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Graham Awards


Tory supporter condemns government anti-landlord gesture politics

The government’s pledge to scrap Section 21 eviction powers for landlords and agents is  “the worst form of gesture politics in practice.”

That’s the view of a prominent Tory writing on the Conservative Home website.

Ryan Bourne - Chair in Public Understanding of Economics at the Cato Institute in Washington DC - says the move is just a symbolic way for politicians to show they care about renters’ plight that substitutes for the urgent need for more homes.


In his piece Bourne says tenants have become a more vocal lobbying group as they are now do numerous.

However he insists there are worrying unintended consequences to scrapping Section 21, namely of the need for tougher referencing for tenants as landlords become more diligent, making it harder for those on benefits to become private tenants, and then higher rents as some landlords use rent hikes to force out tenants.

But he predicts fewer people will be willing to become private landlords and more will choose Airbnb as their preferred rental platform.

“Those harmed most by limited rental options will be the poorest, those without deposits for owner-occupied housing, and those for whom accessing new private rental accommodation is a route to a better job or life” he adds.

“The beneficiaries will be those who want to stay in a property for years and years.”

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  • George Dawes

    You ain’t seen nuthin yet

    Theodor Cable

    George! Like what for example?

  • Suzy OShea

    Isn't it sad that everyone but this corrupt idiotic government can see the rotten consequences of abolishing section 21?


    Only the naive think that Governments are idiotic. They know the consequences, they just don't care. It gets them votes, and it helps squeeze the small landlord out of BTL so their corporate and institutional mates can come in and take over. Don't make the mistake of thinking we actually live in a democracy.

  • icon

    Mr Bourne is Correct, Landlords can no longer afford to take on less than Perfect Tenants with Guarantors. I do not think any Landlord will have the appetite to rent a £100 to 200k value Property to anyone if they cannot get the Property Back .
    The Government should stop listening to Left Wing Pressure Groups and activist . And encourage Private Landlords to help solve the housing crises .

  • icon

    Spot on. Of course the politicians know this but simply don't care. They think those that should be in the social housing sector but are in the PRS will vote for them. Think again.

  • icon

    We are all looking for 5* working tenants, there's no shortage of these in my area so where are the workshy benefit scroungers going to live ? not my problem.

  • icon

    They are killing the ' Golden Goose ', and only after the corpse is cold on the slab will they fully understand what they have done, by then of course it is too late. The change from standard long term tenancy agreement to an Airbnb one was very evident last year when my family was in Cornwall, we got to speak with a local cafe owner who was explaining how hard it is to get staff as all the local LL's had evicted their tenants and had gone down the holiday let/Airbnb route as the profit was vastly superior and the legislation was considerably less....... the locals have nowhere to rent !! Unintended consequences, they are often the outcome that the terminally stupid create.


    Cornwall have a big problem, my youngest daughter lives down there so I know all about this, her and her partner are okay though as they own 2 properties down there and also both work in the holiday home business, we do feel sorry for the working people down there who are unable to find a home to rent but who's to blame here ? government, shelter and generation rant, not landlords.

  • James B

    In reality landlords don’t evict a good tenant so if we are still allowed possession for selling, moving in yourself or relatives and arrears I don’t see a major crisis… like he says if all else fails put the rent up ? Am I missing something?


    You are missing something.

    In Scotland, no landlords or tenants can agree a mutually acceptable fixed length of tenancy.

    The tenant can give 28 days notice at any time, even on day 1, so some are using this law to get a 4 week holiday rental or a short term job related stay at long term rental rates.

    In Edinburgh and St Andrews many student landlords did 9 month student lets and 3 months holiday lets.

    This is no longer as easy or reliable as the students don't always co-operate by giving sufficient notice to get holiday bookings, so student rents have risen, properties are not refurbished every May (for holiday rentals) and many landlords have now moved to full time short term rentals.

    It's also no longer possible to get rid of nuisance tenants by simply not renewing the initial lease, which has led to more hassle from some "picky" tenants and much less co-operation in giving access to tradesmen, promptly reporting issues before they escalate etc.

    The original mandatory clauses allowing eviction to sell, do major building work or upgrades and use for the immediate family have since been watered down to discretionary clauses with the main aim being to protect the tenants at all costs. The irony is that decent tenants didn't have anything to fear before - but then Shelter, Generation Rant etc. only help those small minority of rogue tenants and hurt all the huge majority of decent tenants and their landlords.

    David Saunders

    As sure as night follows day, rent controls will follow outlawing of section 21 so if/when all else fails, landlords will be up sxxt creek without a paddle.

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    James, my friend yes you are missing owners rights, what does owner mean, you take the plunge and a huge financial burden, to be dictated to and pass all rights to strangers basically with no input whatsoever and the right to remain in perpetuity, That’s the bit you at missing.

    James B

    I have read the replacement s8 will provide notice for arrears, selling, landlord / family moving in, and we can still increase rents, these would have been the only reasons I’ve used a s21. I certainly prefer no change like proposed but I don’t see a significant change in my activities
    I’ve used s21 maybe once or twice in last 5 years (75+ portfolio). The withdrawal will not impact me on that basis dramatically that all I’m assessing. It will however like all these past landlord attacking changes push rents up


    James B

    In Scotland, potentially difficult tenants have powers they could only dream of before.

    It's a disaster for all decent tenants and landlords whilst the difficult or rogue tenants stay put causing problems for everyone else.

  • icon

    James, my friend don’t agree and as for increasing rents are you still in denial of the desperate economic situation we are in, I am acutely aware and some of my rents haven’t gone up in years.
    Corona was also a big hit have you not noticed thousands of businesses gone to the wall, now inflation running at 7%.
    Separately I seen LL’s in many cases when the squeeze came with the virus only benefits Tenants could pay the rent ?.


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