By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Graham Awards


Section 21: Rental sector supplier hits back at Citizens Advice claims

A rental sector insurance firm has hit back at claims made about Section 21 by the charity Citizens Advice.

A spokesperson for the Citizens Advice charity claimed that private landlords serve Section 21 notices on tenants to avoid doing repairs. Kirsty Rowlinson is reported by local media in Southampton to have said: “We see quite a lot of seemingly retaliatory evictions. A tenant will ask for repairs to be carried out and they will see soon after the landlords just issued a section 21.

“The legal process as I understand it for getting a tenant evicted is far quicker than the legal process for getting repairs done, so the landlord knows that the tenant is going to be gone before the court case for the repairs comes through. This is what we are seeing at Citizens Advice in Southampton.”


She continued: “Sanctions, section 21s and rent arrears have risen hugely in Southampton over the last couple of quarters. The last couple of months in particular we are really feeling the increase. Landlords want to raise the rent and tenants aren’t able to afford the increase.”

Now Sim Sekhon, managing director of LegalforLandlords - a tenant referencing and insurance supplier - says the idea that a landlord would willingly choose the expense, worry and disruption of the current eviction process without justification is simply laughable. 

He says: “I don’t know a single landlord who wouldn’t rather carry out repairs. Doing the work necessary to keep a good tenant happy and protect the value of their investment makes sense and is far preferable to battling through a lengthy court process.” 

Sekhon says he finds it galling that the fair and responsible landlord is expected to put up and shut up while the bad tenant works the system to their advantage. And he claims he knows of numerous examples where tenants use stalling tactics or claim ‘breathing space’ protection to further delay the court process. 

He says often there is no legitimate defence and, eventually, the court proceedings conclude in the landlord’s favour but with no compensation for the significant financial losses or the distress suffered. 

“Landlords are already at the end of their tether. Many are using Section 21 as a way of leaving a sector that neither supports nor respects them. It is their legal right to do so, and to insult them with these generalised, unbalanced slurs is simply unfair.” 

Want to comment on this story? Our focus is on providing a platform for you to share your insights and views and we welcome contributions.
If any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.
Please help us by reporting comments you consider to be unduly offensive so we can review and take action if necessary. Thank you.

  • icon

    Some landlords are right at breaking point with cash flow and maybe an expensive repair request may push them over the edge and the decision to sell is the only solution. Some Tenants demand the Landlord upgrade all sorts of things when in reality if they owned that property they f
    Often wouldn't be putting thier own hands in thier pocket to pay for upgrades. Often they won't even sweep the front path or keep their windows clean but often regard the landlord as an endless source of money. And if we finally decide to bail out by using the legal route of a Section 21 Notice then we are considered to be acting maliciously which is about 95% not the reality. We've reduced our portfolio by 50% because of finances and yes we are using S21 because that's what it is there for. If it gets taken away then prepare for a tsunami of LL leaving the sector.


    Well said Martin, I have had my fair share of doing this and I am currently getting another property ready to sell as enough is enough!

  • icon

    The onslaught will continue, Labour WILL bring in the ban on s21 as soon as possible, they have promised this, and I do believe them 🆘. If landlords stay, then they must do it with their eyes 👀 open.

  • icon

    CAB is lying, her statement is peppered with ambiguities and euphemisms. However she has said arrears are rising, thats likely to be true, but who is paying for the outstanding rent ? Tenants can get a lot of support and going to CAB is the last resort. My experience is that bad payers go through every support available in order to evade rent,, and use it as a stalling tacic. One tenant claimed l had kept her deposit, however l had got an arbitration award and used the money for repairs. One tenant who has just vacatedseemed OK, but very hot on repairs etc,. .always had the kitchen door open when l went, after the cleaning smells have gone, it now smells of dog, and it's quite pungent.

  • icon

    If anyone finds some marbles, please return to Kirsty Rowlinson at Citizens (Landlords excepted) Advice. She has lost hers. 😡


    Funny, love it!

  • icon
    • A JR
    • 11 January 2024 08:19 AM

    A good article making very strong and true points. Well done Sim.

