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Agents warn Rayner - “don’t scrap Section 21 without a replacement”

Propertymark has warned Labour’s Deputy Prime Minister against scrapping Section 21 eviction powers without an adequate replacement.

If Angela Rayner does fulfil a pledge to scrap S21 at short notice, Propertymark warns “the court system in England and Wales will be overwhelmed.”

The industry body has said not only will this cause lengthy and costly delays for everyone involved, but with the raft of regulatory and financial pressures placed on landlords in recent years this will only add as a further nail in buy to let’s coffin.  


Propertymark members have voiced their concerns around landlords already expressing their desires to exit the sector, and Propertymark has said Section 21’s abolition will provide another reason for current landlords to leave.

In turn it fears this will prevent prospective investors from entering and create a further shortage of homes for tenants which will ultimately push rents up even more. 

During the General Election, Labour campaigned to clampdown on ‘unscrupulous landlords’ and to abolish Section 21.  

Other pledges included preventing tenants from paying huge upfront rent payments, reducing energy bills, and cutting fuel poverty.  

Labour also wants to extend Awaab’s Law to the private rental sector to combat damp and mould in rental properties.  

The last Conservative government also wanted to ban Section 21 evictions as part of the Renters Reform Bill, which never became law.  

Propertymark submitted written evidence to the Public Bill Committee on the legislation in December 2023, citing data which proved the level of anxiety amongst member agents about measures likely to make the private rented sector more hostile to private landlords and the unintended outcomes for people desperate for homes.  

Section 21 notices allow ‘accelerated’ claims to skip the court system. The Tories’ Renters’ Reform Bill would have resulted in extending the grounds for possession under Section 8 instead – which would have meant many more cases have to go through the courts. 

This is why Labour needs to clarify how its plans to remove Section 21 would work, insists Propertymark.

Nathan Emerson, chief executive of Propertymark, has urged the new government to ensure that there is a balance between protecting tenants’ rights and guaranteeing that landlords have a suitable legal mechanism to repossess properties, when necessary, without swamping the courts.  

He says: “The Renters’ Reform Bill brought a great deal of uncertainty to landlords, letting agents, and tenants, so it is vital that the UK Government’s fresh legislation to remove Section 21 guarantees that it is being replaced with a suitable legal mechanism that prevents a backlog of cases to the courts. 

“Any new Bill must strike a balance between protecting tenants’ rights and ensuring that landlords have a suitable legal mechanism to repossess properties when necessary.”

  • icon

    Propertymark are realising the consequences of abolishing S21. A little late but better than nothing. Meanwhile from the NRLA 😴😴😴

  • James Scollard

    A solution would be for a section 21 to be served via the .gov website, providing a reason for the eviction. Politicians can then see why Tenants are evicted & base legislation around that.
    Landlords have to be able to evict bad tenants, examples are tenants smoking indoors, smoking dope, loud music in flats … very difficult to prove & build a case. So landlords use S21. It’s not a ‘no fault eviction’ 70% of the time.

    We had a mechanic, he had 12 cars on the road, annoying all the neighbours. He kept lying saying they weren’t his.
    How could you build a case? The time, stress & legal fees … or issue a S21. Job done.

    The court system will be blocked with these type of cases.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    S21 is going. And it will go soon. The fact the Conservatives failed to deliver this in 5 years of promises is all the more reason why Labour will want to deliver this soon. The only question is whether they are reasonable about strengthened S8 terms. When S21 goes, rent & legal warranties will become an industry 'must have'. It's the only way to indemnify a landlord against a lengthy legal process.

  • James Scollard

    The total legal process is circ. one year & whilst warranties provide some cover, they won’t stop the complaints.
    In a block of 200 flats, having 10-20 residents calling you weekly to ‘sort out your tenant’ is stressful for everyone. S21 = 2 months, S8 =12 months.
    S21 =no costs.
    S8 = £1,000’s plus added for legal costs & court costs added to Tenants bill.


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