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Surprise - Landlords get more powers to evict anti social tenants

Landlords are to be given more powers to evict unruly tenants who ruin neighbours’ lives through persistent noise or by being drunk and disorderly.

Although details are missing in the government’s statement, this would appear to be one of the few recent policy decisions to support the wishes of landlord trade bodies.

These have expressed concern that with the abolition of Section 21 - still expected as part of the Rental Reform Bill later this year - landlords would have difficulties evicting anti social tenants in HMOs in particular.

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Commenting on the announcement, Ben Beadle - chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association - says: “Anti-social tenants blight the lives of fellow renters and their neighbours.  Plans to end ‘no explanation’ repossessions risk making it harder to tackle such behaviour.

“Whilst we will study the detail of the Government’s plans carefully, we welcome its commitment to strengthen the ability of landlords to evict unruly tenants. It follows extensive campaigning by the NRLA to ensure swift and effective action can be taken against those causing misery in their communities.

“The law must be on the side of the victims of anti-social behaviour and we are glad that the Government agrees.”

Polling by the NRLA has found that 50 per cent of landlords have at some point attempted to repossess a property because of a tenant's anti-social or criminal behaviour. 

Of this group 84 per cent had received no help in tackling it from their local authority and 75 per cent had no assistance from the police in dealing with anti-social tenants.

The new powers for landlords are part of the government’s so called Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan which claims to offer “a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of anti-social behaviour, and give the police and local authorities the tools they need to tackle the problem.”

Under the plan, 16 areas in England and Wales will be funded to support either new ‘hotspot’ police and enforcement patrols in areas with the highest rates of anti-social behaviour, or trial a new ‘Immediate Justice’ scheme to deliver swift and visible punishments. 

A select few areas will trial both interventions, and both schemes will then be rolled out across England and Wales from 2024.

Hotspot trailblazer areas will see an increase in police presence alongside other uniformed authority figures, such as wardens, in problem areas for anti-social behaviour, including public transport, high streets or parks.

Under the new Immediate Justice scheme, those found committing anti-social behaviour will be made to repair the damage they inflicted on victims and communities, with an ambition for them to start work as soon as 48 hours after their offence so victims know anti-social behaviour is treated seriously and with urgency.

Offenders, who will be made to wear high-vis vests or jumpsuits and work under supervision, could be made to pick up litter, remove graffiti and wash police cars as punishment for their actions, and victims of anti-social behaviour from the local community will be given a say in offenders’ punishments to ensure justice is visible and fits the crime. 

Under the zero-tolerance approach, Nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” will also be banned to send a clear message to intimidating gangs, that hang around high streets and children’s parks and litter them with empty canisters, they will not get away with this behaviour.

Housing Secretary Michael Gove says: “Anti-social behaviour erodes local pride, blights our high streets and parks and is a stain on too many communities across the country.

“We know that it is more likely to flourish in areas that have, for too long, been overlooked and undervalued.

“This government was elected on a mandate to deliver change for those communities, and that is why the Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan is critical. So we will intervene directly to prevent high street dereliction. 

“We will deliver tougher, quicker and more visible justice to prevent thuggish behaviour in town centres and we will ensure young people have the opportunities and activities available to them to succeed - all backed by new investment.

“This is about acting on the people’s priorities, delivering safer streets so we can level up across the country.”

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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    “ Although details are missing from the government statement “……… It’s this statement that matters the most 🤔 . This is really simple… EVIDENCE, this is what will be needed for ANY court to grant a possession order on the back of ASB, and how does a landlord obtain this ? Statements from neighbours willing to have their name heard in court ! From a Police prosecution which again will need statements from neighbours etc . I assure you all I know a little on this subject, and getting people to stand up and do this is nigh on impossible. We will all suffer badly when we lose s21.

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    nail on the head, proving asb is a challenge i do not whish to take on

     
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    I do not want to see the abolition of section 21, the no-fault eviction process, even though I never use it, it will make no difference to me as a large HMO landlord as all my antisocial tenants also do not think they have to pay the rent. I use the much faster and easier section 8, ground 8, 10 and 11 to evict. I have evicted over 350 tenants using ground 8 and 10, non payment of rent, with 100% success. I have even written a manual on how landlords can evict tenants themselves. The manual covers every problem and situation I have encountered over the years in evicting tenants through the courts. By the way, even if the tenant owes you a penny, you can still use ground 10, I have never had a judge refuse possession on ground 10. It is one of the many myths in this business that you have to wait until the tenant is eight weeks in arrears before starting the eviction procedure for nonpayment of rent. However, most of the time I have a friendly chat with the tenants and persuade or bribe them to leave. I look upon having to go to court as a failure. Yes I will probably get an antisocial tenant who does pay the rent but I have been a landlord for 32 years housing over 20,000 tenants and I have yet to come across an antisocial tenants who does pay the rent.

