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Benefits tenants could be biggest losers if Section 21 is scrapped

Tenants on state benefits could be the 'biggest casualties' of the government's 'ill-thought-out' plans to scrap the Section 21 evictions process, according to the National Landlords Association (NLA).

The association's recent survey of almost 3,000 landlords found that 43% of landlords said they would become more selective when choosing tenants if the government presses ahead with its controversial plans.

Meanwhile, 57% of landlords who had sought to evict a tenant in the past five years had done so because of rent arrears, whether they used Section 21 or not.


The NLA provides further research, a survey of 829 landlords, in which 76% of those who let to Universal Credit tenants, 66% of those who let to Housing Benefits tenants and 63% of those who let to migrant workers, have experienced rent arrears in the last 12 months.

This demonstrates a clear message that people on state benefits would be victims of the plan to abolish Section 21, says the NLA.

The government announced its controversial plans to scrap Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 - which gives landlords the power to evict tenants without providing a reason - in April.

It has proposed that landlords instead follow the Section 8 process which requires them to demonstrate that tenants are in breach of their rental agreement when serving notice.


"Rent arrears are the biggest problem that landlords face, and the main reason why they use Section 21 to evict a tenant," says Richard Lambert, NLA chief executive.

"So if the government removes what they see as their only safety net — Section 21 — they will have no option but to become more selective."

"That will hit people on Universal Credit, Housing Benefit and other state benefits which have fallen way behind rents," he says.

"It’s surely not right that the most vulnerable in our society should have to struggle to find accommodation because of the government’s failure to provide landlords with appropriate powers of eviction when faced with rent arrears."

"We urge the government to think twice before taking this retrograde step."

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    This must fall into the category of 'Stating The Bleeding Obvious'.

    And yet the lovely people of Shelter are responsible for it. I guess it will keep the management in their well-paid jobs.

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    This is the latest folly in the goverment's series. Everything this government has done to the PRS has resulted in less available accommodation, increased rents, unnecessary bureaucracy, less housebuilding and greater difficulty for benefit tenants to obtain housing. Well done

  • dale james

    So when it all gets too much and rents are rising, supply down the Government will bring in Rent Controls! Capped Housing Benefits! Security of tenure!

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    • 05 July 2019 09:15 AM

    Yes it might be stating the bleedin obvious to those in the PRS but when it comes to politicians and Shelter we are talking about people who are thick as two short planks or who if not have an ideological stance that would see the PRS eradicated.
    Idiots like this are hardly likely to come up with sensible strategies.
    So it will more of the same.
    As LL etc we really shouldn't concern ourselves with the effects of these bonkers policies.
    All we can do is to build resilience so we suffer as little as possible.
    It will just be tough on certain tenant types but LL etc will be forced to behave certain ways.
    Not because they want to but because they have little alternative.
    Well done the PTB making tenant's lives even harder.
    Seriously does Govt believe this will translate into more votes for the Tories?
    If they do then they are even more deluded than I thought!!

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Tenant so-called support groups should really be asking themselves (or their clientele & sponsors should ) WHY they are supporting Abolition of Section 21 which in the vast majority of cases are Deserving of much Faster eviction, - when its abolition will so badly affect the most vulnerable.

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    Ooh! Jeremy Corblimey.......................

  • James B

    Nothing other that the latest desperate vote winner .. this will be spun as a big positive for tenants in media and by shelter etc, and most will buy it I suspect til it comes to moving and there is nothing available... let’s hope rents rocket which is a likely outcome
    I for one are steadily selling as properties come empty I see no end to the attacks to win the votes at landlords expense and god help us if those labour idiots get in they will probably take our properties off us and give them to tenants !


    More likely tell the landlord to pay the tenant to take the property off his hands!

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    • 06 July 2019 10:22 AM

    If you read the Labour Housing proposals they are truly terrifying.
    Forget BrExit that is a minor detail compared to to the assault on property rights that Labour had planned along with penal taxation of all types of property.
    The Tories should be attacking these Labour proposals with all their might.
    Anything else is quite frankly of secondary interest.
    It will even affect GR who will see Labour rob them of any inheritance from their parents.
    Property wealth is the most usual form of wealth that the average person will ever achieve.
    Well Labour is going to rob you of most of it!!!
    Essentially Labour is proposing expropriation of private property asset wealth.
    They simply must never be allowed to form another Govt unless they change their Marxist ways.

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    Not only LLs but also closed fantastically operated hospital last time they were in power affecting Everybody in area.
    I truly believe civil war will follow if these hamas supporting labour clueless clownes ever get into power again.
    Yes Tories are a burden but with pressure we can demand sensible thinking. Labour can't even think.


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