sector more than allowing the most free-market model possible. Reduce taxation, rules, licensing schemes, EPC targets - and there will be so many properties available that prices will come down, and standards will rise as landlords start competing for tenants again.

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    Well it would be some good news at last if some common sense was going to prevail. Problem is the average person still believes it helps tenants by stopping S21 evictions, they don't think it through. The ones in the local press (online news site) here are invariably landlords selling up, and so they would go ahead anyway, but the sad faces generate lots of negative comments about landlords.

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    Agreed, we simply do not have a strong enough voice to explain the perspective of the Landlord.
    I firmly believe that we are looked at with envy. So many people do not understand the risk and work involved for most Landlords.
    They just see that we have more than one house and therefore we live in some utopia.

     
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    Let’s hope this is true and that we are starting to see a proper Conservative govt return. I was hopeful they’d bin Section 24, but having seen the backlash over the (eminently sensible) removal of the 45% rate, I’m not at all convinced.

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    Yes it will be very good news if it is confirmed that Section 21 is retained. It also shows some hope that they are re-looking at the EPC situation.
    With regard S24, i think you are right that there would be a backlash if they scrapped section 24, but maybe that could make it fairer and not charge us 40% tax, after all we don't get the mortgage payment part of the rent. If they could reduce the tax then we might not see such an exodus of Landlord's myself included. Currently I will sell 5 of my 8 properties over the next 12-18 months.

     
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    I would love to be a fly on Polly's wall this morning.

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    So now there not only the charity ( business) that houses no one. They are the charity ( business) that achieves nothing.

     
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    I raised they were making it worse for tenants on Shelter's twitter site and her fat £130k salary she's earning making life more of a misery for tenants. I have been promptly blocked.

     
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    Correction Nick, Polly is paid £130k per year, doubt she earns it

     
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    Sorry Andrew. You are quite right I agree she does not earn it. I was just trying to not give them an opportunity to focus on trying to point out all of the 'good work' she does.

     
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    • s M
    • 11 October 2022 09:48 AM

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    Imagine how p1ssed off landlords who've already started selling up are going to be.
    This Gov't is the very definition of a shambles. Why didn't they realise this years ago before making commitments to get rid of s21s?

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    Chris- A lot would still sell, although s21 is a reason, it’s not the only one.

     
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    With a Labour government on the way who will probably bring in loads of protection for tenants and raise CGT to screw the evil Landlords even more I am not so sure. And they could even bring in a right to buy at a discount for tenants. I am on the way out, but it won't be quick enough unless I take a big CGT hit.

     
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    I tweeted to Shelter that I was evicting due to rental reform. I said they betray renters with their anti LL policies that make LLs sell. I said how many home do you provide? None I said. Also raised their fat salaries such as Poly Neates' £130k. They have NOW BLOCKED ME on Twitter.

    Talk about 1 sided hypocrites! They are only there for themselves. No free speech with them!

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    Classic. Well done. 👍🏻

     
  • David Saunders

    Could it be that the penny has finally dropped and government has realised that no landlords equals no tax from landlords, no tax from their agents and ever higher homeless figures but like Andrew mentioned Starmer will outlaw section 21, freeze rents and ban all evictions within the first few weeks of gaining power which at present seems inevitable.

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