Is everyone being heard in the debate about Section 21?

Section 21 allows landlords to evict tenants without giving a specific reason if they provide two months’ notice. This is known as a no-fault eviction and is used by landlords to remove tenants who have not broken any rules or breached their tenancy agreement.

Section 21 is a valuable tool for landlords. They use it if they want to sell the property, refurbish or develop it, or if they no longer wish to rent it out. This simple provision of the Housing Act 1988 helps landlords manage their properties effectively and ensures they can provide safe and comfortable homes for their tenants.

However, the proposed abolition of Section 21 would make it much more difficult for landlords to remove those tenants who are causing problems. Landlords would need to use Section 8, which requires them to provide evidence of a specific breach of the tenancy agreement, such as non-payment of rent or damage to the property. This can be a lengthy and expensive process, especially as there’s a significant backlog in the courts. Without the relatively simple fall-back of Section 21, Landlords may not be able to remove problem tenants quickly enough to prevent further damage or loss of income.

At LegalforLandlords, we surveyed 22,000 landlords. Over 82 percent of respondents were against the proposed ban. Most landlords feel the abolition of no-fault evictions would be detrimental to their businesses. 7 percent of landlords have served a Section 21 notice, the most common reason being a desire to sell, refurbish or develop the property.

Within the wider industry, the proposed abolition of Section 21 has been met with mixed reactions, with strong arguments both for and against it. Supporters of the ban argue that it would provide greater security for tenants and prevent unfair evictions. They claim that it would also encourage landlords to maintain their properties to a higher standard, thus avoiding the need to evict existing tenants before refurbishment work.

Opponents, however, argue the ban will make it more difficult to remove problem tenants, and that it would make it harder for landlords to sell their properties or make necessary improvements, factors which could negatively impact the property market. Landlords have expressed concern about the impact on their finances if they are unable to remove tenants who are not paying rent. Landlords might be less willing to invest in rental properties if they feel that they will have less control over them, resulting in a reduction in the supply of rental properties and consequently higher rents.

Critics of the proposal also point to the impact on the court system. Without the quick, easy option of Section 21, landlords will have to rely on the courts more often to resolve disputes. This could place a significant burden on the court system, and longer wait times for resolution.

The changes proposed are intended to help create a fairer market for rental properties, improve housing standards and give greater protection for tenants. However, the unintended consequences may be severe and unduly harsh on landlords. Many are small business owners who rely on rental income to support themselves and their families. The wider property market will also doubtless be affected and rents may be pushed upwards by a reduction in supply.

The abolition, which forms part of the Renters’ Reform Bill could soon be passed into law and the impact of the change on all stakeholders must be considered as a matter of urgency.

7 replies
  1. Tariq M
    Tariq M says:

    This proposed legislation will put a lot of landlords off from buy to ket market and cause anxiety to those who are letting. Landlords opinions need to be heard by your organisation campaigning against this change.

  2. Ahsan Mukhtar
    Ahsan Mukhtar says:

    One thing is as clear as day light that people sitting in position of proposing and passing of these laws have very dim sense of reality of landlords! In their desire to seem to be doing good for the tenants, what they are doing is creating an environment at the cost of landlords!! Their skewed sense of justice has gone down the drain even more and in order to seem to be doing some good, all they are doing is creating more red tape forcing investors to leave this country and go to a market where common sense prevails!

  3. Richard Lord
    Richard Lord says:

    Removal of section 21 will cause more Landlords to quit the rental business .Then what will the goverment do to plug the gap in the rental market with out the private sector. The should consider helping Landlords not killing them.

  4. Rob Hayward
    Rob Hayward says:

    These are our own properties and we should be able to control when and who we use to upgrade , sell or retake tis back. We have already lost the right to pick whether we allow pets or not. What about our rights as owners.

  5. Annie
    Annie says:

    Is there a law that stops you making your rental property into a holiday let, at rental prices, where people could book it for a year? Or longer if they wish!

  6. lisa Ruby
    lisa Ruby says:

    It is crazy what is happening. We may as well be living in a communist country. The government is taking control of Landlords properties. In the near future Landlord will not be able to choose their tenants as they cannot discriminate against DSS tenants, who I know are not all bad, but I have experience of working for an agent who was supplying the Council with flats to house them. (The Agents get very good commission to do so) I was an inventory clerk and many DSS families were offered newly refurbished properties, after 6 months properties were trashed, doors hanging off their hinges, holes punched into walls and doors, living in filth, never ventilating the property thus causing condensation and mould, they don’t pay their utility bills, or credit cards etc., so debt companies are continually sending mail or banging on their doors. And when they do eventually leave they just walk out leaving the poor Landlord to put it right, The Council and employees are only trained to represent the tenants, I read that if a member of the family have an ASBO, they may remove that person but the family will remain in your property, well there very little doubt that the criminal will return home, and you would have to go through the whole court system, forever and a day.
    Also the Government will very soon be able to insist that you replace a bathroom or kitchen if the tenant complains to the local council that they feel it is dated, and the Landlord will be prosecuted if he refused, to do so and at the same time cannot get his property back. IF you are fortunate to retrieve your property you may think I will not let that property out! If you do this the Council Tax are intending to double or triple the Council Tax payments so you couldn’t afford not to let it out. So you may think I will let it as a holiday let it on Air B & B. If you do this you will need to get a licence from the local council , who will decide if they will allow you to do this. and if they do, they will refuse to collect the bins, you have to get a private company to collect your bins. However, if there is a shortage of rental properties in that area, they can house homeless people in your property, even if it is an annex at the bottom of your garden. Then as the government are introducing a government tenancy agreement , once this is in they will introduce the rent controls and be able to control them on their data base. The reason that they can get away with this, is because the Landlords, are a smaller proportion of voters compared to the rest of the country, and anyone renting will most definitely vote for Labour when they promise rent controls. The Landlords will not own the properties they will just be there to refurbish them. They won’t want to sell them because Labour will make Capital gains tax so high that it simply won’t be worth their while. Labour are pushing these through government before they get into power, so that will then blame the Conservatories.

  7. Frap
    Frap says:

    I agree with all the comments above, my advice is to sell everything now before it’s too late and let the Labour Party pick up the pieces when they will inevitably get into power. I can’t believe we have a conservative Party in power, they are so anti-small business it’s unbelievable. Since Osbourne introduced taxing landlords on turnover and introduced a 3% levy on BTL it’s been downhill ever since for the sector with more regulations, new EPC standards and the new Renters’ Reform Bill, they have got no idea anymore. I’m selling up and leaving the country!

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