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Labour claims link between Section 21 and homelessness

Labour says there’s a link between Section 21 powers granted to landlords and what it claims is a total of 4,400 people homeless and sleeping rough in London.

London Assembly Labour housing spokesperson Sem Moema has written to Housing Secretary Michale Gove demandin urgent action to reduce homelessness, following the release of new figures showing a 23 per cent rise in rough sleeping in London.

A total of 4,389 people are sleeping rough in London, up from 3,570 a year ago. Moema calls this a “catastrophic failure” by the government and wants an end to section 21 evictions which she says “lead to renters having nowhere to live following being forced to leave their homes. The government pledged to end no-fault evictions in 2019, but is yet to deliver on this promise.”

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She also wants an immediate pause to Home Office evictions during the activation of the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol and an increase in the notice to quit period to 56 days, in line with the Homelessness Reduction Act, to stem the rising number of asylum seekers who are made homeless once granted status.

She also demands long-term investment to reduce housing stress, including an urgent boost to funding for social and affordable housing to help meet the estimated £4.9 billion annual investment which she insists the capital requires.

Moema also wants Gove to produce a plan “to respond to the need faced by the health, housing, and local government sectors, including the 17% shortfall faced by councils in London.”

Moema says: “The government pledged to end rough sleeping by the end of this year, but the numbers show that they are on the road to catastrophic failure. The 819 additional Londoners who have had nowhere to rest their heads have been failed by the government’s inability to deliver on their promise.

“Ministers must take urgent action to stop people becoming homeless after being evicted from Home Office accommodation, properly invest in affordable housing, abolish section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions, and fund the community services that prevent homelessness so that we can end it for good.”

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    I don't think any decent landlord would evict a decent tenant that looked after the property and paid rent on time.

    Unfortunately people with mortgages can no longer afford to pay them without increasing rent and either have to increase rent or sell.

    End of the day the government needs to build more social housing instead of expecting private landlords to take on the people that they won't re home and are likely to be a problem.

    Not sure about anyone else, but I'm not buying any more houses at the moment until I can see what is going to happen to the PRS over the next year or 2. So have just put the money in a 12 month account to get more money in interest than I would receive in rent after expected repairs.

    The government need to build more social housing. I have a feeling that the figures quoted for the number of houses built are not the number of houses that are built to let as council houses, as far as I know, no builder in their right mind would do that.



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    You are quite right on all points. A developer locally has just resubmitted an application with zero "affordable housing" as they say it's not worthwhile. Have to agree nobody wants to buy an expensive new build next to what often become problems. The only answer is to build more social housing and surely cheaper in the long run than housing in hotels.

     
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    I work in construction. There was a new development in London. One side expensive private with the play area. The other or social and no access to it. It caused uproar. The planners now want to not have separate blocks and front doors but mix it all up. So people pay many hundreds of thousands or millions. Then you realise next door is some foreigner on Universal Credit with 4 kids by 4 fathers. Kids screaming etc. Smoking outside the front door etc. People won't pay for that.

     
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    Sem Moema is a typical Labour politician spouting the usual ani-landlord rhetoric. 😡
    A shame she does not actually have a few brain cells or she would understand that a good landlord does not give notice to a good tenant without good reason.

    Well done, Sem, you are adding to the number of homeless. 🤔 The flame haired one will no doubt thank you for your help in this. 😂

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    Typical over paid lefty. She wants this, demands that. All paid for from where?

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    No i don’t believe it 😱 So when we evict someone under a s21…. They may become homeless 🤔🤔 NEVER 😂😂.

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    You have fallen into their trap and called it an eviction. Landlords do not evict, bailiffs do that. Landlords give notice that they want possession of THEIR property.

     
  • Alexandra Morris

    Another day and another piece identifying the core issue; lack of good quality social housing.
    Instead of focusing on that and pushing the long term solution of building more social housing, investing in existing social housing to improve quality what do they do - lead with blaming landlords!

    When a landlord regains possession it isn’t so they can leave it empty. That home will be occupied by another tenant, themselves or a new owner usually within 6 months.

    There are 30,000+ homes empty in Landlord, the largest number by region is in Chelsea and it’s understood that most of the 30,000+ empty is due to lack of financial resource to make them habitable or that they form part of inheritance matters. Very very few of these will have been recovered under Section 21.

    Displacement occurs in the most part due to affordability, tenants being unable to afford the home they have AND others in the area and it isn’t just rent that causes problems. Fuel poverty is a huge issue with a more than 200% rise since 2020, council tax rising and public services diminishing every year.

