Angry landlords set to confront Government over scrapping of Section 21

Furious landlords are due to meet in London tomorrow to draw up battle lines over the proposed scrapping of the so-called no fault evictions, Section 21.

Landlords groups including the Residential Landlords Association, National Landlords Association and the new Landlords Alliance will be at the discussion, to be chaired by chartered surveyor Earl Lytton.

The Landlords Alliance told EYE last night that none of its members will any longer accept benefits tenants.

Meanwhile evictions specialist Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action has written to housing minister Heather Wheeler telling her that in a survey of 263 landlords, almost one in four will consider selling up it plans go ahead to abolish Section 21.

A further 33% said they would only continue being a landlord with significant changes to Section 8.

Shamplina said that concern over the proposed abolition of Section 21 is growing.

He said that with so many attacks on landlords, “there is a real possibility of the buy-to-let market significantly shrinking”.

He has invited Wheeler to attend Landlord Action’s officers to see first-hand the work it carries out. He has also invited her to attend an eviction with him and see the reality of what happens.

Ahead of tomorrow’s meeting of landlords, Dr Rosalind Beck, an academic and landlord activist, said of the proposed abolition of  Section 21 : “This is the most radical anti-landlord measure yet proposed by a Government desperate to get the ‘tenant vote.’

“It would mean us handing over our properties to strangers (aka tenants), granting them indefinite tenancies and only being able to get our property back if certain specific conditions are met – conditions that the Government will decide on and on which realistically we will have no say.

“It is an incredible attack on private property rights, which are a foundation stone of any democracy.”

Larry Sweeney, CEO of the Landlords Alliance, told EYE last night that as a direct result of the proposed abolition of Section 21: “Our members will no longer accept benefit tenants and I envisage this policy spreading like wildfire.

“Naturally we will be accused of discrimination. This is a red herring.

“The Government is now on the cusp of a crisis because who will house benefit tenants.

“Last year we attempted to get Shelter the housing charity who house nobody, to bond benefit tenants. Shelter refused but pushed to get s21 scrapped.

“Landlords up and down the land will now turn their back on social tenants and this crisis has been manufactured by Shelter and this failed government.”

He said that the proposed abolition of Section 21 is the  most “incredible attack yet” on landlords, adding: “We have had enough. We are fighting back.”

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38 Comments

  1. Bert

    Shelter’s position as a charity really worries me. Landlords provide homes to 4.5 million people in the private rented sector. Shelter don’t provide any homes at all. They just continually criticise, insult, campaign against and undermine those who do.

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  2. eltell

    . . . And the silence from ARLA was deafening!

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    1. jeremy1960

      Who?

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    2. Jrsteeve

      But did you expect anything less? Delivered nothing on the tenant fees bill other than copying and pasting government advice.

      Does anyone know what they’ve actually achieved, ever?

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      1. MF

        Actually, whilst I’ve not been an ARLA fan recently, they delivered very well on the Tenant Fees Act.  That’s my opinion anyway. Toolkits, Factsheets, 18 bite-sized videos, webinars, seminars, fee templates, suggested T&Cs / tenancy agreement wordings, 71 items on a FAQs document, guidance leaflets to provide to tenants (and hopefully one that’s been promised for landlords will be available soon).

        Thanks to their help, all of it provided without addition charges, I am now Tenant Fee Ban compliant, as of yesterday.

        I have been a member of ARLA since the early 1990s and over the last few years I’ve found myself repeatedly asking why I should bother remaining a member.  Various frustrations.  Truth is it was only what I could see they could provide me with re: the fees ban that I renewed my membership this year.

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    3. Realitycheck97

      No defender of ARLA, but realistically what do you think they could have done? They campaigned hard, got real financial evidence and argued well. So, against a dogmatic government that listens to voters, not you, exactly what else could they have done? Do tell…
      I guess they could have ranted like idiots, thus alienating your trade body from government and any possible influence, punted into irrelevant obscurity.
      Tenants fees were banned because some agents ripped people off. They were banned outright because agents would try to get around any vagueness in rules. On fees, collectively, agents only have themselves to blame. Behave badly and government will slap you. Pity the good agents are paying the price for the bad attitude of the few.
      And yes, I’m an agent. And I’m fed up with the fee ban and a load of rules hitting the PRS. However, if I was in government, I’d have done at least some of these things. The industry didn’t clean itself up. To some extent at least, it’s getting what it deserves. Those who can’t see that are maybe part of the problem.

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      1. DarrelKwong43

        Personally, ARLA should have taken action early on against the culprits within their own ranks, who were charging fees way in excess of reasonable.   If the professional body for letting agents could not reign in excessive fees, then the Government had no choice but to act.

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        1. Realitycheck97

          Good answer.
          Think their members would have gone with that? Genuine question…
          Any ARLA members want to say if they would have accepted ARLA intervening in excessive fees?

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          1. DarrelKwong43

            Agree, but if you asked the question now, then I am sure the answer would be different …hindsight is a beautiful thing

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        2. Rent Rebel

          Exactly right. The industry had ample opportunity to do the right thing and never did.

