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URGENT LANDLORD ACTION ADVISED; Abolition of Section 21 (no fault eviction)

Posted on July 18th, 2019

The government, with cross party support, intends to abolish the Section 21. There will be a consultation process, but the intention is clear: Section 21s will go!

Tenant lobby groups have long campaigned for longer tenancies and more security of tenure. Cross party MPs have been convinced that Section 21s are greatly mis-used. Nothing could be further from the truth.

  • Over 90% of tenancies are ended by a tenant*
  • The average tenancy lasts over 4 years*
  • 84% of private tenants are satisfied with their current accommodation*
  • 70% of landlords kept rent unchanged following tenancy renewal*

The majority of landlords only seek repossession for legitimate reasons. In a government survey, it was found that the most common cause of repossession is rent arrears (58%) with misuse of property/anti-social behaviour second (45%).

The reality is that Section 21 notices are used by landlords because all other processes are not working. South West Landlords Association has joined with 17 other landlord/agent representative bodies to form the ‘Fair Possession Coalition’. Members of the coalition and their Blueprint for Reforms to Regulations Governing Repossession can be viewed on the SWLA website news feed.

This document has been forwarded to both government and opposition Housing Ministers and the M.O.J.

It is imperative that the Section 21 is not abolished without a new system in place that provides landlords with the same level of confidence about repossessing properties in legitimate circumstances.

*Statistics from the English Housing Survey 2017/2018

The current Section 8 process, under which a landlord can repossess properties based on a number of grounds, is not fit for purpose and does not provide the level of certainty of a Section 21.

The current judicial process for dealing with possession cases is confusing for tenants and landlords and takes on average over 5 months from service of notice to possession.

The Coalition wants a comprehensive overhaul of the regulations and processes for possession. There should be clear grounds for repossessions that are unable to be exploited by criminal landlords or unreliable tenants. Also a fully funded housing court, use of mediation and local venues. The process should be less intimidating for tenants and landlords and should enable both to obtain swift and accessible justice.

We request all of our members to read the Coalition’s proposals; https://www.landlordssouthwest.co.uk/2019/07/18/swla-joins-fair-possessions-coalition/

Then, contact your MP to ensure that they are aware of landlord concerns regarding the removal of the Section 21 without a suitable replacement procedure.

There is a letter template on the SWLA website in the ‘members area’ which you can download, amend and send. Alternative, please contact the SWLA office and we will email you a copy.

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