    The main problem is the council or social landlords who tell the tenants to stay put not pay the rent and wait until the bailiffs evict them and the council will rehouse them as they are now homeless. If the government did something about the social sector, encouraging tenants not to pay the rent and get evicted, I would probably have very few tenants, I would have to evict. Also, what would help is if landlords stood together and refused to house tenants who have been evicted for nonpayment of rent.

    When I complain to other landlords who have housed the tenants I have evicted, the typical reply is, I’m some kind of Nancy boy, they know how to deal with tenants who do not pay! By the way, they do not and I find the problem tenant is evicted yet again. When I have complained to the council or social landlords about housing tenants who have not paid me and were antisocial the inference was, it is my fault the tenants misbehaved and did not pay the rent. The rent was unaffordable or I had not told them they were in rent arrears, or the consequence of not paying rent or my property was substandard. They had followed their procedures when rehousing my problem tenants

    What no one has addressed is once nonpaying and or antisocial tenants are identified where are they going to be housed? Currently there just rattling around the system, causing enormous damage.

    I suspect the council or social landlords procedure is fill their properties and do their best to damage the private rented sector by telling potential tenants not to pay the rent and wait for the bailiffs to evict them. What do you expect when the biggest competitor to the private landlord is the social sector? The council complain they have a large homelessness list yet they are part of the problem by encouraging tenants to be evicted. It gets worse, the social sector have a blacklist of nonpaying and antisocial tenants which they share amongst themselves but will not give private landlords access. Instead they tell these tenants to find accommodation in the private sector of saying they are suitable to be housed in the private sector, so further damaging the private sector then blame the private sector for housing problem Tenants!

    Simon you are right, the police and the councils antisocial team are a waste of space. They find it easier to blame the landlord for housing the tenants in the first place than helping. They are part of the problem in this very dysfunctional system.

    My experience of antisocial tenants is most if not all of them have mental issues. This so-called antisocial behaviour is a display of their illness and the crackdown, if it happens, will be criminalising sick people. Hopefully, sense will prevail and we will get some intelligent debate about how to resolve the antisocial problem. It is a bit like telling someone with a broken leg they are malingerers. I feel concerned but that it doesn’t stop me evicting clearly what are mentally ill tenants who need help. I have not got the resources to deal with them, we do our best to help them seek medical help or take their medicine. The social sector is given enormous funding to deal with these problem tenants, yet consistently cherry pick the better ones and dump the problematic ones on the private sector.

    I have tried to approach the council with problematic tenants and get no help so I am left with evicting them. Usually, they are failing to seek help from mental health professionals or taking their medicine. We do our best to try and persuade them to seek help and or take their medicine but that is the best we can do. I have a duty to my other tenants who surprisingly are often very understanding when I explain that the problem with Irene is she’s not been taking her medicine, is distressed so is acting as she is. With lack of co operation and blatant discrimination from councils and social landlords who are paid to help such tenants, I cannot even ensure the smooth transition to supported housing for tenants who need support.

    All this nonsense about cracking down on anti social behaviour comes from a middle-class populist view that the criminal law can deal with what are often very damaged individuals whose criminality is just a symptom of their mental state. If they were serious about dealing with the problems and I do not believe they are that stupid not understand the problems, they would be better off sending a social worker than a policeman to address the antisocial behaviour but how many votes will that give? Instead they believe punishment is the answer and increase the size of police and demand for prisons.

    As for improving the eviction process for private landlords dream on the best, you’ll probably get is an improved form to apply for possession!

    The evidence is clear you do far better at dealing with gang violence and bad behaviour by providing youngsters with support and activities. It is not only us landlords who are badly served by our government so is our future generation.