    Where was/is the NRLA on this.? The very organization that should be representing LLs is yet again, conspicuously quiet/absent. What a hopeless organisation!


    Good point, where are our trade bodies. It is now so one sided that for me i'm leaving. Not panic leaving but when a property becomes empty i'm now selling. Three sold already over last 2 years


    Andy, they are MII.
    That is a variant on MIA - Missing In Inaction.


    In the interest of balance, I do think the NRLA get a kicking in forums like this and it is not always reasonable. The NRLA do very obviously push back against the narrative that landlords spend much of the time carrying out revenge S21 evictions eg check out the property times x NRLA monthly videos.

    Also they do a lot of campaigning work that produces good, common sense results eg. the recent legislation that stops disaggregation of HMOs for council tax purposes.

    The fact is that S21 is on the way out because all political parties support this. It is only a matter of time and there is very little that landlords can do about it.

    But the NRLA do attempt to shape policy so that the removal of S21 is done in the most sensible way possible. In short, they attempt to be "in the room" with ministers and to enlighten decision makers when those people obviously don't understand the PRS or the unintended consequences of bad legislation.

    For example, the suggestion to introduce a new mandatory ground in the Renters Reform Bill for repossession of student properties.

    My, very humble, opinion is that landlords (NRLA members or not) would be in a much worse position if the NRLA were not engaging with clueless political decision makers.

  • David Hollands

    Private landlord cannot run at a loss to keep the tenant in there properties.
    With interest rates going up and be tax on the rent paid and not the profit is not business like.
    Limited company only pay tax on the profit and mot the rent.
    We need to bring back tax relief for BTL mortgages.
    I have been a landlord for 20 years with good tenants but this look like the end of the road for privately owned buy to lets. Most are older landlord using the the property income to support there poor pensions.
    So the government's actions are not go for the landlords or the tenants and as a result I will have to evicted my tenant this year and sell the property.

  • Peter Why Do I Bother

    I would vote for Big Sim to be the new leader of the NRLA, at least he is challenging the narrative from businesses, sorry I mean charities.

  • icon

    It's just stupid to suggest that if a tennant requests repairs, then the landlord will issue a section21 as retaliation. Ridiculous thing to suggest. I have never done this, as it dosent make sense. What do I gain from doing that? A lot more work, that's what! In 25 years of renting property,
    I have only issued one section 21 after the Tennant refused to pay the rent. It took 6months to get him out too! After racking up a bill of £7,000 I asked him why he never paid the rent. He said " It was not a priority of mine". So keeping a roof over his head was not a priority? He fought the bailiffs and the court order every way he could until the last possible moment. I had to then spend £1000 getting the stench of cigarettes out of the house and redecoration, due to the brown nicotine stains everywhere. These are the type of tennants that CAB say are treated so badly by evil landlords. The truth is the opposite. Its these evil tennants supported by CAB that cause damage and loss to good responsible landlords. No wonder landlords are leaving in their droves.
    The reality is, if a LL cant make the books balance in the PRS, then they MUST sell up and leave the PRS. That's what many of them are doing, and CAB, bad non paying tennants, and the Govenment are all to blame for the exodus.

  • icon

    The problem with CAB and other tenants charities is that they never speak to the landlord to get their side of the story. The bad tenants spin any tale to their advantage, often telling lies to get what they want. The CAB and their ilk, will believe anything without question. The govt are just as bad listening to all this drivel from those who only have one side of the story. Sadly, all this only results in fewer properties for the tenants to choose from. One day there will be an awakening, not in my lifetime sadly.


    U r right... I note that the new rental law supposedly makes it easier to evict for anti social behaviour.. Yeah, right... Neighbours can be unhappy but unwilling to publicly show their displeasure and crafty tenants can damage the property eg deliberately create condensation mould and claim it's a "revenge eviction" for complaining to the landlord about the condensation.
    In Spain my understanding is that all new tenancies are one year conditional before becoming for life tenancies.. If we at least done that here, then small landlords would be happier about handing over the keys to their property to new tenants for the life of the tenant.. A small minority of landlords might chose to churn their properties every year but this hardly a good business model. Why "churn" when a tenant has proven themselves good for 12 months? If anyone thinks the Spanish system is preferable to Grove's madness, please write to your MP and contact radio chat shows... The "Rental Reform bill" in its present form is a disaster..

