OpenRent Community

The End of Section 21 Evictions Is Coming

#1

The Government is gearing up to scrap Section 21 evictions in England.

There will be a consultation period on the implementation of the new policy.

  • I support scrapping Section 21
  • I do not support scrapping Section 21

0 voters

It is thought that Section 8 evictions will be reformed at the same time, to make it easier and faster to evict tenants who breach the contract, or when the landlord wants to sell or use the home as their primary residence.

But there are concerns from landlord and industry groups that the current court system is in no state to pick up the slack if landlords relying on Section 21 are forced to use Section 8 proceedings.

Communities Secretary, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said that reforming the Section 8 process this would mean “responsible landlords can get their property back where they have proper reason to do so”.

His full statement:

By abolishing [Section 21] evictions, every single person living in the private rented sector will be empowered to make the right housing choice for themselves – not have it made for them. And this will be balanced by ensuring responsible landlords can get their property back where they have proper reason to do so.

We are making the biggest change to the private rental sector in a generation. We are creating homes, opportunities and thriving communities, where people can come together and put down roots, bound by a strong sense of belonging.

Everyone has a right to the opportunities they need to build a better life. For many, this means having the security and stability to make a place truly feel like home without the fear of being evicted at a moments’ notice. We are building a fairer housing market that truly works for everyone.

The full official statement from the Government is here.

If you’d like some analysis/opinion, then:

  • A pro-tenant angle is here: Vicky Spratt, Independent.
  • An industry angle is here: Richard Lambert, NLA.
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What are my legal obligations as landlord?
Law change coming?
Law change coming?
#2

Section 21 notices are nothing to do with eviction, which has negative implications.
Section 8 notices are completely different and are used when there are breaches of tenancy.
Not being able to issue a Section 21 Notice will only drag us back to the old days and lead to a lesser number of properties being available to rent out, as people will be afraid their tenants will never leave!

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#3

Yet another tories adhoc approach to re-introducing a sort of privatised “social” housing

In most city centres you find a youthful ,often foreign, tenant interested only in relatively short term housing

None of which will help any attempt to improve housing for the poor and disadvantaged

The majority of LL are of small,portfolio whose return has already taken a dive in past three years

Once pent up demand is released watch them run !!

Dr David Noble

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#4

If they are going to replace s.21 then they need another way no fault way to end a tenancy that doesnt involve going to court which costs money, time and stress for both landlords and tenants and could impact the chances of that tenant finding another property. I have used s.21 to regain possession only when tenants fail to pay their rent, antisocial behaviour, or are damaging/ not looking after the property and always as a last resort after trying to resolve. S.8 is not fit for purpose which is why Landlords use s.21 and even using s.21 can take 4-6 months to get the property back if tenants dont leave. s.8 much longer and the process polluted and not guaranteed…its not good enough. I dont know any landlord that uses it for good paying tenants other than they need to sell. When will the Government stop bashing Landlords? In the last few years high stamp duty rates/rises, crazy tax restrictions, Council charging good landlords £750 (in Notts anyway) for absolutely nothing in return (criminal landlords wont register anyhow), Councils abolishing any council tax rebate on having an empty property even for a month when your turning around for a new tenant (putting right damage left by a tenant usually), Restrictions on amount of deposit you can hold which barely cover carpets let alone anything else, banning of referencing fees (I self manage never charged any unfair ‘admin’ fees), epcs, legionnaires risk assessments, and now this…if you trust this Goverment to put forward a process that is efficient to replace the s.21 I’ve got a bridge to sell you, they are closing courts down not opening them. It’s all about bleeding landlords dry as far as I can tell.

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#5

My personal experience being a landlord is that it is very costly and time consuming to get bad tenants out of a property When they have failed to pay the rent and damaged the property. Regardless of what is often said or written about landlords in reality good landlords are often put in serious financial difficulties whe a tenant fails to abide by the contract.

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#6

Another poorly thought out “vote winner” for the Tories from people who clearly have no clue how the “real world” process works. My last eviction for a non paying tenant lasted over 8 months. The County court judges and legal aid solicitors all p*ss in the same pot. Court fees have risen massively but still the same shocking wait times.

Effectively, as another poster has noted, the Government are effectively “socialising” the private market and saddling Private Landlords with all the work! How Teresa May has time for this when she cannot sort out Brexit is beyond me. Judge Judy would have had Brexit sorted within half an hour and had time for a commercial break!

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#7

Entirely agree, I can’t make ends meet and make a penny.

