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


Scrapping Section 21 is landlords' headache - and backfiring on Gove

The removal of Section 21 notices and the end of fixed-term tenancies are the two issues that concern landlords the most, according to a new report issued by Propertymark.  

The trade body’s latest study found that 72 per cent of landlords were worried about the end of Section 21 notices, and 69 per cent viewed the removal of fixed-term tenancies as an issue.  

Under the Renters Reform Bill, fixed term tenancies, including assured and assured shorthold tenancies, will be abolished, and replaced by periodic tenancies with no fixed end date. The Bill will also abolish section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions.


Around 1 in 5 (18 per cent) of landlords agreed that they understood the Renters Reform Bill, while only 3 per cent of those surveyed had read the guidance surrounding the legislation.  

52 per cent of landlords surveyed disagreed that the guidance that accompanied the Bill was sufficient placing an emphasis on landlords using a professional letting agent to navigate future changes.

Commenting on the report’s findings, Timothy Douglas, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Propertymark, says:  “Propertymark has long argued that a fixed term tenancy allows security of tenure for the tenant and a guarantee of rent payments for the landlord. The Renters Reform Bill will only be workable in practice if it addresses the on the ground challenges, we know affect landlords. 

“Furthermore, it is imperative that landlords are aware of the upcoming legislation and are given the adequate guidance and support to deliver a high level of service for tenants. Propertymark agents have a key role to play in the implementation of the legislation.”

Meanwhile in today’s edition of the right-wing current affairs magazine The Spectator, the ending of Section 21 is cited as a mis-step by Housing Secretary Michael Gove.

Writer and property expert Ross Clark says in the magazine: “This would essentially return tenancy law pretty well back to where it was in the 1980s, when many people with spare properties were loathe to let them out for fear they would be unable to take back possession when they needed to. While the rental market has always had its Rachmans, happy to turn out a family of house and home on a whim, there are very genuine reasons why people might want a property back after, say, 12 months.”

Clark says Gove has instituted reforms which favour tenants and would-be home-owners over landlords - but that this is backfiring.

He continues in his Spectator piece: “Gove has decided to side with frustrated would-be homeowners. But there is another group with whom you might expect the government to have a little more sympathy: private pensioners. 

“If, unlike Gove, you do not face the prospect of a featherbedded retirement courtesy of a gold-plated pension underwritten by the taxpayer, you are forced to make other provisions. The miserable performance of the UK stock market has pushed many people of quite modest means into buy-to-let. 

“These make up a large proportion of the landlords on whom Gove has declared war. He cannot expect a lot of thanks for this at the ballot box.”   

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

    Vote Reform.


    Reform isn't very far behind the Conservatives in the polls now - the latest YouGov poll put the Tories on 19% and Reform on 15%, so one can imagine that it might not be long before they are neck and neck as Conservative support is falling and Reform support is rising.

    The Labour support hasn't changed, but might drop if George Galloway's party starts to gain more support.

    Fery  Lavassani

    Those of us old enough to remember when Roy Jenkins, David Owen, Shirley Williams and Bill Rogers broke away from their parties, mainly labour, and created so called SDP, can foresee what will happen to this new Reform Party. They will do very well in local elections but fail to secure many seats at the general election. Then will slowly fade away. I listened to late Gorge Carlin and during the election days stay at home and do not vote. But those of you who voted conservative and now whinging, with all due respect, I have no sympathy for.


    @ Fery Lavassini
    I am old enough to remember the SDP and it all went wrong when they made an electoral pact with the Liberal Party.

    UKIP made a pact with the Tories to stand aside (it didn’t work) and REFORM have learned that lesson. If you don’t vote, you cannot complain about the result or the consequences.


    I thought Reform was a private limited company. Wasn't it incorporated by Farage?


    Brexit is an even bigger issue for me than Landlord changes. If I still had the freedom to live, work and invest in the EU I wouldn't need property here.

