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Section 21: More fierce criticism for government over its scrapping

Claims that the use of Section 21 ‘no fault’ eviction notices is the leading cause of homelessness in the UK are “factually incorrect, misleading and just plain wrong”, says the National Landlords Association. 

Research by the NLA, using the government’s own statistics, found that of 33,020 households assessed by local authorities between October and December 2018, just 11.8 per cent (3,890) faced homelessness as a result of being served with a Section 21 notice.

The same data also showed that the top reason for losing the last settled home was because family or friends were no longer willing or able to accommodate them, which accounted for over 15,000 households.


The second most prominent reason was the end of an assured shorthold private rented tenancy. This includes tenancies ended using the fault-based Section 8 and tenants abandoning the property, as well as Section 21. 29 percent of these tenancies were ended due to rent arrears.

Previous NLA research has found that landlords resort to Section 21 primarily when their tenants fall into rent arrears or engage in antisocial behaviour.

Now the association’s chief executive, Richard Lambert, says: “Claims by the government and tenant support groups that Section 21 is the leading cause of homelessness are not supported by the available evidence. They are factually incorrect, misleading and just plain wrong. No reasonable landlord would seek to evict a tenant without good cause.

“Most evictions are a symptom of wider issues, such as the freeze on local housing allowance, insecure jobs, and the lack of support for vulnerable tenants to sustain private tenancies successfully.  The increase in the use of no-fault evictions through Section 21 is because landlords simply don’t have faith in the courts being able to deal with eviction cases, however justified their reason.

“That’s why we’re appealing directly to the Prime Minister to save section 21. Landlords are running businesses and have very few options when it comes to managing the risks they face. The focus should instead be on fixing the issues that contribute to this risk.”  

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Shocking that the previous Prime Ministers aggressive behaviour towards the PRS should even consider the call by Tenant support groups who fight for bad tenants ( shame on them ) because good tenants don't need any help.
    Claims for Abolition are absolutely groundless, Not a shred of evidence and nobody even knows accurately why Section 21 is used.
    Perhaps those who oppose it are frightened by the results that would be found.
    Why would anyone support debtors and those who abuse other peoples trust and property, - over legitimate business.
    Focus would do better on the causes than those actually providing the accommodation. ( because its driving less Housing and higher costs for Tenants.
    Yes, Shelter - your costing Tenants money and contributing to Housing shortages !

  • Barry X

    As has been said by numerous other people - property professionals, lettings managers and expert portfolio landlords..... all of us WANT GOOD TENANTS.... if we have someone in one of our properties causing us no trouble, looking after the property and most importantly paying the rent in full and on time as they always should do then THERE IS NO REASON TO EVICT THEM.

    Spending time and money on evicting a good tenant is normally the last thing anyone would consider unless perhaps they need to sell the property for some reason (which would be with great reluctance due to the associated costs and usual enormous tax hit for either CGT or Corp Tax).

    Evicting a bad tenant using the Section 8 route is even harder work, slower and more long winded than the section 21 because you actually have to appear in court and PROVE the tenant is in default, and even then the judge will favour the tenant and do anything to make you give them yet more time and further chances to somehow change into a different person and actually behave and "be good"... which a bad tenant never will - they will mock you and laugh at our useless justice system that seems to heavily favour miscreants, liars, cheats and even criminals over the people whose lives or businesses they harm.

    The simplicity and clarity of the original s.21 - before it became steadily messed-up and undermined in recent years through a successive series of legislative attacks - was what revitalised and rescued from oblivion the whole of our Private Rental Market from the late 1980s onward.

    The original, un-compromised s.21 also led directly to the BTL market too, because after waiting carefully for several years to make sure it really worked (which in those days it certainly did) lenders were then finally willing to finance purchases of rental properties on reasonable terms because it had suddenly become possible to gain vacant possession if required, and sell, so tenants would no longer automatically become "Sitting Tenants" blighting properties and reducing them to around 1/3 of their vacant possession value... a very serious point which all of us should remember (or learn about if too young to remember) and think carefully about, because THAT is where all this is leading/returning us to.

    The government WILL NOT LISTEN and it is pointless assuming they will and trying to engage with them. They have clearly decided long ago to target and if they can destroy the PRM for their own selfish and self-interested reasons, agenda(s), and possibly also ideological commitments (all of which will be even worse if/when we have a Lablour-Green-Libdem coalition inflicted on us).

    We all need to get together - professional portfolio landlords, lettings managers and agencies etc, and CAUSE ABSOLUTE HELL for them (the government and whilst at it also councils looking to fleece and milk us all) on a massive scale - including having many thousands of us withholding tax in protest and taking any other reasonable actions we can between us think of.

    Of course we should also grab huge media attention - we'll need an excellent, well funded PR agency to manage that and ensure our real views and points are properly heard and fully reported.... not marginalised, misrepresented or completely ignored and "buried" as usual, e.g. by the BBC, Guardian and all the slippery-dishonest rest.

    Unfortunately THAT'S what we need to do, and what things have come to, if we are to have any chance whatsoever of being taken seriously and either left alone or better still force a reversal of all these ridiculous anti-landlord, anti-agent measures, and a revival of the PRM.

    PS. I'm not a militant person by any means, and normally take no part whatsoever in politics or campaigning for anything (except grumbling politely when not happy) but things are now steadily getting REALLY BAD , and GETTING SLOWLY WORSE..... think of the famous experiment (probably really only a thought experiment) where you can slowly boil a frog alive and he or she won't think of jumping out of the water, but if you dropped one into even quite warm water it would hate it and immediately jump back out.


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