Landlords form coalition against Section 21 scrapping

AFS Team·5 June 2019·4 min read
Landlords form coalition against Section 21 scrapping

Landlords and letting agents have joined together to form a coalition so they can campaign against the scrapping of Section 21, the no-fault eviction process, by the government.

The 'Fair Possessions Coalition' includes the National Landlords' Association, Arla Propertymark and the Residential Landlords' Association, among others.

They say they want Section 21 repossessions to remain in place unless the government offers a suitable replacement.

They add that the current Section 8 process which enables a landlord to repossess their property, based on various grounds, is currently not fit for purpose.

They point out that this also does not provide the certainty that's offered to landlords by Section 21.

Also, the judicial process for dealing with possession cases is a confusing one for tenants and takes around five months on average from when a landlord applies to a court for a property to be repossessed to it occurring.

Landlords will be unable to repossess their property

Now, the coalition says it fears that removing Section 21 without a viable alternative means landlords will be unable to repossess their property and it will deter investment in the BTL sector.

One organisation is also warning that by axing Section 21, landlords will be 'left powerless' when it comes to evicting antisocial tenants.

The warning comes from the National Landlords' Association, who says that over the past year, 14% of landlords have reported tenants who are engaged in antisocial activities.

That comes from a survey of 40,000 members that highlighted the antisocial activities with tenants engaging in issues from prostitution to drug abuse and playing loud music.

The NLA's chief executive, Richard Lambert, said: "Landlords will be left virtually powerless to deal with antisocial tenants if they lose the right to issue a Section 21 notice.

‘A landlord cannot be blamed if they don't have effective tools’

"Landlords are often held responsible by local communities for the antisocial behaviour taking place in their property but a landlord cannot be blamed if they don't have effective tools for dealing with the problem."

Mr Lambert added: "Where the main issue is alcohol, noise or drugs, it can end up as a landlord's word against the tenant's and neighbours and other tenants may be too afraid to report antisocial behaviour or to testify in court."

The coalition is also calling for a wider package of reforms to help support for landlords and tenants and to introduce taxation for encouraging the development of rental and new properties that the UK needs.