    Jim HaliburtonTheHMODaddy

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    Yes Jim I have dealt with the Asb officer’s from the local council and housing associations, and they are as frustrated as the Police, getting someone… anyone to put their name to paper is an uphill struggle, I cannot see any government policy saying that for a landlord to evict a tenant for Asb they would NOT need such independent evidence, it won’t happen.

     
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    "All this nonsense about cracking down on anti social behaviour comes from a middle-class populist view that the criminal law can deal with what are often very damaged individuals whose criminality is just a symptom of their mental state".

    This really is the crux of it. Policies that sound theoretically OK are being drawn up by middle class people who have never experienced the consequences of ASB. They have never had a drug dealer or addict as a neighbour. They have never experienced unemployment or poverty. They don't understand the consequences of being labeled a grass or the kind of retribution that can be experienced.

    The other thing the awfully middle class policy makers don't acknowledge is we have a whole generation of over medicated underclass children hitting adulthood. These kids were bred for benefits and have been neglected their entire childhood. In many cases have been fed Ritalin or other medication and been labeled with whatever condition best enhances the parents rights to extra disability and carers benefits. These kids have no idea about how to be part of a cohesive society. Politicians have badly failed everyone with their policies that encourage the least suitable parents to have more children purely as meal tickets.

     
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    No thanks. I’ll keep my Section 21 that’s well tried and tested. Not willing to trust a new system put together by an anti-landlord government, with landlord haters looking to come in in 2 years time.

    Already using it to get rid of dreadful tenants and I’m not happy how complicated that is to use with all of the unnecessary trip wires for landlords. It’s a godsend I have it. Perhaps lucky I’ve had to try and use it too and see how bad it is and make me even more wary of a new system.

    Once again it’s encouraging that our beloved Ben Beadle is “welcoming” the government proposals.

    The Tories and Labour even more so are soft on crime. The above just reads like a load of tosh that’s unlikely to get enforced.

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    Once a tenant has a S21 and notice of possession and is told to wait for bailiffs has anyone come across the council telling them the tenants not to pay the rent?

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    No I haven’t come across a council telling tenants not to pay. But I have had tenants tell me that they ask them to find ‘faults’ with the property.

     
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    I've had the council advise tenants that they don't have to leave and that it will take months for the landlords to get them evicted (Scotland). Also they have asked the tenants for faults and problems at the property. No wonder I'm getting out of this sh*t show!!

     
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    Asked for faults at the property? Surely you have a possession notice now? Doesn't matter if there are faults?

     
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    Surprise no Surprise do they think we are stupid, they have blocked us for years from evicting Anti-Social Tenants.
    They have always sided with the people causing Anti-Social behaviour, (fact).
    The Council’s didn’t want them turning up at Civic Centres wanting to be Housed waving a County Court Eviction Order, (fact).
    I had it all Police turning up at property multiple times because of Complaints, Councils coming out at 2.00 o’clock am measuring the noise and sending me letters threatening me with prosecution. When I served
    Section 21 they obstructed me
    and wanted me to keep them,
    some hypocrisy.
    I’ll cut through the chase no need for Parable's on this it that simple.
    Removal of Section 21 has relieved Council’s of their duty to House them.
    Why it was ever their duty regardless of whether they were Evicted using Section 21 or Section 8 is beyond me where’s the difference you are evicted it’s an eviction.
    Hey presto big, Surprise Surprise not Councils problem anymore, so let’s say how great we are fill the place with bull sugar clamping down on Anti-Social behaviour you hypocrites.

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    You're right in that the council should refuse to house someone whose actions have led to them being made homeless, that is evidenced by eviction on the grounds of ASB or arrears. However, the council has a duty to house those with children, so these tenants can act with impunity knowing they'll be rehoused and provided with everything they need!

     
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    That's why these people have children, it's a free meal ticket with a free home, and the children grow up to be just the same as their parents, social housing on the worst possible estate is the right place for them

     
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    Surprised these sofa surfing fathers have the energy to rise to the occasion!

     
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    The 'uman rights lawyers will be assisting the anti-social tenants. Criminals have more rights than honest hard working people.
    Try getting the necessary evidence from neighbours!

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    Exactly. Human Right Act, Legal Aid, lefty governments, LAs and ‘charities’ all stand waiting to obstruct. Landlords pay for everything themselves. I’m out.

     
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    Precisely.

     
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    Nobody wants tenants who trash property and cause a nuisance to neighbours (and landlord) its too stressful. Problem is the problem eventually just gets moved to a different property elsewhere. Maybe a big estate is needed where they can all live next door to each other. Oh hang on...