Regarding turning into PRS housing, the government are perfectly well clued up. The combination of totally unfair taxing on interest only mortgages and tenants that end up not paying rent /UC not paying full rent/ court costs and everything else is to designed to eventually force the property off the landlord back to the lender, who then gets value of outstanding mortgage, decimating the landlord that has struggled managing them for years.
It’s not a mistake, it’s a strategy. They want eventually for everybody broke and renting, nobody property owners.

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#8

In my experience my tenants always want to leave before the8 weeks allowed. Perhaps I have been lucky not to have to serve section 21 notice. My opinion on the subject if the landlord can t give 8 weeks for the tenant to leave …for good reasons…it appears that the private landlord will become a social landlord. In the time of rent regulation under Wilson, the rental market was a disaster and soon collapse…ashame that history does not teach lesson.

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#9

I agree with the previous poster, except that I do not think the mortgage companies are after our BTL properties, they would rather get paid their high interest rates while we do the hard work. They borrow at 0.5% and lend us 3.5%, for no risk, a great business. I believe this all goes back much further to the ‘Cottage Industry’ advisory paper that was discussed in parliament. Since then politician’s have been very keen to bash Landlords to win popular votes. It is not a secret, there is a long term campaign for ‘big business’ to take over the entire PRS to make it more accountable and controllable. The government are even subsidising these companies. The new laws and taxes do not affect them in the same was as small scale landlords. Then when Landlords sell up, where will we put our money? Financial instruments, stocks and shares, are the only alternative, and that makes another set of big players very VERY happy!
If you have any doubts:

  1. just take a serious look at the graph presented to our MPs that apparently ‘proves’ S21 notices are causing homelessness. The 2 lines have the same left hand axis, apparently every S21 has made some-one homeless - seriously!!! if I was an MP, I might asked, agasped, why homelessness has gone up 400% in 5 years - a far bigger problem I would have thought… Nothing can be concluded from this graphical information alone without further data: overall number of evictions, number of S08 notices ,overall number of tenants, tenants moving without notices, homelessness unassociated with evictions, etc. Also check the data source and have an unbiased presentation. The Gov is to spend £££ on changing the Laws, cost the PRS millions, and not provide 1 extra property to help relieve the housing shortage! Which is the real problem that tenants are having - not enough properties.
  2. Who are ‘Generation Rent’ and who is financing them? They have 300 members, yet GR have a larger influence on the government than all the Landlords associations put together who collectively have 300,000 members, and presumably a lot more money! I find the GR influence VERY odd!
  3. ‘bashing’ landlords does not created more houses or homes, it just reduces Private sector investment and therefore reduces rentable properties - but not 1 new home will be build. A fact that SHELTER appears to ignore. they represent the homeless dont they?

Forcing small landlords out of the sector needs to be a slow process, or the housing market will collapse. The legislation and taxes are the ‘hard places’, the ROCK will be rent control, & then a long slow squeeze…

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#10

Should section 21 be abolished, proper provision must be made for situations where a tenancy is genuinely fixed term - for example a student let where the accommodation is let for a single academic year and the next year’s tenant needs the security that their accommodation will be available to them.

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#11

Abolishing S.21, will require the reintroduction of rent control. Giving tenants the right not be required to leave without cause at the end of a tenancy, necessarily requires restriction on the ability of a property owner to increase the rent in a manner to “encourage” a difficult tenant to leave. For those of us old enough, we have been there before and the reintroduction of regulated and fair rents to underpin those rights will crash the market.

As it is, I have been lucky with Tenants and generally have not pushed for increases or higher rents, preferring good tenants and full occupancy. On the scale of appropriate rent, the majority of my tenants after year 1 are often paying on the lower end of the scale of achievable rent for a given property and in recent years have seen no increases. Abolition of S.21 and the possibility of not being able to gain possession if I cannot agree a rental increase without involvement of a third party or being restricted to a maximum percentage, will result in my imposing annual inflationary increases plus a percentage on all occupiers regardless, just to ensure I do not fall behind and find myself unable to catch up. Some may say that is what I should be doing now? Perhaps I am an exception as a private landlord happy to accept a medium market rent to retain good tenants, rather than being greedy and seeking to max out? I think not. We all like to have good tenants, maintain occupancy and avoid the costs of voids and resetting. In reality markets left alone find there own level… Fine regulate to ensure proper repairs and maintenance but do not seek to meet social housing needs through the private sector with the back door reintroduction of rent control…

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#12

I do not support scrapping Section 21 without a fit for purpose eviction process that is both fair to tenants and Landlord. This is just another government ploy to bleed Private Landlords of more money to fund social housing. It took me 11 months to go through an eviction process because the council told the tenant to stay put until I evicted them. During this period the tenants did not pay a penny in rent, damaged the property, refused me access into the property for inspection, swore and screamed at me and told me the council told them they had the right to stay until I evicted them and I was totally helpless and frustrated. This whole process cost me about £24k in lost rent money, legal costs and repairs. Both s.21 and s.8 eviction process are not fit for purpose and require changes. The constant bashing of Private Landlords by both Labour and Conservatives is unfair and not the solution to the government’s failure to provide adequate social housing. The government is far removed from reality and with the Brexit mess I have no confidence that our leaders know what they are doing about anything.