    Homelessness has no one root cause.

    That said I’m all for the abolition of Section 21 on the grounds that it is replaced by a fair, simple and easy to access system allowing recovery in fault cases or out of necessity to the legal owner. Then the debate can no longer focus on the landlord and we will be forced to evaluate the real reasons behind eviction and in some cases homelessness.

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    "I’m all for the abolition of Section 21 on the grounds that it is replaced by a fair, simple and easy to access system allowing recovery in fault cases or out of necessity to the legal owner." This is all very well and good. But landlords like yourselves willingly giving away your property rights because you think something fairer will come in is most naive. The pedulum is firmly going back to the way of the Rent Act post Rachman. Landlords will have a very high bar to prove fault and many get-outs will be given to guilty tenants. S21 is about the only friend a landlord has left. I just used it and was alarmed at how difficult it was to use and all thr barriers set up to make it fail.

     
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    I don't support the abolition of S21 as I think that the government will do it and not put anything in place before getting rid of it. And then will go silent on the matter of putting something else in place of it. They are slowly destroying the PRS and are too blind to see that they are causing the problem.

    Up to now, I've never had to evict a tenant using S21, but know other landlords that have and the stress it caused them was immense. I'm dreading the day I have to go to court to get a house back.

    I occasionally read posts where tenant wants to be evicted via S21 so as they can get a council house. So with only a S8 available, would the government still give them a house / room when they are at fault?

    I have a feeling that removing S21 could be unhelpful for both tenants and landlords.

     
  • Peter Why Do I Bother

    If she has any brain cells then surely look at the local councils telling tenants to sit tight and do not pay. You Yes You Sam have created this issue as it has been predominantly Labour Councils using this tactic along with CAB, Shelter and Gen Rent.

    Country is at breaking point and these are doing nothing but adding fuel to the fire.

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    • B L
    • 03 February 2024 18:15 PM

    If a shoplifting conviction will result in a custodial sentence, anything over £200 maximum seven years in prison, due to damaging the property, causing financial loss, and affecting business. On what grounds that councils, Shelter can advise tenants not to pay rent, nor deal with their own mould? Anyone advising somebody not to pay the rent, is this an offence against the law?

     
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    Of Course there’s a link between Section 21 and Homeless are you all stupid.
    What have we being shouting about for ever since the attack started with Shelters 2015 De-Registration Act and before now the chickens are coming home to roost or sleep on the pavement.
    Everyone who is a Landlord knows the Removal of Section 21 is the cause of Homelessness and hundreds of thousands of landlords driven out and also has caused rough sleepers in London to increase from 3’000 to now 10’000 in recent times even camped in tents and under umbrellas outside Council Civic Centre’s, some Councils lock their doors to keep them out and now if you want to visit your Civic Centre its by appointment only.
    We can’t expect any those groups who don’t supply housing to know the Business that goes for any business but it won’t stop their mouths.
    When you remove the foundation of anything it collapses and Section 21 is the very foundation of all Private Letting’s before which there wasn’t any. Did you not know that MOEMA, where have you been or did you just find a popular bandwagon to jump on board.

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    But what causes S21? Rent arrears, ASB, LLs selling, anti-LL rhetoric etc. Those are the real reasons behind evictions in the PRS.

    Peter Why Do I Bother

    Correct Tricia, in 23 years of renting property I have used it twice. Both non payment and trashing the place. Drama was the follow on of being told not to move and wait for the process up until the bailiffs turn up..!

     
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    the only sec 21s I've used have been to get rid of non payers asap, now it will have to be sec 8 which really will cause homelessness as the offending tenant will have a record, no landlord will touch them

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    Only Labour could come up with such a finger pointing attitude instead of dealing with the reality that it’s a whole set of problems such as interest rate rises and high demand for properties because of lack of social housing. Just point the finger at people that are perceived to be wealthier than you even though a vast amount of landlords are getting out due to the fact it doesn’t pay to be a landlord anymore. So unimaginative but stirs up feelings for the want to blame culture. God knows what will happen if Labour get it but then the conservatives are a total waste of time too. It’s so tiring listening to so much drivel!

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    have they wondered what sort of behaviour causes S21s? No, I didn't think so.

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    There is an increase in Section 21 ‘s but that is due to scared landlords selling up. Homelessness is mainly due to lack of appropriate social housing and cost of living crisis. Attacking and vilifying landlords is just going to exacerbate the problem.

