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RLA claims scrapping Section 21 'dead on arrival' as consultation closes tomorrow

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has submitted its response to the government's consultation on scrapping Section 21 evictions, which closes tomorrow at 11.45pm.

The organisation says the government's proposals 'will not work' and will 'threaten the supply of homes for rent'.

Its submission argues that the government's plan to scrap Section 21 and bolster Section 8 fails to give any guarantee that landlords would be able to repossess properties quickly and efficiently.


Many landlords currently rely on Section 21 to regain possession for legitimate reasons such as rent arrears and anti-social behaviour, the RLA argues, as alternative provisions involve going through the courts which currently takes 22 weeks on average.

The response also highlights that once Section 21 is removed from the Housing Act 1988, court delays could get worse as there will be more repossession cases to deal with.

"If landlords always have to prove that the legal ground for anti-social behaviour is met, it will mean tenants will be able to challenge a notice to evict," says the RLA.

It says landlords could therefore require proof from those affected who may not want to come forward if they still have to live in close proximity to the perpetrator in the lead up to a court hearing.

The response reiterates that the measures would lead to landlords becoming more risk averse and less likely to let to high-risk tenants, such as those with pets.

It goes on to argue that the consultation fails to properly consider measures to prevent tenancies breaking down in the first place.

"Universal Credit is itself a key cause of rent arrears, the consultation should have looked at ways to prevent this," says the organisation.

It suggests that ending the five-week waiting period to receive the first Universal Credit payment and allowing the housing element of the benefit payment to be paid directly to the landlord could be two possible solutions.

The RLA says that the government's proposals have only served to make good landlords less likely to provide the rental homes that are needed.


David Smith, RLA policy director, comments: "The system for repossessing properties should be fair to both tenants and landlords. The government’s plans do not achieve this."

"The Ministry of Justice’s failure to properly engage with the process and provide clear and detailed proposals to improve the court system is especially disappointing."

"Tenants and landlords need assurance that in legitimate circumstances they will not be subjected to long and stressful legal proceedings in repossession cases."

"Without this and other changes the government’s plans to scrap Section 21 will just make life more difficult for tenants," he says.

You can see the government consultation on scrapping Section 21 here.

*The consultation on reforming the rogue landlord and agent database also closes at 11.45pm tomorrow. You can view it here

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    Seeing as this is one of the things that Shelter have campaigned for, and still do, I can't help but wonder how Polly Neate sleeps at night.


    I see her as a crazed, landlord hating psychopath who has no real interest in helping the homeless or tenants. Perhaps she is obsessed with carrying out a twisted vendetta against landlords in general as she had a bad experience with one in her younger years?

  • James B

    As crazy as this policy is and not even in tenants interest, I would be amazed if it doesn’t get brought in, government have openly promised the tenants this is happening and with vital generation rent votes at stake I think it will come in at any cost

  • jeremy clarke

    I see that shelter are publishing survey pages on twitter today encouraging people to support the scrapping of S21 with their usual one sided take on the situation. Polly and her pals are no longer charitable, they are political using funds given by government to influence government which is wrong. If the public knew that donations and grants from taxpayers were being used to destroy the PRS I'm certain that there would soon be calls to stop the grants and that donations would drop dramatically.

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    It's time we all realised that the politicians, Rightmove, pension funds, housing associations, build to rent and property companies all clearly understand where the Private Rented Sector is going ;
    Drive out small landlords [and small letting agents] in favour of larger property companies and organisations who are in a position to attract funding from pension funds, investors and ultimately will 'be suitable' to receive subsidy from the Exchequer.

    We can all see that the most efficient PRS model is a free market and private landlords, but government cannot be seen giving tax breaks to private landlords...what and loose votes ! far better to give tax payers money to subsidise developers, housing associations with directors on £100K PA, and decent returns for Pension Funds.

    Well done Shelter...the goverments Pawn ?...history just repeating itself.

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    • 11 October 2019 13:29 PM

    Govt will not improve the Court Service to deal with all the S8 claims that will be occurring.
    Look at two years before a property may be repossessed.
    This is going to bankrupt a lot of LL and will hasten even more LL selling off before S21 is abolished.

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    Us oldies remember pre AST , sitting tenants, active fair rent legislation, etc etc , the private rented sector outside London grinded to a halt

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    Well that is me almost out of this nonsense. One last place to get tenants out of and sell. I'll be glad to see the back of it. S24, arbitrary licensing that costs at least a konth"'s rent, ban on fees, caps on deposits, deposit protection that has just become too complex, tenants who deny access, are rude, entitled and break the rules without any consequences and soon no way to remove them without thousands lost in revenue. Plus labour's brilliant right to buy at below market value and compelling landlords to pay council tax. And let's not forget the stamp duty and CGT changes that are yet to come. Almost think that the government wants me to sell up! Your wish is my command. No point being entrepreneurial. No point trying to provide for yourself. Might as well spend it before they take it all off you.


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