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#13

They are making every effort to make the long let not attractive. Luckily, I’ve never used s.21 to evict the tenants but it was just a peace of mind that I could if needed to. If LLs switch to short lets, this will do the opposite to the market than they claim intended. Also, all LLs will become more picky of their tenants and wouldn’t take the unnecessary risk, which will give even less chances for some tenants to find their homes. We will get to a stage where it would make sense to just keep the property and make money on valuation difference rather than deal with headaches of letting. This means less houses to live in and therefore another spike in house prices - suits me just fine!

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#14

I run a student let. Every year I let out to new group and have to ensure old group leave on time. Any extra delays on eviction process for bad ones will be absolutely a nightmare for me.

I think this terrible Tory government have got it in for the self employed, especially since T May took power unelected.

My fear is they are trying to create loopholes for tenants to live in properties longer rent free, to save themselves paying for accommodation like housing benefits etc. With a shortage in accommodation this will alleviate their burden to rehouse homeless bad tenants. Now that Torys see many landlords making good living out of property they have their own greedy eyes fixated on how to benefit their friends that run the banks from retrieving them as soon as landlord is bankrupt no thanks to stupid new laws.

#15

In Germany tenants earn the right to a long notice period of Nine months. Non-payment or nuisance still takes two months. As a landlord this is fine if the tenants are good. I can regain the property after nine months if my immediate family use it.
However if I want to sell then I sell the tenancy with the property.

BUT how about a quid pro quo.
If after 32 days two months rent are owed, I can evict. How about speeding up the eviction process so that the bailiffs call before 60 are over and can I please take at least 3 months rent as a deposit as is the case in Germany.

Carl Studt

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#16

I do not support scrapping of the Section 21 as eviction process needs to have Equality without Discrimination and not only to be fair to tenants but also to Private Landlords. I feel the Government does not want to deal with homeless and housing issues and is looking at the Private Landlords to fund there failure in social housing. Although my last tenant was with an agent it took 18 months to go through the process of eviction. During this period the housing benefit was late and the tenants did not pay a penny in rent, was sub letting to a further 5 people, damaged the property, refused access into the property for inspection, gas and electrical tests. They also were very nasty and swore to the agents and gas contractors trying to gain access. The council had also told them they had the right to stay until I evicted them so I was totally helpless. The cost was beyond £20k lost in rental, legal and damages that required repairs to property. Both Sections need to actually support both the landlord and tenant and feel this is not achieved now yet alone the changes they are considering. Each case needs to be investigated separately both landlord and tenant so no one is messed about. Not to be favourable over one or the another. Both S21 and S8 eviction process are not fit for purpose and require adaptations to protect both parties. The Government needs to sort out there Social housing failure issues separately instead of picking on Private Landlords.

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#17

As usual the government miss the point. What they should have done is introduce compulsory registration for Landlords. Those abusing the S21 could then be rooted out and removed from the register. Additionally the register could have be made available to the Inland revenue to ensure rental income was declared. That would have been a win win for them, instead they screw up a system that works. The level of incompetence in Westminster at present is staggering.

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#18

I wish the Government, Shelter and whoever is making the decisions come to realize that some tenants are bad and come to think of it. Why would a landlord be willing to go through the trouble and paying the cost of evicting a tenant?
There is the need to balance both sides and stop empowering tenants alone and leading them to believe that all landlords are rogues and irresponsible.

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#19

Shelter is a political body, not a true charity in the sense although it has charitable status. It does not provide housing, its purpose is to force legislative changes in favour of tenants.

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#20

I don’t understand this one size fits all approach. There are many professional corporate landlords and REIT’s out there who own many properties and get various tax breaks not available to the small landlords with less than a handful of properties. Most of these have teams to deal with defaulters and damaged properties and are much better placed to provide long term homes and don’t need the protection of S21 which is vital for small landlords.
So why not remove S21 for those larger landlords and leave the smaller landlords to supply the more transient accommodation also required by many. Also could remove protection of S21 evictions for all landlords once a tenant has been in occupation for more than 3-5 years

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