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Section 21 - Agent sympathises with tenants over delay for ban

A prominent lettings agent says he can see why tenants have lost faith in the government following delays in the banning of Section 21 eviction powers.

Marc von Grundherr, director of London-focussed agency Benham and Reeves, makes the comment following a survey commissioned by his firm.

No fewer than 92 per cent of renters surveyed by the firm do not believe Section 21 evictions will ever be banned. As a result, 91 per cent the government cares about renters or their quality of life. 

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Twenty three per cent of renters feel that their living situation is secure while landlords have the ability to serve a Section 21 notice, with the prospect of such eviction causing a heightened degree of stress of anxiety for three quarters of tenants 76 per cent. 

And 83 per cent of those surveyed claim that should they be evicted, they would struggle to find somewhere else to live. The primary reason for this was the fact that rental prices have continued to climb while they have been in their current rental property, making finding another property increasingly unaffordable. 

A lack of suitable or similar rental stock was also a key issue, along with the fact that they simply couldn’t afford to pay another rental deposit, at least until their previous deposit had been returned. 

von Grundherr adds: “Section 21 evictions are certainly a contentious subject, but having been promised greater protections since 2019, you can understand why the nation’s renters have lost faith with the Government when it comes to the ban on no-fault evictions. 

“It’s understandably a complicated process and one that needs to be properly implemented to ensure both tenant and landlord are properly considered. However, given that no real timescale has been provided with regard to the required court reforms, it does feel like a step in the wrong direction when it comes to renters rights. 

“The majority of tenants simply don’t feel their living situation is secure with Section 21 hanging over their heads and a great deal would struggle to find somewhere else to rent should they be evicted at short notice.”

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    The government should never have suggested messing with the current system reducing landlords’ confidence and security. It’s them with a lot of money invested and own the assets. No one else. But no one is listening to them. Not even asking them either. Even the NRLA don’t speak for us.

    They could have increased tenancies a little. But as we all know it’s more homes of all tenures required. But we have chief blocker as head of the Dept of Levelling Down; M&S in Oxford St, housing estates in Kent not aesthetically nice enough looking for his liking, and a vitally needed data centre near Slough on a lousy piece of contaminated land near Slough that happens to be in the green belt. Fine to run what will be emptyish HS2 trains through the Chilterns AONB and make a big mess, but a vitally needed data centre almost completely hidden from view is not….IDIOT. But is gym slip Universal Credit mum Rayner better? 🙈🙉🙊

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    I do agree that it was a huge mistake to interfere with the current system as it was working quite well.

    Moreover, the Government chose, in the Renters Reform Bill, to follow the SNP/Green "reforms" rather than those of Welsh Labour. The latter would have just meant that landlords could not serve a Section 21 notice for six months and then the notice period had to be six months instead of two. Many landlords could have lived with the Welsh system, but they can't live with indefinite secure tenancies. Hence the housing crisis in Scotland.

    The activists want social ownership of all property and therefore don't deserve consideration in a democracy where people already have spent millions of pounds of their money on buying property. The activists will say anything, too, in order to promote their agenda without providing any proper evidence at all to back it up and without consideration of the consequences.

     
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    Well said Ellie.

     
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    • A JR
    • 16 November 2023 07:00 AM

    So, agents Benham and Reeves believe that Sec21 should go! Well, let me think, nah, nah, won’t be using that agent then!

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    Marc von Grundherr was saying something quite different prior to the last election. The Times newpaper on September 8th 2019 reported that:


    "Leading letting agent Marc von Grundherr of London firm Benham & Reeves has written to the Sunday Times to bemoan the ‘assault’ on the property market from all directions.

    In a strongly-worded letter that was published yesterday in the newspaper, von Grundherr criticised the nation’s politicians for ‘squabbling over our EU future’, Labour’s planned additional clamp-down on private landlords and Sadiq Khan’s rent control plans.

    “Shadow chancellor John McDonnell says he wants to tax landlords until, presumably, the pips squeak — and now wishes to steal a chunk of the value of their properties and gift that to tenants,” the letter says

    “If this succeeds after a change of administration, as now seems possible, the glee of the Treasury and tenants will be short-lived when they realise there are no landlords left with whom to fight.”

    Despite this political and economic onslaught, von Grundherr says the UK property market has shown remarkable resilience and claims prices and rents are higher than before the EU referendum.

    “The property market underpins our economy, provides much of our social housing, employs hundreds of thousands of people and contributes billions in tax,” the letting agent says.

    “Like a piñata, if you bash it for long enough the sweets fall to the floor and then disappear in all directions.”"

    Richard LeFrak

    He will change to whatever suits him or his business Ellie. Prefer the 2019 of Von Grinder

     
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    He may be worried that Labour has now said that they will abolish Section 21 immediately on taking power. A considerable number of landlords must be pulling out at the moment for that reason.

     
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    “The majority of tenants simply don’t feel their living situation is secure with Section 21 hanging over their heads and a great deal would struggle to find somewhere else to rent should they be evicted at short notice.”
    Is this guy really a Director of Benham and Reeves?
    The vast majority of tenants know their landlords and are aware whether the property is long-term or not.
    Section 21 does not hang over the heads of then majority. Good landlords do not give notice to quit to good tenants without good reason.
    Evicted as short notice? Again I ask, is this guy really a Director of Benham and Reeves or does he work for Shelter? Bailiffs evict, landlords give notice that the contract is ending and as for short notice, does he not know how long it takes to get them out. More a "Merchant Banker" than a lettings director.

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    Section 21 can only used when tenants break the contract, if tenants comply with the contract then section 21 cannot be issued. If tenants want security then they should support fixed contracts, while that is in place they have security.

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    Another green horn Agent still wet behind the ears. Prominent now maybe where was he when I gave years fighting for Section 21 to be introduced and the help of Sir George Young among other it might never have happened. Otherwise none of you would be landlords as there wasn’t any before because if you let someone into your property they immediately became a sitting Tenant, that didn’t work very well did it, no one fool enough for that.
    Now let’s clear up this nonsense about Tenants upset about landlords serving S.21.
    For years & years it could be server at any time during the Tenancy which meant it was usually served on the same day as the Contract was done, while everyone was present and not the inconvenience of chasing them afterwards. The Tenants knew exactly where stood they were renting the property for the period agreed whether it be 6 months, a year or longer but not more seven or it would be Assured Tenancy.
    I had served dozens of S.21’s on the best legal advice at the same time as the Contract. It was many years before that changed with all the new comers joining but now think they know best. It was only with the amendment of to allow Periodic extensions to Contracts it started to change when buy 2 let Mortgages came along.
    No Tenant was upset about it they knew they were Renting not buying like anything else people Rent if you need something permanently you buy it, is that too difficult for you to understand. So don’t lecture me about the use of Section.21 I was a founder member.

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    Well said Michael! That was the system.

     
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    Abolish Sec 21 and it will be the Tenants who suffer as more and more landlords sell up and the pool of rental properties dries up.

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