    Peter Why Do I Bother

    I can see Tories and reform merging and then at least some real conservatives will be back in the party

    Fery  Lavassani

    A L

    These lot are all the same. Now you see more and more rats leaving the sinking conservative ship. Richard Tice, Lee Anderson and many many more to join so called Reform party. Of course for the good of the country, if I may say so. I never complain, just sit and watch. By not voting, I cannot be called an accomplice. The biggest problem with parliamentary democracy is that you vote for these monkeys and you are stock with them for four or five years and there is bu...er all you can do when not if they fail to keep their pre election promises. Just wait for the biggest clown appearing upon the horizon. Nigel Farage. You will never get one more populist than him.


    I'm thinking of voting for them NVH 👍


    @ Peter Why Do I Bother
    Tories and Reform will never merge. As they have learned before, once bitten twice shy.

    Yes, Reform are a limited company - so what?


    I too am throwing my weight behind Reform. Nobody knows the future, but we have all been witness to the past. Both the reds and blues have been poor for this country. We need a change. I hope it will be for the better, but nobody knows. I do know that I will never vote blue or red. I don't believe in apathy and I certainly believe we should vote. Lastly I want the Bank of England back under the control of the Government. Too much self interest in these bankers.

  • icon

    Reform for me too - one very interesting point of their manifesto is to introduce a Constitution - hopefully one point in it would be the unassailable right to our own property which TRRB seeks to demolish. We know they are anti Rrb. I am with Thr Spectator - Gove is an odious little man and I would not be surprised if when the Conservatives lose the election he crosses the floor to Labour having done a deal for a ministerial job…. In the meantime Beadle feathers his own nest making things harder for Landlords so he can sell even more NRLA courses and “support”!


    It would be great if Reform could also stop punitive council tax as a means of forcing people to sell their properties.

  • icon

    Gove belongs in the Labour Party.


    Will he jump ship to join them to save his seat, he's a proven back stabber so very likely

  • John  Adams

    Why is anyone bothered about this, Gove won't change his mind he'll just play silly devils now until they call an Election. He knows he's lost his seat and is probably snooping round the Private banks and management consultancy practices for a few non executive roles. Either way he doesn't give a toss.

    Seems to me Ross Clark should be running the NRLA, he talks more sense than Benjamin button.

  • icon

    Catherine, yes Courses & Courses to learn how to it, what does he think we have been doing for decades in my case 46 years before Ben Beadle, Rishi Sunak

  • icon

    The Prime Minister was born, Ben was instrumental in destroying the NLA, not stronger together but no opposition.

    John  Adams

    The good news is the NRLA seem to have increased the renewal to £100 , an absolute bargain with that clown still at the helm.


    £100? Well that is £100 I will save.

    Peter Why Do I Bother

    Jesus John, £100 glad I cancelled my membership. With AL on this..

  • icon

    S21 yes 🥵🥵 but the fixed term, personally i am not concerned as I let all mine go periodic after the fist 6 or 12 months, every single one.


    For me the only time a series of fixed term tenancy agreements are appropriate are for students, purely because the academic year exists.
    For everyone else it's an initial 6 months AST and then let it roll on to periodic.
    I can see why Letting Agents want everyone on fixed terms so they can charge renewal fees to the landlords and hope tenants move out rather than commit to another 12 months, which then generates every fee they can dream up. In real life things don't happen in convenient 12 months chunks. Relationships form or break up, job offers happen, babies appear, etc.


    I always do a 12 months fixed term contract. If the tenants are good I simply renew for a further 12 months. Some of my tenants have been with me for 8 years but they are still on a 12 month fixed contract. I like it because I know it's a years guaranteed rent. They like it as they have a whole year guaranteed too.

  • icon

    There really does seem to be a backlash from some Conservatives - Property 118 recently published articles referencing firstly Charles Amos article in Conservative Home publication called “Charles Amos: Gove’s restrictions on landlords legalise theft. Opposing them is a moral necessity”. Secondly an article by Tim Briggs in The Conservative Woman called “Rent Bill will demonise landlords – and bankrupt councils”. Both the 118 articles and the original publications are well worth a read….

  • icon

    Simon. FFS That’s the whole point statutory periodic is the same thing as Section 21 fixed term Tenancy, which is part of it added on by an amendment years later but with exactly the same terms & conditions as original, in other words no Section 21 no Periodic.


