Is it now time to work with Shelter and Generation Rent?

Is it now time to work with Shelter and Generation Rent?

9:08 AM, 21st July 2023, About 11 months ago 20

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Let’s face it, the debate surrounding Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions in the UK has become increasingly contentious, with media outlets and tenant activist groups condemning landlords for our supposedly arbitrary use of this legal provision.

However, it is crucial to shed light on the other side of the story and explore why we opt for ‘no-fault’ evictions and consider providing the genuine reasons for the eviction.

This balanced approach could lead to a more informed public discussion on this contentious issue.

Knowing that we are asking tenants to leave for anti-social behaviour, for example, would give most people a different take on the issue.

And that means working with Shelter and Generation Rent to understand why this situation comes about. Let me explain.

Legitimate and lawful mechanism to regain possession

The first step is to recognise that Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions offer landlords a legitimate and lawful mechanism to regain possession of properties.

But let’s clarify what Section 21 is. It’s a legal provision that allows landlords to evict tenants without providing a reason, as long as they give at least two months’ notice.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t a reason for the eviction – it’s a legal route that enables landlords to repossess quickly.

In many cases, landlords utilise this provision not out of ill will but as a safeguard against unforeseen circumstances.

Life events, such as the need to sell a property to finance other investments or retirement plans, can lead landlords to seek possession.

These circumstances are not malicious; rather, they are practical business decisions to secure financial stability.

Nonsense for Shelter to claim that tenants face being unfairly evicted

It is absolute nonsense for Shelter to claim that tenants face being unfairly evicted every 8 minutes this summer. And Generation Rent says it will be every 15 minutes.

These statistics are alarming – and to say that all s21 notices are ‘unfair’ is simply naivety. But are landlords really the villains here?

Contrary to the popular narrative, landlords do not wake up one day and decide to evict their tenants without reason.

We are, after all, running a business. Evicting a paying tenant means a loss of income until a new tenant can be found – a risk many landlords would rather not take.

Overlooks the fact that many landlords are hardworking individuals

The media’s focus on portraying landlords as solely profit-driven entities overlooks the fact that many are hardworking individuals or small-scale investors relying on rental income.

Tenants’ inability to meet rent payments can place a significant financial burden on landlords, leading to potential mortgage default or maintenance issues.

As such, Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions serve as a last resort to protect landlords’ livelihoods, a point that the media often fails to acknowledge.

Also, tenant anti-social behaviour poses serious problems for both landlords and neighbouring residents.

While eviction should always be a last resort, using no-fault evictions for such cases can provide a legitimate solution to protect communities from anti-social elements.

Providing a genuine reason for eviction

As landlords, we must also acknowledge that providing a genuine reason for eviction could lead to a more balanced media portrayal.

Transparently stating the grounds for eviction, such as selling the property or anti-social behaviour, may foster a better understanding of the challenges faced by both parties in the rental market.

It is unfortunate that tenant activist groups and media outlets have chosen to present a one-sided view of this issue.

For instance, the recent partnership between Co-op Bank and Shelter, as reported by Property118, might indicate a biased narrative against landlords.

By collaborating with an advocacy group, the bank may inadvertently contribute to a skewed portrayal of landlords as hostile and unscrupulous.

The demonisation of landlords

While it is crucial to protect tenants’ rights, the overemphasis on tenant victimisation can lead to the demonisation of landlords and disregard for their legitimate concerns. To many in the private rented sector, this has already happened.

I think the time has come for a more balanced approach to ensure a fair representation of both sides of the rental equation.

That means talking to tenant activist groups and helping people understand that section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions have a role to play in the UK rental market.

While it is essential to prioritise tenant rights and explore alternative measures to address rental issues, it is equally important for the media and tenant activist groups to present a balanced perspective.

By doing so, we can foster a more informed and constructive dialogue on the challenges faced by both landlords and tenants, ultimately leading to more effective and equitable rental policies.

Demonising landlords MUST end

I have tried to be balanced here but there needs to be a realisation that demonising all landlords as being unkind, ungenerous and willing to evict a family for little or no reason MUST end.

What Shelter and Generation Rent need to appreciate is that BOTH sides lose.

Let’s remember that every eviction has a story behind it – a story often untold in the media.

Landlords lose a reputation and income when they sell-up – and tenants lose a home and face higher rents.

To me, the solution lies in constructive dialogue and fair legislation that protects both landlords and tenants.

Fast forward just two or three years when the ridiculous Renters’ Reform Bill is made law and landlords leave en-masse – who will be blamed for there being no homes to rent then?

It won’t be landlords because we will be watching from the sidelines as the same tenant activist groups turn their fire on the government for the lack of homeless housing provision.