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    I am one of those scared landlords. I fear I will not get my properties back.

     
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    If Social Housing rent was somewhat more financially realistic would we have such a housing crisis?
    Why is Social rent so ludicrously cheap? Local authorities are in severe financial difficulties with some facing bankruptcy and yet they still hand out Council houses for half price rent. It's not even that Council tenants are necessarily on a low income or receive benefits. If Social Housing was charged at LHA or above Social Housing providers would be in a financial position to properly maintain the stock they have and buy or build more housing.
    Anyone on a low income would receive LHA to cover or go towards their rent, so would be no worse off. People who earn more may have to contribute more but it would still be very cheap compared with open market rent.

    Instead of making wildly unfounded, alarmist statements about the use of Section 21 more research should be done. I suspect we have a whole catalogue of issues that have simply come together and were almost all entirely foreseeable if anyone had put any thought into it.
    1. Landlords are getting old. Many are over retirement age. A certain number each year will decide to sell up and properly retire.
    2. Section 24 was pure evil when interest rates were rock bottom. Now a certain amount of landlords are paying tax on a loss. If they don't have a sufficiently well paid day job to cover that tax bill they have no choice and have to sell. Why should they work all hours just to pay interest and tax to allow someone else to stay in a rental property (often at below market rent)?
    3. Abolishing taper relief largely removed BTLs attraction as an alternative pension provision. With taper relief it's an ideal pension vehicle especially for the self employed. Without taper relief it's far less practical. Landlords have to sell more frequently to keep the CGT bill sensible, which means serving more Section 21s. The cost of selling one BTL and buying a replacement is huge. How many people will bother?
    4. Pushing landlords towards incorporation is off-putting for newbies. Decisions, decisions. Something that used to be straightforward is now complicated. A certain amount of people who would have given it a go now won't simply because they can't decide if they should buy in personal names or as a limited company.
    5. Increased legislation and huge fines for minor mistakes. It's scary for those of us who have been in the industry for years and have a good relationship with our Local Authorities. It must be terrifying for potential newbies. How many Section 21s are because landlords can't cope with the stress?

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    Also a lot of those in council houses are well off and in well paid jobs like union leaders etc. put council rents up to full market rates, give discounts to the low paid

     
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    Bob Crow of the RMT union was well know for being a fat cat on over £100k in a council house and proud of it. Eddie Dempsey the deputy was (or still is) doing the same as of last year. A lot of them are all hypocrites.

     
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    Are social rents really that low? I thought Council Rent was set at LHA & social rents could be upto 80% of local rents.

     
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    The landlord owns the property do they know what that means.
    When you own something you have control over it otherwise it’s not yours, why would you buy for others to have control
    over it, are they having a laugh.
    It seems we are the only Business ever where the customers write the terms & conditions for their host.

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    "The landlord owns the property" true until Labour gets into power. Then who knows what will happen.

     
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    Communists do not accept the right to own private property and they seek redistribution of wealth.

     
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    But they don't care about ownership. It's all about tenants and especially families. It's all about ITV and sob stories and bashing landlords with fines and revenue raising exercises. They don't house anyone. It's all been outsourced to us. Now they want to wrap it all in red tape.

     
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    Yes that would be a great idea they could add it to the £2.5 Trillion National debt, then we could buy the debt in Government Bonds or maybe Uncle Sam would like to buy them to give us back some of the money they owe us or just add it to their £35 Trillion debt,
    something serious is going to have to happen eventually we can’t keep adding debt.

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    They keep adding to it. Printing money (or "quantitive easing") as they call it. They don't earn enough tax. They place it up the wall left right and centre. Need to bail out bankrupt councils too now who are busy installing white elephant £18m cyclepaths (Birmingham). The government have HS2. They plan to cut off the link to central London, and to the north. What a waste of f***ing money. Meanwhile you have Gove blocking the building of houses (and other projects), the Lords stopping building because of neutrients. They are all a shower of ****.

     
  • David Saunders

    One fine day those then in power will realise that the main cause above any other reason for the rise in issuing of Section 21s and homelessness nowadays is/was the imminent outlawing of the same and expecting property owners to continue letting whilst the chance of ever regaining vacant possession becomes slim and nil ( slims out of town) whilst rent controls creep ever closer is/was foolhardy in the extreme

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    • B L
    • 02 February 2024 13:06 PM

    Councils are legally responsible for helping homeless, means it is the responsibility of the government. Sem, the question you raised is the question you should answer to the public - Where can the homeless people go? Where is the emergency shelter? transitional housing? The severe weather is coming in a week, where do they go to survive? If Councils, Shelter spent time to addressing homeless needs rather than playing tricks and blame games, we may well have established programs in place. Some homeless people prefer to beg in the streets, not going to the temporary places provided by the councils, because it is more profitable to beg. In some countries, they provide shelters and create works for the homeless, not begging, but selling daily useful items in the streets to earn some income, to help them to stand on their dignity. It is amazing whenever the government has pressure, it is to blame the PRS.

