Lack of Justice in Housing – Section 21

by Readers Question

13:44 PM, 12th February 2019
About 2 months ago

Lack of Justice in Housing – Section 21

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Lack of Justice in Housing – Section 21

Letter to Gareth Johnson Member of Parliament for Dartford:

Dear Mr Johnson,

I’d like raise some concerns about justice, or rather the lack of it in Housing.

I operate my own business of recovering possession of mainly residential property for landlords who’s tenants have chosen to break their contract. Very similar if you like, to the criminals who choose to disregard criminal law, the defaulting tenants breach their contract (Tenancy agreement). There are only two options for a landlord to regain possession of ‘their’ property, despite the flagrant breach of contract which either through Section 8 of the Housing Act, or Section 21.

Section 21 Housing Act 1988

You will probably have heard much about Section 21, often from various Tenant support groups with little morals about the conduct or legitimacy of those tenants they ‘support’. Much is also said against the use of Section 21 by the Labour Party, who believe it’s every persons right to Housing, whether they pay for it like the majority of the public, or not!

There is even the suggestion by opponents of Section 21, that because there is no specific course of conduct required to be proven against a tenant, they can (whether paying the rent or not), be asked not made to leave the property after 2 months. In other words, two months free housing at the property owners expense (be that Private or Social sector) before a legal claim can be submitted to the court, requiring an additional 3 months on average to achieve a court hearing.

Section 21 , the longer of the two processes, is often preferred due to the weakness of the Section 8 process.

Because the Section 21 process does not require a specific breach by the tenant to be stated or proven, this process has been twisted or manipulated by such opponents mentioned, to suggest that landlords are using it for ‘No fault’.

Any such suggestion really displays a basic lack of business sense. Evicting a tenant via Section 21 is a time consuming process which, often involves expense in rent arrears. additionally there is almost certainly a void period with the cost of finding a replacement tenant.

Adopting basic common sense and any business acumen, who on earth thinks a landlord in their right mind would evict a tenant for no fault?

To use the vernacular, a landlord is between a rock and a hard place, and nobody seems to give a damn.

Possession Friend



Comments

dilep singh

12:27 PM, 13th February 2019
About 2 months ago

Excellent piece!
The Law leans towards LAW BREAKING tenants rather than carrying out what should be. The amount of stress, hassle and money lost by Law abiding landlords which have the tenants best interests only to be back stabbed is absurd. There is a prejudice against landlords which this government has no interest in changing.......God forbid should Labour come in!!!!

SophieB

12:52 PM, 13th February 2019
About 2 months ago

100% agree, superbly put. I'm going through this Section 21 process and let me stress, it is absolute AGONY!

Mkahn

19:09 PM, 13th February 2019
About 2 months ago

Much appreciated. We are passing through the same even worse situation. It is company let property and the company subletted it to individual tenants grabbing much higher rent than the rent they were paying to us. For last six months, it’s director ( middle man) stopped our rent for one reason or the others. Our solicitor issued section 8 notice ( he ignored) then section 21 ( he again ignored) . Recently we got court order of possession, which he acknowledged but asked for another one month time, to issue notice of vacation to his tenants. He accepted, he is receiving rent from tenants during this whole period but not paying to us . We lost more than six months rent, paid another 3k to solicitor and court fee and now in a very difficult financial situation, to pay our mortgage . He wants to avail more time to grab money till we arrange a bailiff . This man is neither a tenant nor he lives in the property but using the weakness in the law and interpreting the same for his greed . I strongly urge the Government to look into this and eliminate the part of middle man to save the landlords ( law abiding citizens and tax payers ) from this cruelty.

Mandy Thomson

11:46 AM, 17th February 2019
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mkahn at 13/02/2019 - 19:09
Sorry to hear about your trouble, Mkahn. However, I don't understand why your solicitor would serve s.8 and s.21 against a company tenant?

Mike

10:43 AM, 21st February 2019
About 2 months ago

Mkhan, you stated you have already got the possession order from the court, but chose to give the middle man an extra month, just don't give him any more time go for the Bailiffs and get them all out since you have already given him enough time to serve notice to his subtenants. If his subtenants bring an unlawful proceedings it would be against the middle man I believe, you have rightfully gained your possession order. All you need to do is to paste a Bailiffs Notice on the front door, all subtenants would know the door locks are going to be changed and they will need to get out before that, that is my strong belief, but i could be wrong so wait and see what others have to say on the legality of this.

Mkahn

12:27 PM, 21st February 2019
About 2 months ago

Thank you Mike for your advice. I went to the property and met the tenants.All of them have paid to Director of this coumpany six weeks deposit, which they are persuading but not getting any proper response from him. This middle man is using the flaws in the legislation by using the same law, which is applicable for tenants, not attending court hearings, not responding his tenants calls and messages , though he issued them one month notice to vacate the property but the tenants want their deposit back. It’s a kind of mess this man has created. I also need advice, whether to apply for Bailiff or wait for the notice period already served by the man.

Mandy Thomson

15:17 PM, 21st February 2019
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mkahn at 21/02/2019 - 12:27
If the subtenants have ASTs (which they will do if the property is there only or main home and their landlord - your tenant - doesn't still live there too) then one month's NTQ is unenforceable. He would have to serve section 21.

I would instruct the bailiffs - they are supposed to remove anyone and everyone who is at the property on the day, however, there is anecdotal evidence of bailiffs refusing to evict subtenants.

Whatever you do, do NOT try to serve notice on the subtenants yourself.

Mkahn

16:28 PM, 21st February 2019
About 2 months ago

Thank you so much Mandy. I think this is best option to apply for Bailiff through the solicitor. After this experience we are very concerned, how to trust the people.

johan Leplus

17:48 PM, 21st February 2019
About 2 months ago

Mikan,
if I understand this correctly (and I'm not sure I do), your problem hinges on your agreement with this middleman, and presumably, you have a legally enforcable contract with him. What does it say? Surely that is the crucial point?
To cut a long, complex problem short, why not talk to the tenants in the property and get them to pay their rent directly to you? Cut out the middleman and put the onus on him to seek redress in the courts. Ignore him like he has ignored you. I bet he does nothing and the tenants in the property (I guess) will be glad to stay in their homes and pay you directly. Start assured tenancy agreements with them.
You will probably lose the past few month's rent but better that than continue to lose money and incur more expense finding new tenants/new agent. Sometimes, it's better to bite the bullet and do what's most practical than continue fighting just because you feel a great sense of injustice.

Mandy Thomson

18:34 PM, 21st February 2019
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by johan Leplus at 21/02/2019 - 17:48
I would only recommend that if Mkahn references the tenants AND the head tenancy is brought to an end first.

If he treats these subtenants in any way as HIS tenants, he risks creating verbal ASTs with them AND having the reversion binding on him once the tenancy with his direct tenant is terminated. Better to keep them at arms length as tenants for now.

If he is forced to deal direct with the subtenants, he should serve them with a letter stating there is no direct tenancy between him and them and any money they pay him will be taken as occupation charges (or mesne profit), not rent.

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