“Factually incorrect, misleading and just plain wrong”

by Property118.com News Team

9:04 AM, 15th August 2019
About A year ago

“Factually incorrect, misleading and just plain wrong”

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“Factually incorrect, misleading and just plain wrong”

Claims that landlords’ 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 (NLA) as they take their case to No. 10.

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% (3,890) of those 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% 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.

Richard Lambert, CEO of the NLA, 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.”

*MHCLG Initial Assessments of Statutory Homelessness Duties Owned

**Research conducted by YouGov Plc on behalf of the NLA. Total sample size was 3,088 Landlords in England and Wales. Fieldwork was undertaken between 21st – 27th December 2018.  The survey was carried out online.


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Comments

Mark Alexander

9:20 AM, 15th August 2019
About A year ago

It's no different to saying the main cause of unemployment is people losing their jobs. It's ridiculous, because there is always a reason that people lose their jobs, just as there is always a reason for landlords to serve Section 21.

Lets look at some comparisons.

Redundancy is no fault, but so is the need for a landlord to sell his property or move back into it.

Swearing at your boss might lead to unemployment, just as swearing at your landlord or their neighbours and/or fellow tenants might be a good cause for asking a tenant to move on.

Stealing from an employer is a very good reason for dismissal, just as not paying a landlord when rent is due is a good reason for eviction.

Over the last 30 + years I have housed around 1,000 tenants, many for a decade or more in the same property. I have only ever needed to serve a section 21 notice on three occasions, and only one of those went to Court. However, if those rights were taken away from me I would feel there had been too greater a switch in terms of the balance of power and might well decide to sell my properties much sooner than I had intended.

Luke P

13:41 PM, 15th August 2019
About A year ago

Oh, for Christ's sake...the RLA have moved to the (more accurate) terminology of 'no explanation' rather than 'no fault', it should've happened ages ago, but NLA...STOP calling it no fault for goodness sake. It enters the public consciousness and does not help our cause (not least of all because it is a falsehood).

Jon

16:23 PM, 15th August 2019
About A year ago

Both the RLA and NLA have now presented persuasive evidence to confirm what we landlords already know - no one in their right mind uses a Section 21 without good reason. The problem is, we are years behind the curve in the propaganda versus facts war. Perhaps we need a 'Rapid Rebuttal Unit', or Website to get the message out fast and early. I am happy to have some involvement in something like this, perhaps as a bolt on to your already excellent site Mark ? Anyone interested is welcome to message me and we can discuss how this might done.

Mark Alexander

16:32 PM, 15th August 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Jon at 15/08/2019 - 16:23
Property118 already has an established reader base, is an accredited Google News publisher and has a google Page Rank of 5, which is higher than any of our rivals.

How could a new website possibly achieve greater reach?

The National Landlords Alliance is fast becoming a supportive the "Rapid Rebuttal Unit" as you put it and its route to market is via Property118. There is no better alternative in my humble opinion.

Jon

17:08 PM, 15th August 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Alexander at 15/08/2019 - 16:32
Don't disagree at all Mark - just wondered if it warranted a 'Special Place' - a page, title, or section all of its own but only making a suggestion.
I've written 2 articles on the Citizens Advice site recently dismantling some of their bogus claims and it made me wonder if there is a better way to join all the dots. I can post a link to their claims followed by my analysis with you if you would like it on here? I plan to write more, time permitting.

Mark Alexander

17:23 PM, 15th August 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Jon at 15/08/2019 - 17:08
If it’s property related, feel free to do so

Mick Roberts

10:40 AM, 16th August 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Alexander at 15/08/2019 - 09:20
That's exactly it Mark, you say:
might well decide to sell my properties much sooner than I had intended.

That's what's happening & gonna' happen, we now have no or very hard recourse for the bad tenant. Adverts will be put up soon. Find a Private Landlord & live there rent free forever. trash the home, abuse him, cause he won't be able to get u out.

Appalled Landlord

11:27 AM, 16th August 2019
About A year ago

Good to see that Richard Lambert, CEO of the National Landlords Association, has not accepted the abolition of Section 21, and is fighting to retain it. Well done Richard!

The claim that Section 21 causes homelessness is a lie that Polly Neate, CEO of Shelter, constantly repeats.
https://www.property118.com/shelter-ceo-also-confused-no-fault-evictions/

contradicting the charity’s own body of knowledge.
https://www.property118.com/shelters-website-says-section-21-not-cause-homelessness/

Heather Wheeler swallowed the lie, and repeated it in the debate about Section 21 Evictions last December. She made the shocking statement “The Government acknowledge that the end of an assured tenancy in the private rented sector can cause homelessness”.
https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2018-12-06/debates/21A6B725-C6F7-4A0A-8BE9-D839A5C8D3BB/Section21Evictions

In April James Brokenshire said “Evidence showed that so-called Section 21 evictions were one of the biggest causes of family homelessness.”
https://www.property118.com/theresa-may-announces-will-ban-section-21/

There is no evidence, because it is not true, as Shelter’s website explained.

I’m so glad Wheeler and Brokenshire have gone. I trust that Esther McVey will not be duped like them.

David Lawrenson

13:01 PM, 16th August 2019
About A year ago

Interesting, along with the discussion re Section 21 abolition, there is also discussion of the possibility of speeding up the repossession processes via some sort of special housing court. And the consultation is supposed to look at exemptions for returning intending occupiers, for landlords to do refurbishments and for those wishing to sell.

But the problem is who would police such “get out clauses”?

Well, the local authorities have lots of regulations to use against landlords, but usually don’t use them due to lack of resource. Even Newham with lots of money from all-borough selective licensing schemes don’t do much with it, just use the licensing cash to employ lots of people to collect the monies coming in from all the good landlords and to administrate the schemes. And all the time, the bad landlords hide in the knowledge that their tenants may have their own reasons for not grassing them up - especially illegal immigrants / folks who lack confidence / the mentally ill etc.

Generation Rent and Shelter think if landlords sell because of S21 removal (or rent controls), tenants can just buy the properties that the landlords sell – and the flood of stock will mean they will be cheaper too. But that pre-supposes an equal number of tenants would want to stay in one place (owning a home is not as flexible as renting) and even if they did, that they can also get a mortgage to help them buy. (“Help to Buy” or “Help to Buy Big Housebuilders' Directors Yachts", as the FT's Neil Collins calls it, won’t be there forever – and certainly not under the Labour party of Corbyn.

Also, if you had rent control and / or S21, it's hard to see why there would be an increase in the new building of dedicated to-rent properties. Both would potentially kill off new build investment.

David Lawrenson
http://www.LettingFocus.com
Independent Advice for Landlords and the PRS

Mark Alexander

13:04 PM, 16th August 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by David Lawrenson at 16/08/2019 - 13:01
There has been a lot of talk of Housing Courts and even a Housing Tsar.

Let’s see that implemented and working first I say!

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