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    Landlord claims link between council house sell off and homelessness.

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    When and if labour gets in, there will be even less properties available to rent and less tax paid into the the government coffers. Why? I can imagine more sales, or definitely more LLs may decide to keep some of their properties empty, so less overall rent and less tax liabilities. I for one will try and sell 3 to 4 properties within the next 3 years. Alternatively or additionally keep about half of the properties empty and rent them out to quality tenants. Most of properties are in university cities so able to rent out to students who stay 1 to 3 years. Priority to 3rd year or masters students, who stay one year. I prefer 1 to 2 years stay, so maintenance can be done every year or 2. I have to select properties that bring in good rental. The empty properties, no other expenses apart from council tax and interest on mortgage, which can be covered by other rental properties. So less income, zero or less tax and more homeless. I believe a lot of LLs may choose to have their properties empty. Have to work out the best way to do it. I consolidated my mortgages, so high mortgaged properties and no mortgaged properties, as I sold some and waiting to sell others as tenants leave. Sell them as empty, so I can sell to owner occupier. Labour or even present government are driving and increasing the homeless. Shame on them, when they do not wish to increase social housing but bringing useless legislation, not fit for purpose.

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    I am keeping one property empty for the reasons you state. I am not risking letting anyone else in.

     
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    Vibha and Nick have you listened to the recent webinar on youtube about student lets and the renters reform legislation?

    It is from Sulets and is entitled "Renters Reform Bill – 2024 Update Webinar"

    There is advice from David Smith (solicitor).

    Quite useful, I thought.

     
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    Hi Ellie, I have not. But I’ve just put it on my watchlist on YouTube. I’ll listen to some over the weekend.

    Thank you.

     
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    Vibha, Surely, in the short term, more house sales means more tax for the government in CG tax? No matter what we do they win and get paid.

    I see no sense in leaving a house empty and paying (double) council tax and utilities, that said, I live overseas and will be returning to retire in the UK in a few years, so when the next time a house becomes available I intend to not rent it out again as it will be somewhere for us to move into. I have a cat. so there is no way I could rent a house.

    The government dont give a hoot about landlords, we are just cash cows waiting to be milked.

    I don't have any mortgages on my rentals, but I'm still thinking its about time to sell up due to government legislation and i'm at the age where I need to start selling the houses.

    1 day, maybe the tenants will realize its the government that are forcing us to sell our houses and that it's not the landlords choice.

    Only when there are no PRS sector houses left, they will see why.

    At the end of the day the government are making tenants pay more for houses due to increased legislation and taxes on landlords.

     
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    It’s time everyone (the press etc) stopped using the line “Section 21 Eviction notice” or saying they have been given an eviction notice when it is in fact only a section 21 notice to end the tenancy. This is not an eviction or a notice of eviction !.

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    Yes you are quite right, but in some ways its better if the tenants think they need to be out on that date, as it motivates them to move on.

     
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    What the politicians ignore is that landlords pay quite a lot of VAT. Letting agents charge 20% on top, including renewing tenancy and checkouts. Contractors normally charge 20 % on top and that includes gas and electric certificate.

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    Yes Edwin not forgetting repeated licensing Applications every 5 years on an ever increase fee + the thousands on materials and upgrades to Comply + all the annual Certification’s. Fire assessment (£220.00 it cost me) even though I had hardwired interlinked fire alarms on all landings + in every room & living room, Emergency lighting, Gas Certificate, DEICR, Fire Doors self closing and Smoke seals, Fire Blankets, Carbon Monoxide Detectors, Fire Extinguishers on every landing & in Kitchen. So why am
    I required to have a Fire risk Assessment when all the measures that could be taken are already in place which is more important than someone going around talking about it.
    Oh yes how could I forget my wife & I are 45% tax payers thanks Mr Hunt the tax cutting Chancellor, even on our £12.500 x 2 = £25’000.00 personal allowance that must people get tax free so we pay 60% on that and 45% of our miserable old age pensions which is ridiculous its my contention that some part of the old age Pensions should be tax free for everyone regardless. Put that in your pipe & smoke it, we still have our sense of humour.

