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PM and Housing Secretary back scrapping of Section 21 evictions

The government’s plan to scrap Section 21 is personally backed by the Prime Minister and will begin formal consultations today.

If the consultations show public support, the idea could be law by the end of 2019.

Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary James Brokenshire says the proposal is "the biggest change to the private rental sector in a generation".


In a paper to be issued today he says the government is taking action because evidence shows Section 21 evictions to be one of the biggest causes of family homelessness.

"By abolishing these kinds of evictions, every single person living in the private rented sector will be empowered to make the right housing choice for themselves - not have it made for them," he says.

Under the government's plans, landlords would have to provide a "concrete, evidenced reason already specified in law" in order to bring tenancies to an end.

Theresa May says the major shake-up will protect responsible tenants from "unethical behaviour" and give them the "long-term certainty and the peace of mind they deserve".


A Ministry of Housing spokesman adds: "Court processes will also be expedited so landlords are able to swiftly and smoothly regain their property in the rare event of tenants falling into rent arrears or damaging the property - meaning landlords have the security of knowing disputes will be resolved quickly."

Under today's proposals landlords seeking to evict tenants would have to use Section 8, which can be implemented when a tenant has fallen into rent arrears, has been involved in criminal or antisocial behaviour or has broken terms of the rent agreement, such as damaging the property. The government says it will amend Section 8 to allow it to be used by landlords if they want to sell the property or move back in themselves. Unlike S21, tenants can challenge S8 evictions in many cases.

Trade bodies have reacted angrily to the proposal, as you can see here.

  • icon

    "in the rare event of tenants falling into rent arrears or damaging the property" - Our politicians are clueless. As a reasonably sized Buy to let investor I am now longing at selling properties, not adding to my portfolio, I just cannot see the point, we deal alot with tenants on housing benefit, and the associated problems in that area and this will just finish off that part of the market. What is the point!!

  • James B

    More landlords running for the door then

  • David Robinson

    Please bring back Brexit.


    Would rather not

  • Suzy OShea

    So this from May, who a week after the Genfell tower disaster had to be shamed by the media into actually visiting the grieving, burned out and homeless tenants of Grenfell! Much she cares about tenants!

    Is this Brokenshire, well named, not the man who loosened building regs so much as to allow substandard materials to be used by contractors which lead to such a loss of lives in Grenfell? Or was that some other ministerial robbing bastard?

  • icon

    Been in the B2L game for some 30 odd years having had over 100 properties owned and managed by ourselves. We Tenant Find only, we see all our tenants in, we ask for rent to be paid on Date Due, no excuse, we deal with any problem immediately. We Inspect 2 monthly and 3 monthly, we return if property not clean. If rent missed we call same day and demand payment immediatly. We have served 3 eviction notices!.
    We deal hands on, no rent your out, antisocial your out, no respect your out. Contact Council immediately telling them what we are doing and to either house the tenants themselves or pay rent direct immediately to us or tenat gone. Does work.

  • Barry X

    I posted this same comment on the other related article today....

    They're both crazy and completely out of touch if they want to simply end s.21 style "no fault" repossession. They also show their extreme ignorance of the history of the Private Rental Sector/Market and the mechanisms that drive it.

    The Housing Act 1988 created the Section 21 right to regain possession of a property without having to show the tenant(s) had "seriously" breached any of the terms of the rental/tenancy agreement. Landlords could use this new right to seek repossession of his/her/its property for any reason whatsoever - another principle that has also been dangerously undermined in recent years - if it's your property surely you should have the right to regain it on reasonable notice without having to explain why. This is a fundamental BUSINESS principle - we are in business, we are not managing stock for "social housing" - that's someone else's job not ours.

    BEFORE the introduction of s.21 EVERY tenant in every rental property was in effect a "sitting tenant" (or "statutory tenant") protected by law and potentially not only there for life but able to transfer the tenancy to near relatives etc. They also had other rights for example to apply for rent tribunals if you dared to try and put the rent up to a viable commercial level - wouldn't it be a terrible social injustice if a landlord was actually able to charge a fair rent and make a reasonable return on their investments, work and efforts?!

    Anyone who goes to property auctions will see that properties occupied by "statutory tenants" are cannot be sold with "vacant possession" . As a result such properties are virtually un-mortgageable (except perhaps via specialist portfolio finance) and are typically worth about 1/3 of their "open market value with full vacant possession".

    THAT is the sort of thing we've already being covertly returning to with the incremental undermining of the s.21 in recent years - as I've commented before. It's abolition will - I believe get us there in a single step (unless some alternative safety mechanism is implemented to properly and fairly replace it).

    As I've been saying for years..... if only I was able to sell up and go I would have left this messed-up country like a shot. Sadly, for many personal reasons, I wasn't able to - but anyone who can should perhaps consider it before things get even worse!

    Good luck - you're gonna' need it!

  • Simon Shinerock

    Misguided vote catching. A policy that comes from the same school as the flat eartists and those who truly believe two plus two equals five.

  • icon

    Had a thought that with no S21 will lenders still be happy to hand out a BTL mortgage to the same %age they presently lend on? Without a clear means of getting possession will they be willing to support all landlords?

  • Paul Smithson

    There will have to be rent control as rents will just be upped 50.% to get rid of slow payers etc.


    We are moving towards a socialist rental sector and the Swedes would be a good example of what the rental market will look like in a few years time with a thirteen year wait for rent control properties and massive subletting.


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