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    Can’t we move them all to Basildon, and surround it with an electric fence with volunteer landlords acting as snipers in towers picking off all those who try and escape?

     
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    Please don't Nick. I live in Basildon and there are some good people here (the ones who couldn't afford stupid money to buy a house in London, the city they were born in and lived most of their lives in, because social housing tenants on benefits were the only ones who could afford to live there). I do accept there are some dubious people here (unfortunately the majority, I fear), but please don't lumber the good ones with more of them!

     
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    Understood Lindsey :)

     
  • James B

    This is only a concession because it’s a tenant vote winner also
    Generally it’s tenants next door to bad tenants

  • James B

    Let’s see how much homeless rises when s21 is banned .. shame tenants can’t connect the dots on all these backfiring policies
    Guarantors should be essential now for all landlords going forward

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    Not sure homelessness will rise once sec21 has gone, as there will fewer/almost no opportunities to evict.
    Which is precisely what Gov intends in order to stem the flood of homelessness. It’s called ‘state sanctioned sequestration’.

     
    James B

    It will rise as landlords sell when they come empty rather than risk another let
    Landlords can still evict to sell it for arrears

     
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    J karma, my friend not a hope neighbours will always complain to Council & Police, when you approach them they will chat to you in confidence and tell you everything but that’s where it ends, they will never give evidence for Court.

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    Let this statement sink in for a minute:

    "Polling by the NRLA has found that 50 percent of landlords have at some point attempted to repossess a property because of a tenant's anti-social or criminal behavior."

    And somehow, we're the baddies!

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    Good point!

    Gove also admitted that only a tiny minority of Landlords abused the current Section 21 provisions, yet he's (if that pronoun is still allowed) hell bent on abolishing it even although the evidence of the harm it will do to the PRS is already building up.

    This latest gimmick is simply to win middle class votes back and claim that landlords' eviction rights are being strengthened in the most necessary areas.

     
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    My certain experience is that some people are criminally inclined and won't pay anybody, for anything, if they can possibly avoid it. Banking crash is on the horizon and it is suggested that the Americans will nationalise theirs !

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    This month:
    Landlord-suffers-multiple-injuries-in-violent-tenant-attack

    And

    hammer-and-golf-club-wielding-falkirk-offender-threatened-to-kill-his-landlord

     
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    Some yrs ago I had a house with 3 teenagers in it doing drugs, I had neighbours after me wanting me to evict them, however they wouldn't give me the evidence, or complain to police or council, these days I won't touch anyone under 25 and have very few problems now .

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    Of course you don't discriminate against younger applicants, simply routinely select older applicants?

     
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    • B L
    • 28 March 2023 00:43 AM

    He meant mature tenants. Once bitten, twice shy.

     
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    The devil is always in the detail. With or without a court hearing?
    If the former then this is nonsense from the government, given the overload the County Court system will see after s21 is abolished.
    As those with a brain have been shouting from the hilltops for some time now; abolish S21 fine, but S8 must be reformed to include mandatory accelerated possession for rent arrears and anti-social behaviour that does NOT require a court hearing. Evidence of ant-social behaviour should not be reliant on neighbours, but be in the form of police incident reports. 3 strikes and you're out.

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    Section 21 doesn't need abolished or reformed as the overwhelming evidence is that it is not abused and even the threat of its removal is already causing a huge shortage of rental properties.

    In Scotland the damage is done already and the results are not helpful to anyone except rogue tenants. There is already evidence of existing tenants becoming more uppity and less cooperative since they know the Landlord can't choose when to end the tenancy.

     
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    If you can get the police to respond, which is highly unlikely now

     
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    That's my fear Robert. Good tenants just turn bad because there is no deterrent.

     
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    A good idea John, but that would mean they are guilty of the offence without due process…. The English legal system has been built on the direct opposite of that since the Magna Carta. I wish that could happen, but it simply will not.

     
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    Robert, S21 is going, but a reformed S8 with an accelerated possession procedure for rent arrears and anti-social behaviour (that doesn't require a court hearing) is essentially s21 'dressed up' anyway.
    These two above reforms are essential I would agree, but these aside, landlords just need to plan a little further ahead in the future.
    Just my view, but I feel there is a lot of unnecessary panic amongst landlords when it is highly likely S8 will be beefed up to protect landlords.
    I'm a a landlord myself (and an agent) and I'm certainly not leaving the sector. I genuinely feel those that rush to do so will regret it in the long run. There are reasons the corporates are moving into the sector and asset growth is the main one.