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    My sense of humour has largely died since Covid, loss of Job, the Nigerians, compensation and mould saga. Now the Renters Reform Bill which I won’t be involved in. Westminster can stick that where they like.

     
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    Nick. I know what you say is true but don’t let it get you down rise above it, lighten up good side out and carry on your health is far more important.
    There’s a game of Rugby about to start watch them beat each other up 👍.

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    I understand. I just find it amazing how badly a U.K. citizen can be treated against a foreign national.
    How the owner of the properties has almost no rights compared to the person who is ‘borrowing’ it. But I’m okay. Will be better when I have sold.

     
    Peter Why Do I Bother

    Keep your chin up Nick, don’t let the barstewards get you down.

     
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    Thanks Peter. I am just being honest. Whilst i obviously find it frustrating how backwards we are as a country I am busy piling money into tax efficient savings where I can invest anywhere. Easily in and out. No problem tenants calling at unsociable hours with stuff they broke.

     
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    D Duck, yes but in some Borough’s where they suddenly introduced a licensing Scheme you can’t rent out without a license although in some Borough’s it ok if you have submitted the Application and pain 30% of the fee as I was informed recently by HMO inspection Officer on his visit. I am waiting months for a license sometimes it takes a year or more. Therefore they at contributing to vacant properties, homelessness and then expect double c/tax on empty I think they should look a bit closer to home.

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    Nick. unfortunately you are right which is why so much property is vacant, if people get it empty they are too scared to re-let. They are looking for a way forward but there isn’t any and probably minded to sell, in the mean time they daren’t let or it will affect the Sale if you got Tenants in there. The legal people will be writing to them telling them their rights and advising them of your intentions, even to get a valuation it involves the Tenants throwing spanner’s into the works. Leave them be, hundreds of thousands of Flats going but unlikely to house them. I see a former Civic Centre being replaced with 1100 flats. First phase of 532 on the wall about 30 affordable about 6% ?.

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    I work in construction. LAs and the Khan demand all these percentages of affordable etc and how they’re built. They actually stop anything being built at all.

    They don’t earn their money demanding S106 and CIL payments. They waste it when they get it. Especially being woke with all their Pride and equality nonsense. Put up council tax next year to pay for it.

    Cambridge Council trialing a 4 day week. Few extra hours each day and no pay cut. They don’t work when doing 5 days either.

    Civic centres? If you dropped a bomb on them, would we see a reduction in service? I think not.

     
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    During lockdown, the only Council service I missed was the local dump closing for months and then limited appointments even to this day despite everything being outdoors, apart from the staff skulking in their heated cabin and who apparently aren't there to help Council Tax Payers!

     
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    Robert, council people are all a waste of space. They deserve to be taken to the dump!

     
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    Oh yes it is ALL the fault of LANDLORDS, e.g. Ukraine War, the battle in Gaza, etc etc. While our so-called clever politicians 98% of them are utterly incompetent and corrupt. e.g. who would go for the HS2 project when based on an initial estimate of some £35Billion, now running at £85billion after a curtailed service setup only to Brum. It was too much of a no-brainer to spend that money on building houses. As I and many others see it the HS2 was to feed (make rich) the politicians' own crooked friends. If they did that then they could not blame the Landlords, could they? Oh no they would blame LLs. Also they would find yet another excuse to blame landlords.
    What a bunch of crooks and Clowns we have as MPs and many in the so-called public sector organisations. e.g. Post Office, Home Office. Police, incompetent Councils etc. Many of this lot should be referred to as persons of unknown paternity??
    I just filled in my Self assessment tax return and noticed the our govt expenditure on interest payments as a % of the budget has jumped from 8 or & to 12% in the last two years. Oh yes it is the fault of the LANDLORDS, the rotten swines. Will any of the crooks who ruined the lives of nearly a 1000 sub post masters go to jail. NEVER the govt(sole shareholder) will want due process and stretch the job out for another 2 to 5 years. While the post office scandal enquiry is being obstructed by many of the post office staff and hired legal eagles, dodge answering questions at the enquiry!

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    Have we been blamed for Brexit yet?

     
  • icon

    On the law and some of its aspects I would recommend all colleagues to watch you tube videos by two significant contributors, generally about "the LAW" cost of justice etc. and for general legal awareness.
    1.the secret barrister;
    2. black belt barrister

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    Robert. Do you mean, Yosser.

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