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Section 21 neither overused nor abused by landlords - survey

The controversial Section 21 powers are neither overused by landlords, nor abused by them - despite some organisations claiming otherwise.

Research by lettings agency Leaders Romans Group involving 271 landlords found that 80 per cent of landlords have never used Section 21. Of those that had, six per cent did so when the tenant was in breach of the lease and only three per cent where the tenant was not in breach of the lease.

Allison Thompson, National Lettings Managing Director at LRG, says: “Leaders Romans Group, along with the majority of our landlords, is committed to raising standards. But while we are fully supportive of ‘professionalising’ the private rented sector, many of the proposed changes, including the repeal of Section 21, would pose new challenges to landlords which could penalise both landlords and tenants.

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“It is important to bear in mind that private landlords are vital to meeting increased demand in the rental sector and that unnecessary measures which would result in an exodus of landlords from the market would be detrimental to rental affordability.

“We also believe that the Government should re-think its proposals surrounding assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs). It has been suggested that tenants should be permitted to serve notice of two months’ at any point.  

“This would create considerable uncertainty for landlords, which is unwelcome in an already challenging market.  

“There has been a request to amend this, so that two months’ notice is only permissible when the tenant had been in the property for at least four months. This compromise would provide some further security for landlords, while allowing flexibility for tenants.”

Currently, Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 allows landlords to evict tenants without having to give a reason and tenants’ representatives believe that this leaves them vulnerable to “no fault” eviction and so afraid to complain to their landlord.

LRG’s research follows the publication of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee of MPs in response to the Government’s Reforming the Private Rented Sector policy document.

The committee of MPs welcomed the Government’s proposed abolition of Section 21 but requested that exemptions be made. 

Furthermore, its report states that, ‘The pressures on the courts will be exacerbated by the repeal of Section 21, as landlords will seek to regain possession under Section 8, especially in the case of rent arrears and antisocial behaviour’, and states that the abolition of Section 21 is only feasible if a housing court is put in place – something that the Government has already ruled out.

Thompson adds: “It is at least reassuring that the Committee understands the importance of consulting with landlords prior to making this substantial change – specifically on how and whether the courts can process such claims at the necessary rate - before Section 21 is repealed. 

“If it was to speak to our landlords, it would certainly find that the Government’s response to no-fault evictions to be extreme, unnecessary, and damaging to landlords and tenants alike. The Government should reconsider this very onerous proposed change.”

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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    Too little too late. And NRLA capitulated long ago offering “mediation “ as a sop which only drags out a deteriorating situation and adds to landlords’ losses.

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    I don’t understand what is happening, 3’406 people read this Article now saying only one comment, where are the others disappearing to.

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    All these dummies in parliament are in a race to the bottom. All virtue signalling each other and trying to out-do each other with more pro-tenant changes. No one cares about landlords. It’s politically acceptable to bash them.

    Look at the apathy to the Nr 10 petition on S24 finance costs. I fear many landlords are sleepwalking into a nightmare ahead when S21 is gone and they can’t get their properties back for a long time of ever….Good tenants are free to turn bad and some/many will do so knowing they have security of tenure. Basically you will have to sell your property to get rid of them! I basically have had that with my Nigerians now with the retaliatory eviction laws now.

    Whatever comes in the form of removal of S21 it’s going to be a lot worse.

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    I agree Section 21 was neither over used or abused, so let’s have a mad rush to get rid of it.

    I seen a report elsewhere that 80% of landlords never used a Section 21.

    The fact is the landlord had peace of mind knowing it was there and the Tenants knew it was there, hence keeping the letting business stable.

    The threat of Removing S.21,
    well now you have your answer landlords voting with their feet.

    Planning permission and Application down, the lowest
    since 2006, this is the knock on effect, has stalled Development & Investment’s.

    Congratulations how many thousands of jobs are going to be lost and the Billions of £’s lost to the economy as a whole.

    So this is your Plan to solve the Housing Crisis keep attacking everyone that does anything, penalise and tax them out of existence.

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    Maybe went over 100 and started at zero again.
    When 4100 people have already read I wouldn’t be surprised.
    Probably all landlords imagine if they all contributed £1’000. each that would fund some campaign with £4.1 million and still cost them less than the licensing fee, but no instead scrapping barrel when a Landlord Association is struggling to raise £68k to mount a Legal Challenge on one aspect.

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    Perhaps Michael Gove instructed the publishers to remove the truth from the comments. Doing a Jo Moore and burying bad news?

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    The truth generally hurts

     
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    It does. That explains why Shelter blocked me on Twitter.

    I think I will Tweet Elon about this and see if I can get them removed!!

     
  • David Porter

    Shelter, who receive money from public funds, should not be allowed to block people on social media. They are restricting free speech and freedom of expression.

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