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Agents can beat S21 ban by working harder to avoid evictions - claim

Letting agents can beat the upcoming ban on Section 21 by updating key documentation and automating arrears management to reduce the chances of having to evict in the first place.

That’s the view of a leading PropTech entrepreneur - Neil Cobbold, chief operating officer of automated payment service PayProp.

Scrapping Section 21 was confirmed in the Queen’s Speech earlier this month, after the Conservatives put the policy at the forefront of their ‘Better Deal for Renters’ set of pledges contained in the party manifesto. 


The ban, which will be accompanied by moves to strengthen the rights of possession for good landlords, will be contained in the Renters’ Reform Bill likely to begin its process through Parliament in 2020.

"For some time, the political will - regardless of party - has been to remove Section 21 from the Housing Act 1988 and reform the eviction system" says Cobbold.

"Following the Queen’s Speech, letting agents and landlords need to start preparing for change and updating their processes accordingly as it has been confirmed that the evictions process will be reformed through the same Bill."

He says that changes to the eviction process will see agents needing to update their contract templates and eviction notices to fall in line with a new system - highly likely to revolve around a strengthened Section 8.

"One of the most important aspects of eviction reform for agents will be educating and informing landlords and tenants about how the new system will work," he explains.

"However, on top of this, they will also need to make sure their documents are up-to-date and watertight to evidence their adherence to current and proposed legislation. This will give landlords and tenants the best chance of a smooth eviction process.

"Agents who adopt thorough record-keeping and arrears management can prove their worth to landlords and increase their chances of new business and client retention" he says.

"Having the right technology and systems in place can be a huge help in making these changes seamless and efficient."

 Cobbold’s advice is for agents to consider how they can reduce the threat of eviction in the first place.


"Encouraging good relationships between landlords and tenants is all-important, as is staying on top of repairs and facilitating good communication between both parties" he says.

"Rent arrears are one of the most common reasons for evictions, so agents can help landlords to keep them to a minimum by sending automated emails and text messages - which are proven to be more effective when it comes to chasing rent payments.

"Using technology and automation will be crucial for agents to stay on top of constantly changing industry regulation and legislation" Cobbold concludes.  

  • Robert Ulph

    Selling the advantages of payprop are we??, so it will be really good with dealing with tenants who don't look after their properties and won't allow access to Landlords and agents and tenants who cause a noise nuisance. I think the section 21 no fault eviction was not only to do with rent arrears. This is why its not been thought through by the goverment as we have a broken court system and bailiffs can't attend for months even when you get the court order.

  • icon
    • 31 December 2019 13:51 PM

    Absolute twaddle from payprop
    It really isn't hard for a LL to check rent has been paid.
    Online banking solves that issue.
    Can't see why LL allow LA to touch rent or deposit monies.
    Most LL don't have that many properties to check rent has been received for.
    The day LA take responsibility for the tenants they source is the day most of the LA industry bankrupts itself.
    Will never happen.
    The LL is always the one carrying the most risk.
    LA simply don't care what happens.
    Perhaps if LA offered RGI for their tenant sourcing more LL would use them.
    I NEVER will!

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    You can't call that an 'article ' Paul, its just a marketing text designed to proliferate their name - brand.

  • icon

    A good tenant is a good tenant, a bad one will not change no matter what use of technology and automation in effected.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    So are 'we' saying that if agents do a little more diligence on tenants, instead of putting the first Tenant in who is prepared to sign a AST and passes reference, that ( some ) the worse Tenants can be avoided ?
    Bad Tenants have ways of avoiding detection and the article is flawed in a number of ways.

  • icon
    • 03 January 2020 19:49 PM

    Perhaps LL should request that their LA picks tenants who qualify for RGI.
    Then work down from those.
    LL should specify only tenants with RGI.
    If none available then to go to lower quality tenants.
    Trouble is very few tenants can qualify for RGI

  • Suzy OShea

    Paul Barrett,

    So true!

  • S l
    • S l
    • 04 January 2020 20:04 PM

    well said philip davies.
    If tenant pay their rent and is a model tenant, there is no need for s21 or s8 for that matter. Payprop have no idea what they are talking about. They have no clear clue of how tenants refused to pay rent and run up 100s of pounds of utility bills to come up with such nonsense


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