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      2. CountryLass

        I still think that a cap on fees would have been a better idea, even if we were talking £75, including VAT obviously, to cover the cost of referencing. All of the extra fees, for check-in, checkout, inventory etc, it was good to get (at a reasonable price) but it is the fact that is costs US to have someone apply for a property that sticks in my throat…

        And I used to charge £200 inc VAT for a couple to rent a house, with everything included, not extra check out or inventory fees etc. Not a high fee in my area, in fact I was one of the lowest.

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  3. kittygirl06

    This will be the final nail in the coffin for many landlords.

    One of the reasons those on benefits will suffer is that it will be harder to regain the property.

    They will find it hard to find another landlord willing to let.

    The council will tell them to wait til bailiffs so many more court cases.

    Landlords have no faith in government to del a fair outcome.

    The onslaught against landlords as been done to drive them from the market while at the same time extract as much tax from them.

    Many jobs will go as the BTL market shrinks and many tenants displaced.

    How much is It costing in temp accommodation.

    Social landlord’s evict more tenants.  The percentage of tenants evicted by the landlord is low. The reasons are normally rent arrears trashed property.

    S8 is full of loopoles exercised by the likes of money grabbing solicitors who have no morals.

    They are fully aware most of the time the tenant is in the wrong but pound signs come before justice.

     

     

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    1. Will2

      Letting agents will just need to move towards sales and holiday lets.  Government will get a windfall of GCT which it will spend on housing the thousands of more homeless. It will change the market but inevitably the poorest will suffer most. 

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  4. James Wilson

    “a real possibility of the buy-to-let market significantly shrinking”.  Great news, is that a promise?

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    1. Mark Connelly

      Naive, petty, churlish and ill informed.

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    2. Gromit

      You’re obviously not a tenant. As fewer rental properties will mean less choice, higher rents and higher homelessness.

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    3. The_Maluka

      Yes it is a promise and furthermore there is a second promise that many more families will become homeless, indeed it is already happening.  Great news?

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      1. Rent Rebel

        What’s new? Your business model is premised on section 21 and the ability to easily make tenants homeless without reason or redress. And here you all are up in arms about the idea of Section 21 possibly ending. The irony of you pretending to care about homelessness while trying to defend a legislation cause that makes it so p-ss easy to create is very ironic. 

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        1. jeremy1960

          No landlord would ever base a business model on S21, why would they? A landlord needs tenants in the property paying rent, I have been in this business for over 20 years and can assure you that most times that S21 is used is because tenants are in rent arrears or have defaulted on the tenancy. The S8 route is not fit for purpose hence the use of S21, I agree, not what it was designed for but the most certain route.

          Without the PRS there will be fewer properties available, where will people live? In every business there are varying levels, the PRS fits in nicely with other elements of the housing market, take it away and what will happen? I do not believe that if landlords withdraw from the market all the properties will be snapped up by first time buyers as often they cannot afford, do not want to buy or are simply unable to buy.

          At the end of the day, who does the property belong to? The landlords, not the tenants, both need each other, tenants need good landlords, landlords need good tenants. The measures proposed by this government and the others in Westminster are divisive and will cause issues moving forward; government needs to sanction and ensure that vast numbers of social houses are built to house a growing population but in the intervening time needs to support landlords who have and are plugging the vast gap in the market.

          Back in the 1960’s & 1970’s thousands of tenants lived in rooms in shared houses as there was not a sufficient supply of houses to rent, if we are not careful this government will force us back to those days!

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    4. JMK

      What a miserable specimen you are.  Do you have no understanding of how many people will lose their homes?  Do you not know there are already 82k families in emergency/temporary accommodation?  Do you understand they are shifted around the country from cheap hotel room to cheap hotel room?  Do you have an inkling of what that does to a family?
      I guess you probably know all of this and just don’t care.  I further guess that you’re part of the great British entitlement culture which is pervasive to our modern society.  It’s all about you isn’t it?

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      1. LetItGo

        I manage nearly 200 properties and have never served a S21 on a good tenant unless to sell the property. In most case it sold to another Landlord. S8 has so many loopholes that bad tenants/ solicitors/councils exploit, S21 is the only solution. Bad tenants don’t deserve rental properties.

         

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  5. Will2

    The government are like rats trapped in a corner desperate for labours voters.  Both labour and the cons are toxic.

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  6. Jay2Oh61

     
    The answer to creating an environment of greater Tenant stability should be positive persuasion towards Landlords, rather than aggressive, ill thought out and rushed legislation.  How about high tax breaks for Landlords who offer no S21 notice provision in a longer term Tenancy? Perhaps a complete scrapping of any tax benefits for Tenancies with allowances for S21 notices?  A complete ban of S21 is going to have an unmanageable impact on our County Court system, let alone reduce supply even further and therefore increase rents. 
     

     

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  7. DarrelKwong43

    Sadly the government do not want small time amateur landlords anymore.  They want a vibrant build to rent sector,  one which  is easy to manage, easy to educate, long term,  easy to tax and  easy to find.