  • Zen Landlord

    CAB clearly haven't got any common sense.

    No landlord in their right mind would spend over £10,000 paying for legal fees, courts and bailiffs. With the corresponding loss of rent, void period and refurbishment costs to save a thousand on a repair. What planet are they on?

    What are these repairs that CAB talk about, are all these rental properties they talk about falling down? Even a whole new roof wil be a lot cheaper than going to court to remove an existing tenant.

    They also need to think, why would anyone not spend a small amount to repair a leaky roof or similar, rather than the thousands it would cost to replace it, which would be caused by not fixing it in the first place. It's common sense to carry out repairs because if you don't it only gets worse costing you more in the long run. Do they think all these landlords are stupid?

    CAB need to get a grip and realise that if a landlord is taking the the very serious step of serving a section 21 then there must be a very good reason. I seriously doubt it's because they don't want to spend a small amount on a repair. It wouldn't make any financial sense. Or common sense.

  • icon

    I understand and sympathise with Frank. I had same issues with a tenant who refused to pay rent after 2 months, complained about repairs (dampness), were all fixed, but still avoided rent payments, stating it was his house and I should not come to the house and assaulted me saying I should go back to my country. I managed to visit due to his partner agreeing my request. When my brother came with me and saw that he pushed me out of the house, he insisted in going to the police. Apparently, he had complained about me to the police. I had counselling from the police and given an alarm to carry with me. I gave them s21, which was disregarded. S8 was given too. The police signed the copy as evidence and one was already posted and the partner confirmed receipt. I had used a company to do the court submission etc, at a high cost. They did not appear at the court. It was open and close case, also showed police reports about assault, as the police was passing by when the tenant was shouting and jostling me so the police entered the open door. It took a long time to bring the case, then you have to wait another 6 weeks as the court gives notice to the tenants to leave in 4 weeks. Another wait as you request the bailiff. It took altogether 11 months before they actually left. Their son came at night and damaged the property. Both the police and the neighbour called me about 1am to let me know. They had splashed white paint outside the house. Damaged a pipe leading to the kitchen sink. They had changed the locks. I had already got the locksmith booked to change the locks, found my keys would not fit. They argued with the bailiff that they did not pay as a lot of work needed to be done. 5 police had arrived, as they had asked to let them know, when the bailiff came. The police said they will enter first. They went in and found a machete and no drugs, which is what they were looking for. The tenant was known to be selling drugs. The tenants were well protected by the council and Cab. All the costs came to be well over £8000, more than 12 months rent. The tenants were on UC and will be on UC for life, so they had told me they are not worried about CCJs. CAB and council do not wish to know the landlords predicament, all the stress for months. The neighbour told me where the ex-tenants found accommodation and also that he had heard they had stopped paying rent after 2 months. The saga continues and the council will not house them. What a life to live until death. The guy was about 50 and his partner about 42.


    That is a really sad tale. And they wonder why Landlords are leaving the market. Your council should be ashamed for allowing these people to cause so much stress. Hope you find a good tenant.


    How long before a landlord is pushed over the edge and they take a shot gun to one of these low lives, lets face it, it will happen one day


    These types of parasites should live in tents paid by the CAB or social housing paid by the Council.
    I’m traumatised only by reading about your experience.
    I met so many prospective tenants in person and also two agencies were engaged in finding me a decent tenant few years ago.
    I was ultra selective and only spoke to working people like me.
    I would never consider allowing a parasite to occupy my house.
    It’s enough that my gigantic taxes pay for a substantial number of leeches to live from my hard earned money.

  • Sim Sekhon

    I speak to many Landlords and Letting Agents, but rarely do I hear these clickbait angles that play to a different narrative and of course agenda.

    All in the Private Rental Sector are just trying to run a business and provide a safe, comfortable place for tenants to live.

    Social Housing on the other hand is different.

    Being a Landlord is a business, not a charity, unfortunately...

    Peter Why Do I Bother

    Hi Sim,

    I like the fightback and the clear way you put the case across against the CAB. I think all of us on this forum are completely fed up of the narrative coupled with the playing of centrist politics by NRLA who claim to be representing us.