    That's true Michael, but I think the error by the Government etc has been to describe Section 21 as no fault eviction in relation to fixed term tenancies. There is no issue of fault, repairs, or retaliatory evictions in fixed term tenancies. They simply come to an end as a result of what both parties agreed in relation to the duration of the tenancy at the outset.

  • David Hollands

    With the loss of tax relief on mortgage interest and section 21 and Gove's policies which have destroyed my pension. Being 68 it's impossible for me replan my retirement. This is Criminal. !!!!
    The last 15 year I have been investing my money into my 2 properties to help with my pension and retirement. Now as a private landlord it's impossible to make a profit from property and I am forced to sell up, this is not good for me or the tenants. WE ALL MUST VOTE REFORM !!!
    All the homeless will now fall back to the councils for homes which we all know are not available..!!

  • icon

    I just don't see how totally abolishing Section 21 is helpful to either landlords or tenants. Fault or no fault doesn't matter if the end result is homelessness and a bill for moving or storage costs.

    Section 8 needs to be seriously strengthened so rogue tenants can be swiftly evicted. The likely consequence of that would be a number of tenants would decide not to breach their tenancy agreement to avoid being evicted. If so that's a win, win situation.

    The proposals to allow eviction when the landlord wants to sell, move back in or let it to a family member are all well and good but does nothing for the totally blameless tenant who is being evicted. As far as I'm concerned it's this group who needs practical assistance.

    How often do landlords evict good tenants?
    How much does it cost if the tenant chooses not to move out in the 2 months notice period?
    How many sales fall through because the tenant hasn't vacated?
    How much lower is the sale price when a cold, tired, empty BTL is marketed instead of one that looks like a home? (Last one of those I bought was £10K below a lowish asking price. Nothing wrong with it that cleaning and decorating wouldn't solve but FTBs just didn't like it).
    How much does the void cost while waiting for the sale to go through? (7 months rent in the above example, so around £5500).

    Wouldn't a better solution be to give long term blameless tenants 2 months rent refund along with their deposit if they move out within the notice period? It would certainly prove how rare it is for genuinely good tenants to be evicted and ultimately landlords only sell a property once. Most of the time they would wait for it to become vacant due to natural tenant turnover.

  • icon

    I cannot believe that senior members of the Conservative party are allowing Gove to continue with this anti LL RRB nonsense, without doubt its going to kill any chance of the Conservatives getting re-elected as they have alienated the base conservative voter.

    The RRB is bad for LL's and as a direct consequence will be REALLY REALLY bad for Tenants, who are going to be evicted in large numbers to allow LL's to sell up and invest funds else where.

    Assuming that the RRB goes through, the unintended consequences will felt by tenants for year to come, as LL sell up and no new investment will enter the sector.

    My parents returned from working overseas in 1975 and needed to rent a property for 1 year between overseas postings. What was available was abysmal, out of season holiday let and poor quality bedsits. Houses to rent were very limited, as nobody wanted to rent the out for fear of not being able to remove sitting tenants. If section 21 gets removed and the RRB come in these are the market condition that we will be going back to, supply will dry up at a time when 30% of the population is dependent on renting.

    Its nothing short of a political bomb that these people a playing with.


    Spot on Bruce!

  • icon

    Yes but the point is its my property whether I want to sell move-in or for family members none of their business, just like the licensing Schemes has been since 2004 Housing Act, introduced in 2006 so that’s 18 years of total discrimination. Families exempted, fathers, mothers , brothers, uncles, grandad grandma, nephews, nieces, cousins bro, steps, live-in help, what load of bull while I had to Licence multiple times to house human beings to not alien's, 3 storeys 5 or more people, then 2 storey buildings 5 or more, then regardless of storey but 2 couples allowed = 4 persons in 2 households but now changed again applies to 3 individuals must be licensed, how do we know who’s cohabiting, now selective licensing boroughs wide where as it used to be only 3 parts of a borough only if they were problem areas what happened to all that Mr Michael Gove you are the instigator Shame on you.


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up