A head of a major agency says it is misleading to suggest that tenants are evicted ‘for no reason’.
Mark Pilling, the managing director of Spicerhaart’s corporate sales team, has responded to the BBC Panorama on Section 21 evictions by saying that although the programme raised important issues, there is always a reason why a landlord chooses to evict.
“In our experience, the reasons for a section 21 are usually either because the tenants have missed rent, they are late on rent or they are not treating the house well”: explains Pilling.
“The landlord may also need to use section 21 because they are struggling financially and need to sell the property.”
The programme looked at the new rules introduced in Scotland at the end of last year which put an end to 'no-fault' evictions, giving more rights to both tenants and landlords. Under the new rules, landlords will need to take their case to a tribunal if they want it to evict, rather than having the automatic right to the property back.
“Where tenants are being evicted through no fault of their own but rather because of their landlords' circumstances, it must be very upsetting for them. However, if landlords themselves are having financial difficulties, scrapping section 21 could leave them trapped” notes Pilling.
He says that with the changes in buy to let tax relief, a number of landlords will see their income reduce whilst their borrowing costs will likely increase; this coupled with potential payment difficulties linked to universal credit changes means many will struggle.
“There is a housing shortage in the UK, so the private rental sector is becoming more and more important, and while I completely understand the reasons why there are calls for section 21 to be scrapped, I fear it could actually compound the problem.”