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Graham Awards


Why Scrap Section 21?  Possession cases are plummeting anyway...

New figures from the Ministry of Justice show a dramatic long-term decline in the number of possessions in the private rental sector - and take the wind out of the sales of calls for S21 eviction powers to be scrapped.

The MoJ data says: “When compared to the same quarter in 2019, landlord possession claims, orders, warrants and repossessions by county court bailiffs have decreased by 64, 75, 69 and 35 per cent respectively … Decreases in possession claims have been recorded over all regions. Landlord claims remained concentrated in London (with seven of the highest 10 claim rates).”

Timothy Douglas, policy manager at Propertymark, says this is just the latest in a long-term trend. 


“Looking back to 2016, the figures have been on a steady downwards trajectory for a number of years, throughout the pandemic in particular letting agents have worked tirelessly, communicating between landlords and tenants to resolve issues by negotiating rent reductions and offering mediation along the way” he comments.



“This work hasn’t gone unnoticed as this quarter shows a significant decrease in the number of landlord possessions compared to the same time pre-pandemic in 2019.

“Whilst there are many steps that can be explored before eviction, for some landlords and letting agents, the tough decision of an eviction has had to be made.

“But ultimately, it’s important to realise that nearly half of all landlords have just one rental property and are faced with the same financial pressures as others - 54 per cent of landlords have buy to let mortgages on their rented properties and ultimately must factor that in to their decisions when facing tenant issues.

“With reform still on the cards for the private rented sector, we hope that decision makers take note of these figures and realise that abolishing section 21 is not the silver bullet some think it is."

  • Angus Shield

    Well, at last, a glimmer of hope in the darkness of those that vilify Agents and Landlords ability to perform their function.
    Agents and Landlords are a rare commodity in a time where nearly everything is achieved through remote, detached, and cold processes.
    I have aged tenants and lessees who struggle with the simple process of purchasing insurance by any other means than in front of a broker/human being.
    Tenants in genuine difficulty and their agent/landlord should meet and equitable results will largely be achieved.
    I believe in hands-on management and connection with people and worry that internet/cloud based and multi-departmental agencies miss this opportunity to connect; there will be many that do and so this is not a broad-brush statement, just my view.
    We have not engaged in a repossession for nearly 9 years now and the last S21 was the death of a Landlord for a probate disposal of the property.
    The better the connections the less reason to issue S21's; though, here will always be the exception........

  • icon


    The student and young professional shared HMO rental market needs fixed term tenancies and the vehicle of section 21 to accommodate this, plus give sufficient swift support to deal with antisocial behaviour and other matters if occurring in a HMO. Otherwise the other decent tenants would be continued to be affected and ultimately their safe enjoyment compromised by their antisocial housemate, leading to all sort of other issues.

    Fixed term tenancies and the great benefit they bring to all parties in shared HMO are too long to list here, but fundamentally provide good quality accommodation to young professionals at a competitive price point, allowing them to save and getting on the property ladder themselves.

    S21 is vital for safe and professional management of shared HMO's. Without this a problematic tenant will be able to cause total havoc and destress to their fellow housemates. A lot of anti-social behaviour by problematic tenants would be very difficult to prove in court and it is not fair to the decent housemates that the landlord will not able to deal with matter fairly and swiftly.

    The government need look at the very different rental demographic, all across the UK and not as they have done with the tenant fee ban, role out "one size fits all" changes.

    The proposed changes will again have a detrimental effect on decent tenants in fairly managed shared HMO's and completely go against the governments goal of providing good quality shared and safe rental accommodation as a fair price!

    The previuous S21 consultation completely ignored the HMO shared rental sub market and the Ministry of Housing actually advised that it was more targeted at "single household rentals" and HMO shared rental Landlords would be best to use the "other" box to feed back their response.

    In the following government document, there were an estimated 497,000 HMOs in England and Wales at the end of March 2018.
    (Link removed)
    How is it possible that so many HMO have not been recognised, or their landlords even encouraged to reply to the consultation?

    This is fundamentally a flawed consultation and strongly suspect that the HMO shared rental students and young professional market will not be excluded from the abolition of S21


    No, what was fundamentally flawed was your goalkeeping against Croatia.


    To unhappy tenant, football aside 🤔. If a public consultation does not mention the word HMO, then it is flawed if the Gov plan to change legislative that affects that rather large rental demographic- they ain’t doing their job properly so is not helping anyone tenant or landlord

  • James B

    it is only being considered as its seen as a vote winner and will appease the campaign groups to keep their clients happy.


    Indeed, apparently seeded by Terisa May, housing advisor…apparently former employee of shelter 🤔

    Matthew Payne

    Exactly. Absolutely nothing to do with reforming the PRS or protecting tenants rights. This is simply one massive piece of low hanging fruit to undermine Labour just as with the Tenant Fees Act. Who cares whether it makes sense, it wins us votes! The Tories have worked out that the easiest way to beat Labour at General Elections is to nick their policies.


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