    As I have said earlier please can you run the NRLA for us all??? ;0)

  • icon

    Poor Kirsty Rowlinson. ‘The legal process AS I UNDERSTAND IT…’

    Which is quite clearly ‘not at all’ !!

  • icon

    I am continually anguished that even those who oppose abolishing section 21 repeatedly fail to mention that Section 21 is for when a fixed term tenancy has expired and the tenant refuses to leave. If fixed term tenancies are to exist, then clearly a landlord requires a legal mechanism to enforce the contract. No landlord can currently evict because a tenant complains of lack of repairs. The landlord can only refuse to renew the contract. I note the government has backed down on its new "tenancy for life universal contract" and now proposes fixed term tenancies for students. What about those on short technical training courses, secondments or internships? The new reform means landlords will become enormously fussy demanding excellent references, advance rent and rent guarantees. This will discriminate against immigrants and the young (unless they have wealthy parents) Landlords are already exiting the PRS because of the proposed reform and this will become a flood when existing AST fixed term tenants move. Ie, Most landlords won't use their new proposed right under the new legislation to end existing tenancies at any time by selling up. . But when their AST existing tenants voluntarily move, theh will then quit being a landlord and sell up rather than hand over the keys to a new tenant for the life of the tenant. The renters reform bill is a poison pill for the next government at a time of rising rent demand. I agree that there should be rental reform including such as periodic tenancies being 12 months and a tenant being able to give three month notice at anytime.. That would be sensible reform. I urge any landlord reading this to write to their MP to urge the retention of fixed term tenancies. Life time (assured) tenancies could instead be encouraged by altering the tax on ASTs to make it higher than on life tenancies (ie Assured Tenancies) . A landlord with good tenants for a few years would thereby be encouraged to issue an Assured Tenancy after each renewal.

  • icon

    Gove is the driving force behind landlord monstering. I believe a lord Montague is behind the desire for banks to take over the market. One problem for the government is that small landlords aren't in the market for distressed property to reclaim for the letting market.

  • icon

    If Grove didn't want to ruin the PRS he we could at least phase in his abolishment of fixed term tenancies. All new tenancies could be made three years and then five before all new tenancies are for life. Phasing in the abolishment of fixed terms would give the market a chance to adjust while small landlords increasing sell up... Grove needs to take his head out of the snow..

  • icon

    Gove is the Architect as I understand it having been involved in writing it before been Housing Secretary or being Sacked by a previous Prime Minister for double crossing him, so much for being a fit & proper person.
    Removing S.21 has the ability of crashing the whole housing market and the economy as there don’t seem to be much else going on apart from housing. What you’ll be left with is benefit landlords housing Benefit Tenants a right merry go around no one putting into the pot and us mugs won’t be there paying tens of thousands tax every year to keep them all and Licensing Schemes to keep the Local Authorities or the soft fines or repayment Orders to keep the Lawyers in clover or for Housing Charities to bash to justify their existence as a cover for Housing no one.

  • icon

    Peter my friend no life time Tenancies after 12 months or any other period and we don’t churn as you put it.
    I have some Tenants 16 / 18 years but not as of a right that’s different although.
    They occupy the property as per Contracts on my Terms & Conditions as I do own the Property.
    Please tell me what Business operates on their Customers Terms & Conditions.


    I was referring to hypothetically England adopting the Spanish rent law scheme rather than Grove's proposals in his "rental reform bill" .. In an ideal world I would retain Section 21 but increase periodic tenancies to 6/12 months and allow tenants to give two months notice after three months occupancy...There does need to be fairness for tenants and landlords. However,we are wherever are.. The best we landlords can hope for is that Grove's bill fails to pass before the next General Election and Labour can be persuaded to then adopt the Spanish scheme for rentals.. We know Labour won't be retaining Section 21. When I referred to "Churn", I was referring to a Spanish landlord always refusing to confirm a tenancy after the conditional/probationary period of 12 months has passed. Some (Spanish) landlords might do that rather than allow the conditional tenancy to become a for life tenancy but I am sure that's pretty rare.


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up