Landlords flock to issue Section 21s before ban

Nearly three in 10 (28%) landlords plan to issue a Section 21 notice in the next 12-18 months, before the ban comes into force, a survey carried out by Landlord Action found.

The majority (42%) said the reason is based on concerns that they will be unable to gain possession easily in the future, and 24% attributed their decision to increasing legislation driving their decision to sell up.

Paul Shamplina

Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action and chief commercial officer for the Hamilton Fraser Group, said: “The response to our latest survey paints a very clear picture of the unintended consequences of abolishing Section 21.

“More than a quarter of tenants who have or will be asked to leave their rental properties (via receipt of a Section 21 notice), are in such a position not because they have done anything wrong but because landlords fear they will be unable to gain possession of their property easily in the future, if their circumstances change.

“Competition for rental properties is already at an all-time high, and we could be heading towards a rental stock crisis. It has been reported that in some parts of London, for example, tenants are offering up to a year’s rent in advance. But for most, this simply isn’t feasible.

“Whilst we don’t know how many of the properties sold will remain in the buy to let sector, it’s clear that tenants will ultimately suffer as the combination of pressures forces rents to continue to rise.

“Landlords need reassurance and clarity on the future of evictions soon if the sector is to avoid a deluge of evictions and homelessness.”

A third (34%) of landlords surveyed have served a Section 21 notice in the past 12 months.

The most common reasons given were rent arrears (31%), landlords selling their property (26%) and anti-social behaviour (22%).

Comments 7

  1. I am sure all the silly tenants that think a certain so called housing charity that houses no one that they support will be jumping for joy when S21 is abolished – well may 60% might the other odd 30% who will lose their homes and find it impossible to find accommodation might not be quite so joyful. Well Done Conservative Party (the vote buyers of all time) and Well done Shelter – no doubt you will move your investments into buying homes for the tenants YOU will have displaced. Get out of your ivory towers and see the damage you are doing.

  2. Many of the proposals in the White Paper will cost landlords money. These costs will be passed to tenants so are not really a worry except for tenants who will face increased rents. However, this article has hit the nail on the head when it states “landlords fear they will be unable to gain possession of their property easily in the future” as a major concern over the Renters Reform White Paper.
    Right now it appears that once section 21 goes every eviction would involve a costly (for the Landlord) and lengthy court case. The promised specialised housing court to streamline the whole process will not now apparently go ahead. It appears that if a tenant is paying rent and a landlord cannot prove that they are in breach of the rental agreement they will not be able to evict them. Even if you want to sell up or move in yourself, this is not currently proposed to be a mandatory ground. If not a mandatory ground it must be a discretionary one, so a Court could rule against a landlord meaning the tenant stays put or order the Landlord to pay compensation to the tenant to cover moving expenses etc. A lot of things need clarifying and quickly for example just what will the new Ombudsman be able to do except apparently just fine landlords? Meanwhile, fear of worst case scenarios is causing cautious (sensible?) landlords to sell up and jump ship while they still can.

  3. Totally agree with both commenters. We have only evicted using a s21 but in both cases it was for rent arrears. Took 5 months even using s21. Judge was not sympathetic even though one tenant was a wealthy lady who kept blaming the Housing Benefit department. She was not on housing benefit and had never applied for it but judge was not interested. Bailiffs set up a monthly plan but, of course, she realised this was going to cost her more than just the rent arrears so after paying 2 instalments she paid up. Once s21 is abolished rent arrear tenants will, of course, find themselves with a county court judgement against them for debt with very little hope of finding another landlord to take them on and the local council won’t help because they deem rent arrears as making yourself intentionally homeless. I am sure that many rent arrears tenants are in for a shock once s21 is no more and they realise the consequences of being taken to court for debt.

Leave a Reply