Until next time,

The Landlord Crusader


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Comments

Martin Thomas

9:57 AM, 21st July 2023, About 11 months ago

We've only used a S21 twice and we've been renting to students for more than 40 years. They were used because on those occasions, the groups were rather disruptive and I wanted to make sure they left the property.
In reading the various comments about S21, it has struck me that it's a real pity there isn't an optional section where the landlord could tick a box to say "rent arrears" or "selling up". Data could be collected to refute the claims by tenants' groups that these are "no-fault evictions".
Incidentally, I see that Form 6a on the GOV website encourages tenants to go to Shelter!

moneymanager

10:10 AM, 21st July 2023, About 11 months ago

"But let's be clear"

There are only two entities that can bring an end to a tenancy, the tenant by vacating or a judge executing their judgement through a baillif, an S21 is no more than the required prior notice that legal proceedings MAY follow if the tenant is in breach of their contract by remaining in occupation contrary to the contractual rights and obligations, the "fault" arises when they neither leave nor agree new terms, anything else is a falsehood

Seething Landlord

11:28 AM, 21st July 2023, About 11 months ago

It is disingenuous to suggest that there should be provision for stating the reason for a S21 eviction if the underlying cause is rent arrears or ASB, because the obvious response is that in those cases S8 should be used.

S21 has often been misused to circumvent the restrictions incorporated in S8 grounds, ignoring the fact that those grounds express what the government of the day considered fair in relation to the issues that they address. That is why Shelter etc have been successful in claiming that many S21 evictions are unfair i.e. they have allowed evictions where the landlord has not been required to prove his case and the tenant has had no way of defending the possession claim, apart from showing technical or procedural breaches by the landlord.

Reluctant Landlord

12:03 PM, 21st July 2023, About 11 months ago

no. I wouldn't give them the satisfaction of thinking we believe they are in any way credible organisations to bother to liaise with.

They are only exist for lobbying purposes. They do not house anyone so have nothing quantifiable to bring to the table/have no vested interest in anything.

Let them spout their anti LL rhetoric...they might be noisy but the reality is they are not seen as credible, especially when their 'figures' are not borne out by
more reputable and independent organisations.

Tony Johnson

12:32 PM, 21st July 2023, About 11 months ago

Work with Marxists?

No

Reluctant Landlord

12:34 PM, 21st July 2023, About 11 months ago

better if the NRLA grew come balls and took them on properly once and for all and showed them up for what they are....

Freda Blogs

12:36 PM, 21st July 2023, About 11 months ago

"Is it now time to work with Shelter and Generation Rent?"
No.
If there was the slightest prospect that they would start to be truthful in their protestations, perhaps there might be a glimmer of hope, but I don’t believe there is. It has suited their respective causes very well to stick to their unchallenged and zero-evidence based proclamations for far too long. Had they wanted to engage with LLs, they would have done so long before now.

To engage now, to hear and potentially acknowledge the real causes of the housing problem (which doesn’t suit their editorialised view), would mean them admitting that what they have been saying in the past has not been honest, accurate or fair. And that's not going to happen any time soon.

Martin O'Hearne

15:00 PM, 21st July 2023, About 11 months ago

Never, never, never! I’d rather sell up than work with these Marxists!

Phil Johnson

23:21 PM, 21st July 2023, About 11 months ago

Dear Landlords,

Just to try and explain, all most renters want is rent to feel as secure as everything else in life. Utility bills, subscriptions, mobile phones, internet etc. With all these things if I pay what I owe and stick to clear terms and conditions I know I will not be randomly cut off. The fact that landlords uniquely have the power to totally upend a families life with absolutely no bad behaviour on the part of that family means we can never truly feel at ease. Is this so difficult to understand. We just want peace of mind.

JamesB

7:11 AM, 22nd July 2023, About 11 months ago

It's quite ironic really.
Over 27 years with hundreds of tenancies across my portfolio I have only ever issued three s21s.
1) In the late 1990s, a girl moved into an hmo, got pregnant and asked me to issue a s21 so that she could get a council flat.
2) Another HMO. A girl that worked in human resources for a Ftse100 company lost the plot, started taking drugs, then abusing her housemates and stopped paying rent. She disappeared without court action, but not before selling the furniture in her room!
3) Most recent 2021/2022/2023. A family lived in one of my houses for 10 years. They got into rent arrears in month 2. Then followed 10 years of erratic rent payments by them and DWP. They also turned the garden into a jungle, moved more family members in until they were 5 adults and 2 chidren in a 3 bed terrace, and they hoarded. They never cleaned once and the house STUNK. Eviction took 15 months through the courts and I finished up several thousand pounds out of pocket and am only now getting close to the house being nice again 4 months after getting the keys back.
So why is it ironic? Well, thanks to all the changes, it is quite likely that in the very near furture a lot of my very good, clean, rent paying tenants will be receiving s21s BECAUSE of all the changes and the fact that I am starting to find it so unrewarding being a landlord.

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