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Jubilant tenants warned: Be careful what you wish for…

Tenant groups are cheering the proposed abolition of Section 21 eviction powers but there’s a legal warning that the reality may be bad news for renters. 

"They should be careful what they wish fo” cautions Ian Narbeth, a consultant solicitor in the real estate team at law firm DMH Stallard.

He continues: “Until the introduction of assured shorthold tenancies, the residential rental market was stultified.


"Owners, fearful that they might never recover their property will be reluctant to let. If landlords serve s8 notices for rent arrears instead of the quicker s21, tenants will have county court judgments registered against them, wrecking their credit referencing and meaning that when they apply to the council for a home they will be considered to be 'intentionally homeless'.

"Behind most so-called 'no fault' evictions is a solid reason such as non-payment of rent or anti-social behaviour. 

“Asking victims of anti-social behaviour to wait months before giving evidence against their abuser will lead to victims having to leave instead of the antisocial offender. 

“Matters will be even worse in Houses in Multiple Occupation where victim and abuser have to live under the same roof and the landlord cannot guarantee a successful eviction.


"Families who let out their home while working abroad will be concerned that they may not get it back when they return without going through the uncertain court procedure. Being delayed by several months in recovering their home may mean staying in expensive B+Bs or taking on an expensive 12 month lease.

"Private landlords, having already faced eight years of anti-landlord legislation, may take their properties off the market, exacerbating the shortage of housing and pushing up rents.” 

  • icon
    • A W
    • 18 May 2023 09:09 AM

    Tenants are sure to be happy when more landlords leave the market, resulting in less supply, leading to HIGHER rents.

    Good job!

    FYI only around 20,000 s.21's make it to court per year, or 0.4% of all tenancies.

  • icon

    How dare landlords want possession of their property. What a cheek! Remember Shelter does not provide accommodation to anyone not employed by them!

  • Ian Narbeth

    I should clarify that people who are delayed in returning to their own home will not have to sign 12 month tenancies.

  • Barry X

    At last - a very rare article that for once tells some of it how it is...!

    Ian Narbeth actually DOES know what he's talking about and - for a refreshing change - isn't afraid to say what he thinks and doesn't feel the need to try and make appeasing comments to our tormentors while he's at it.

    The introduction of Section 21 (known generally as "s.21") in the Housing Act 1988 amended/replaced the dreadful Rent Act 1977 that destroyed the private rental market by alientating and disinsentivising all landlords by turning their tenancies into "protected tenancies", fixing rents, setting up the Valuation Office Agency with its "Rent Office" that quite simply screwed up everything for both landlords and ultimately tenants too - taking away all their flexibility and choice as the supply of new/available properties for rent quickly disapeared and they all became stuck in properties that - over the next few years were never modernised, improved or even redecorated as the landlords had no incentive to spend any money on them (as they couldn't increase the rent) and were simply waiting for the tenants to get so fed-up with where they were living that they'd eventually decide to move, or maybe just die of old age (but even then that wasn't the end of it because their children were entitled to take over the tenancy and continue the agony for all concerned for another generation)...

    THAT is what the government is now returning us to, and with other damaging measures too...

    You have been warned!


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