Landlords worried about anti-social tenants protest against abolition of Section 21

Landlords have warned against the proposed abolition of Section 21, saying it will leave them powerless to deal with anti-social tenants who may be distressing neighbours and disrupting local communities.

The National Landlords Association says that in a survey of over 40,000 landlords, 14% reported tenants engaging in anti-social activities over the last 12 months.

This ranged from drug abuse and prostitution to playing loud music.

Currently landlords or their agents can use ‘no fault’ Section 21 notices to gain possession of the property without having to put neighbours through the ordeal of having to give evidence at court.

If Section 21 is abolished, as the Government wants, the only alternative will be to use a Section 8 notice, which allows landlords to repossess the property if they provide a valid reason and can provide sufficient evidence to satisfy a court.

However, says the NLA, in practice this process all too often proves an unworkable option as anti-social behaviour can be difficult to prove without witness statements, which can be hard or impossible to get.

It says the process is costly, lengthy and puts all involved through months of unnecessary stress.

Richard Lambert, chief executive of the NLA, said: “If landlords lose the right to issue a section 21 notice, they will be left virtually powerless to deal with anti-social tenants living in their property.”

“Local communities often hold landlords responsible for the anti-social behaviour that takes place in their properties.

“But landlords cannot be blamed if they do not have effective tools to deal with the problem.

“In cases where the main issue is noise, alcohol or drugs, it can end up as your word against theirs, the reality is that neighbours and other tenants are sometimes just too afraid either to report cases of anti-social behaviour or testify in court.”

Meanwhile a ‘coalition’ of various bodies has formed to lobby for the retention of Section 21.

It says that Section 8 is not fit for purpose.

Coalition members include ARLA, the National Landlords Association, Residential Landlords Association, and safeagent (formerly NALS), plus a number of other bodies.


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  1. kittygirl06

    I had a tenant paid rent place looked fine But after 6 months the stench was unbearable.  It took 4 months of cleaning/airing and replacement of carpets.

    Section 8 would not help in this situation as on photos would look fine and unless you experienced the stench no judge would allow you an eviction.

    1. Woodentop

      You should apply for the judge to visit the property!

  2. Will2

    s21 will be lost which is why some landlords are starting to sell up now whilst they can. We know ongoing anti landlord legislation will continue until there is a true crisis where government will be forced to provide social housing. After all those shouting loudest do not provide housing!

  3. KC54

    And what happens when a right to remain has expired?  We are obliged to serve a S21!


    1. DarrelKwong43

      its a section 8, under ground 7, but you’re right it would be easiest to serve a section 21 (less hassle in theory)

    2. Will2

      S21. When it’s gone it’s gone!

  4. Gromit

    Neighbours will not testify against anti-social Tenants, because they’ll have to suffer retaliation up until and potentially after the anti-social Tenants is evicted, and will suffer even more if the Tenant wins the case.

    The only real option is to move, and unless the neighbours rent themselves, they’ll have to disclose the dispute with their unruly neighbours to potential buyers and will struggle to sell, and potentially have to drop their price in order to move on.

    Landlords will no longer be able to serve a Sec.21 and relief the neighbours of their suffering.


    1. Hurting

      Totally agree with you Gromit, we are victims of an anti social tenant have been for 2 years and 6 months, Landlords are

      too hard on the victims even when they are disabled, don’t stand a chance as nobody will testify all down to us. Very stressful,

      they certainly are not on the victim’s side.

  5. Woodentop

    I raised these same points months ago. ASB is one of the hardest cases to prove, many impossible in a possession hearing.  Abolition of Section 21 will be a disaster for PRS and a nightmare for managing agents to explain to landlords. The market will implode and return to the days of the 1970’s with even less housing than todays market that cannot keep up with the demand. What planet are politicians on.


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