     
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    John T I hope your right about the beefed up sec 8, but I'll believe that when I see it and read it, I think we are being put in promise land with that one

     
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    For the sake of clarity this is how the new regulations will operate
    Landlords will be given new powers to deal with anti social behaviour failure to deal with anti social behaviour in a reasonable time frame will result in the landlord being penalised after a consultation period it was determined that landlords will be allowed a very generous forty seven minutes to deal with anti social behaviour this will operate on a sliding scale so subsequent offences will result in the time allowed for landlords to deal with the offences to be shortened by ten minutes per occurrence so after five offences fifty minutes will be taken from the time allowed to deal with the offence as the original time allowed is forty seven minutes this means that after the fifth offence landlords will be legally required to deal with anti social three minutes BEFORE it occurs , in view of the gravity of the landlords crimes in failing to deal with anti social behaviour the fines will be two hundred and fifty thousand pounds for each offence , in order for this initiative to be self funding and cover council costs a special inflation multiplier will be applied so in the third year of operation the fine will be increased to one million pounds per offence and the landlords prison sentence will be increased by thirty years per offence , the government has reserved the right to increase the multiplier if it is found that one million pounds per offence does not cover the councils expenses

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    We may well find this post cut and pasted in future legislation as it's not that much worse than some existing legislation.

    The SNP want kids (sorry - young people) to vote at 16 but to be treated leniently in court if under 25 as "young brains are not fully developed until around 25)!

    We need to be very careful what we speculate as nothing is off the table for the loony left!

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    I don't see any extra powers for the landlord. Having a few more cops about doesn't give the landlords any extra powers.

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    • B L
    • 28 March 2023 01:17 AM

    No one will be willing to be the witness, no one will like to take the risk to be harmed by the unruly tenants. It seems law and order has been lost in this country. We have boys banging on the door at 2am, called the police, not a single patrol car arrived. We have neighbours complained tenants' behaviour but not willing to come forward to the police because in fear of revenge. How will this new introduction work? Better to keep s21 for the landlords to manage when it requires.

     
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    John. My friend A lot of Panic and totally justified.
    Do you think removal of ownership rights is not a problem.
    Do you think the Permanent Eviction Ban is not a problem (removal of S.21).
    This is a recipe for disaster total recession and collapse.
    Just add Mr Sadiq khan a law all to himself and accountable to no one while taking hundreds every year from my Council tax without me having a say. I will never again vote in this sham.
    He had ordered the ULEZ Cameras to extend the zone out to M 25 London circle before having the go ahead of Course no need to consult he does why he likes. Lady Tatcher rip was right to sack the lot of them.
    What ULEZ our little bit of pollution is nothing, look at your TV screens every night Clouds of black smoke from the Wars going on around the Planet but we are going to save the World.
    China opening Coal Fired Power Stations almost every week.

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    I see someone has been covering those ULEZ cameras up, wouldn't be you and your mates would it Michael ? I would be tempted to if I lived down the smoke

     
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    Andrew there not a day I don’t leave the house and it’s not for pleasure but always business connected. So ULEZ applies 24 hours a day 364 days a year @ £12.50 per day (that will rise when he get it in like he done with Congestion Charge now £15.00 per day). Chancellor (chancer) Hunt has already increased income tax rate for 40 to 45% costing another £5’000.add ULEZ £12.50 X 364 another £4k plus to leave our house, add all the licensing Schemes / work to Comply and endless Certification Thousands more to be added to the tens or thousands we always already paid. We are some mugs keeping the doss just add inept leaches Gove & Khan and we are well and truly sorted.

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    • B L
    • 28 March 2023 00:22 AM

    Isn't s21 meant to evict unruly tenants after all? So, where is the pressure coming from for the government to change s21? Is it the council making
    lots of noise? or shelter? This will be interesting to know. It seems some tenants learn lots of tricks
    to trick the law. If this is what people can learn from the regulated organisations, we could
    never have enough police force. It seems the judicial system is not strong enough either. It is upsetting to see how the unlawful tenants are seen as the victims and hard working landlords have lost so much power to protect our human right.

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