     

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    1. JMK

      What is an amateur landlord???  That phrase needs to be omitted unless you define what you mean!  It infers that someone that is a small business or non-incorporated does a sub-standard job.  Pleaee stop using it.

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      1. DarrelKwong43

        JMK, I use it purely from my experience that most self managing landlords have very little idea about lettings and compliance.  
        I accept, many are fantastic at the personal touch, and in most cases deal with issues that arise at the personal level, so it does not progess to anything legal.
        I have trained thousands of landlords in my time for Rent Smart Wales, London Landlord Accreditation Scheme and Nottingham Selective Licensing, and the level of knowledge of basic housing law and compliance is severely lacking, hence my reference to *amateur*. 
         

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        1. JMK

          Thank you for your reply.  Unfortunately it is a phrase that the press love to use and everybody has a different interpretation of it.

          You have used it in conjunction with ‘small-time’ inferring that a small scale landlord is an amateur and larger ones are not.  With respect the words are poorly chosen.

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          1. DarrelKwong43

            fair point JMK…

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    2. Will2

      They MAY “want a vibrant build to rent sector,  one which  is easy to manage, easy to educate, long term,  easy to tax and  easy to find” but they can’t fund it. Landlord bashing, licensing rip offs to fund councils, and removal of S21 to stop landlords exiting the market is not the answer. The Government is discouraging investment into decent homes with taxtion and now making the future even more  dangerous to invest in housing or improving housing. The rogue landlords will thrive even further in these conditions. As they say only the good die young!

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    3. Realitycheck97

      Build to rent is a lovely thing. Small in volume, and premium in pricing. But…..

      1. It is decades away from being able to replace BTL stock, and…

      2.  the pricing model is way beyond that which the poorer can afford.

      Any policy squeezing BTL in favour of BTR is naive and will hurt the poorest. As usual.

      “And the weak suffer what they must.”

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  8. JMK

    My Conservative MP knows my views full well, and has done since Osborne announced his ill-advised tax attacks.  However, 10 days ago I wrote to him again by email and advised that I had now served notice on a single mother of 6 – a benefit tenant.  With the incredible wear and tear on the property I barely cover my costs and there are always rent arrears.  I have accepted the situation for all the years as her family grew purely because I feel sorry for the kids.

    Next year S24 ratchets up again and now it appears that Government want to take away my property rights and make me shoulder all the risk.  Enough is enough.  The Council can provide her with a home, only they don’t have anywhere for her.

    I’ve not even had an acknowledgement apart from the automated response.

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  9. Jacqueline Emmerson

    Instead of everyone bashing landlords why doesn’t someone build  council houses again. Lack of social housing means that tenants are at the mercy of landlords who need their properties back for various reasons. Landlords are not the government they are individuals running a business.

    ‘I get where this change in the law is coming from. I was fortunate enough to live in our council house from age 3 until I was an adult, without fear of becoming homeless or the expense for my parents of having to move. ( now I’m just one of those greedy lawyers referred to above- I make it my business never to give anything back to society)

    However, providing housing is a fundamental function of government as far as I am concerned. This should not fall to the private sector.

    ‘Anyone else who wishes to pay a private landlord could then do so. But all I see from councils now are new builds with a couple of affordable houses tacked on the end and builders making a fortune from Help To Buy. That tax payers money should have been used to build council houses instead. Not everyone can afford to buy a house. Not everyone can get a mortgage.

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    1. JMK

      Jacqueline I agree that the Government should indeed be providing the housing.  I have been banging on for some years about the fact that previous Governments have formed Development Corporations whenver there has been a dire housing need.  These days there seems to be no willingness to take this path. One thing you may not be aware of though is that social landlords evict more tenants than private ones.  

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  10. Mark Walker 2

    I concur Will2 that this is the Government being desperate for Labour voters as they sink like a stone.  The problem is, as with all knee-jerk legislation, it does not currently appear to have been thought through to the nth degree.  A lot of tenants’ protections have been built into Section 21.  Will they remember these..?

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  11. JamesB

    the frantic chase for generation rent votes goes on.. any campaigns against will fall on deaf ears, we are dealing with the worst set of politicians in U.K. history so they will do anything necessary to keep their jobs not what’s best for the housing market or indeed tenants 

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  12. Jim S

    Thank God we have Larry Sweeney of the Landlords Alliance who will be joining the other landlord associations RLA/NLA to represent landlords at the Government meeting, I believe that this man will at least tell it as it is and not be frightened or TOO PROFESSIONAL to actually shout down this Government proposal. We need people who are vocally passionate to drive the message across that we are not happy and that this will not help the housing crisis.

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    1. Will2

      Jim, I agree but all politicians wear invisibility cloaks that filter out everything they dan’t want to hear.  Even when they loose their votes and seats they try to tell you it was really a success!  Being so deluded does not bring home the reality.  The only thing they will understand is a mass exodus but that is difficult for many as property has always been a long term investment until the current politicians and so called charites got involved. These people do not fully understand what they are wishing for.

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  13. PossessionFriendUK39

    Numerous posts with interesting material on Govt plans to abolish Section 21 –  on our Facebook page

    @possessionfriend

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