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Section 21: Housing minister pledges repossession reforms

Housing minister Heather Wheeler has pledged that the government will make changes to the court repossession process alongside its plans to scrap the Section 21 evictions process.

Writing for the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), Wheeler concedes that landlords who try to repossess properties via the courts often find the process 'unduly slow and complex'.

She then pledges that there will be 'changes in the law' and 'the court process', writing that 'resourcing will need to go hand in glove with tenancy reform' to meet the needs of landlords as well as renters.


Wheeler, who is MP for South Derbyshire and has the official title of Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, writes that the 'vast majority of landlords provide tenants with a decent home and good quality service', adding that 'few landlords evict good tenants without sound reason'.

She also confirms that the government is aiming to ensure that the changes to the evictions process following the proposed removal of so-called Section 21 no fault repossessions work for both tenants and landlords. 


Wheeler says she will be working with the RLA - which is already consulting its members on what they need to repossess property swiftly for legitimate reasons - to make sure the Section 21 changes are effective for everyone. 

"The minister’s comments are welcome," says David Smith, RLA policy director. "As the RLA has long argued, landlords are left frustrated at almost every stage where they want to repossess property through the courts."

"This makes it harder to address the problem of bad tenants including those committing anti-social behaviour who cause misery for their neighbours."

Earlier this week, the RLA called on the government to fix the court system before Section 21 repossessions are scrapped. It quoted fresh figures from the Ministry of Justice which show that landlords are waiting longer to repossess properties for legitimate reasons.

  • Simon Shinerock

    Anti social tenants never admit to their behaviour and can be quite threatening even as things are. If a landlord has to go up against these people to regain possession of their properties it’s a recipe for disaster and all for what? As the minister has admitted, few landlords evict good tenants for no reason

  • jeremy clarke

    How about walking the walk rather than talking the talk because nobody I know believes a word that comes out of the mouths of politicians? It is way beyond the time that something as important as housing was removed completely from any government intervention and was controlled by people who understand our business and do not live anywhere near London!


    On the button Jeremy. I wouldn't trust a single thing she or her buddies come out with.

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    • 14 May 2019 08:06 AM

    If Govt wants S21 from being used all it needs to do is change the eviction process under S8.
    So in cases of rent arrears as soon as there are 2 months of rent arrears which means one month and one day if rent paid in advance then the following day the tenants may be removed by the LL.
    If the tenants refuse to leave then police assistance to remove them should occur.
    If the tenants are removed and the Council contacts the LL to confirm the Grounds for Eviction the LL just advises of the rent arrears.
    The Council then deems the tenants have made themselves INTENTIONALLY HOMELESS and therefore the Council has NO duty to house the evicted tenants.
    It will then be discovered that the majority of evictions are because of rent arrears.
    If tenants knew they could be removed by police the day after incurring 2 months of rent arrears tenant behaviour would rapidly change.

    LL should be able to apply for Court action to occur after the 1st month rent default with the 2nd month rent default to trigger eviction the day after.
    Of course many LL would not wish to carry out an eviction.
    Most will try to work with the Council etc to prevent eviction.
    Council behaviour would change.
    They would much prefer to pay rent arrears to prevent a LL wanting rid of the tenants.


    Paul you are speaking too much sense.

  • Fed Up Landlord

    Heather Wheeler is on a crusade against both landlords and agents. The Tenant Fee Bill is written in such draconian terms that agents and landlords are deserting the sector. With the loss of Section 21 then it will only get worse. The PRS can only hope that in the political turmoil that she loses her seat or her ministerial position.

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    "Writing for the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), Wheeler concedes that landlords who try to repossess properties via the courts often find the process 'unduly slow and complex'"

    And very, very costly!

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    If Wheeler 'recognises' there isn't a problem - WHY are Govt going down this road ?
    what other than - V.O.T.E.S.
    Shameful, and untrustworthy.

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    Simply a minion trying to make a name for herself on the career ladder. Doesn't care about outcomes because none of them are accountable in the long run.

  • James B

    Correct this is nothing more than a political move for votes

  • Angus Shield

    Wrong end of telescope methinks.
    Wheeler needs to 'redirect' the Local Authority responsibilities (especially if funding the rent), to provide the onward housing in the event of a default or repossession.
    Many LA's view the PRS as an extension of their housing stock and until the LA's become more accountable (read that as joint tenant), with any tenancy placed/funded by them the problem will simply not go away.
    If Wheeler/others change the S21/S8 and give the Courts a more robust time mandate; who will onward house these people ???
    A simple change would be to reintroduce the default payment of housing/rent to LL's/Agents.

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    The Conservative party are toast. They have alienated their core support.

    • 14 May 2019 10:00 AM

    But surely they are astute politicians who believe their policies will attract GR to vote for them.
    They see bashing LL as a populist policy.
    The trouble is the Tories are so out of touch with reality they don't seem to understand that bashing LL will NOT make GR vote Tory.
    Unfortunately for the Tories Jeremy is the Messiah.
    Now we all know he is a very naughty boy but to GR who have no memory of the 70's he is the answer to all their prayers.
    The Tories are showing a level of political naivety that is simply staggering.
    There seems to be a political disconnect between those in the Tory hierarchy and GR.
    I'm afraid the Tories are simply managing to p### off their supporters as well as failing to connect with GR.
    As such the Tories will be out the next GE.
    With the Marxists in charge for the first time the UK faces a truly terrifying economic prospect.
    McDonnell and Co really will tax as many as they can for the maximum they can literally until the pips squeak!!
    Those who have the wealth will be taxed the most heavily first.
    Guess who they will be!?
    LL who if they believe they are being unfairly taxed at the moment haven't seen nothing yet!!
    I'm hoping to Christ I'm all sold up before the next GE.
    I do not wish to be a LL with a Marxist Labour Govt attempting to run the country.

  • Chris JaiBahadur

    Many interesting comments. But sadly all TRUE. Like Paul hope to sell up before the next GE.

  • Algarve  Investor

    You've got to feel sorry for Heather Wheeler - she's not even the official Housing Minister, and yet is doing all the work that Malthouse should be doing and copping all the flak.

    The real question we should be asking is - where has Kit Malthouse gone? Another Housing Minister more interested in Brexit and doing disappearing acts than the actual portfolio he's been handed.

    I don't agree with all that Wheeler has done, but I don't doubt her diligence and work ethic. She is the go-to spokesperson for anything to do with housing. Again, the question has to be, where is Mr Malthouse?

    The only time he's been in the news recently has had nothing to do with housing and everything to do with Brexit.

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    You mean 4 oven Malthouse.
    The sniferling little wage and pension earner not,, is like most of the mps and councillors,,,useless and clueless.

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    The government has no idea about renting property.
    Come & talk to me. I have rented to Housing benefit claimants for 20 year.
    Universal credit has been a disaster & has caused more evictions than ever before.
    You need section 21 now than before.


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