LANDLORDS – You Were Warned!

LANDLORDS – You Were Warned!

18:50 PM, 21st November 2014, About 7 years ago 56

Text Size

On 30th October this year I wrote a blog entitled “Is your MP a landlords champion?” you can read it HERE

I asked all Property118 members to send a letter similar to mine to their MP and gave you a link to make it very easy to find your MP’s contact details using just your postcode.

Did you do so?

If not we could be in trouble!

Please see the latest from Shelter below.

Could this be the end of section 21 notices?

If it is, we can probably kiss goodbye to buy to let mortgages as we know them too.

My MP hasn’t even bothered to respond, he is known to support Shelter 🙁 I warned you




by Michael Barnes

22:57 PM, 24th November 2014, About 7 years ago

The "Tenancies (Reform) Bill " has now been published at, with explanatory notes at

S21 to be enforceable for 6 months only.

S21 cannot be served within 6 months of notification of defect to landlord or local authority,

S21 invalid if 'defect' has been notified to landlord or local authority before it is served.

S21 is valid if complaint is without merit or 'defect' caused by tenant.

Mostly it looks reasonable to me, except for

1. Section 4 seems to say "cannot serve S21 notice within 4 months of the start of the tenancy". This appears to mean that it is impossible to serve a S21 to get possession at the end of the fixed term.

2. Section 3 appears to be stating what the court of appeal has already determined is the position (s21 (4)(a) does not have to be at the end of a rental period).

3. Section 6 allows the format of S21 notice to be prescribed. This may (or may not) mean that we will have to choose the right form rather than a generic S21.

4. Section 7 I do not understand at all, even from the explanatory note. Can anyone explain it to me?

by Dr Rosalind Beck

8:57 AM, 25th November 2014, About 7 years ago

It seems like a lot will depend on what constitutes a 'defect.' We once had someone we were evicting try and slur the whole house - and Shelter or another housing organisation (I can't remember who) paid for a surveyor to survey the whole house - the document ran to pages and cost hundreds of pounds - only for him to conclude that there was nothing substantially wrong with the house. What a waste of public funds.
I suppose a biggy will be condensation/damp. All they have to do is not ventilate, cause mould to form and take some photos... So pre-tenancy inventories will become more vital than ever....
The whole premise is very illogical and unfair though. I can imagine housing organisations and the council advising all tenants to complain regularly as a form of protection against being evicted in the ensuing 6 months. What provision is there, most importantly, for when tenants are in arrears? None I presume. I wonder how this works for council housing and complaints about repairs not being done on them?

by Monty Bodkin

10:10 AM, 25th November 2014, About 7 years ago

This is wide open for abuse.

An amendment needs to be made requiring the tenant to have complied with key terms in the tenancy agreement.

At the very least, the rent should be up to date for this to be upheld as a section 21 defence.

How many so-called revenge evictions occur when the rent has been paid?

(A rhetorical question as no one actually knows how often this happens, all we have is a back of a fag packet guess at less than 2% of all tenancies)

by Ian Narbeth

10:36 AM, 25th November 2014, About 7 years ago

I will do a critique of the draft Bill but it is defective in so many ways. For example:
“relevant complaint”, in relation to a dwelling-house, means a complaint
(a)to a landlord in writing, or
(b)to a relevant local housing authority,
regarding the condition of the dwelling-house at the time of the

There is no requirement for the tenant to give any particulars of what is complained of, nor indeed for the landlord to be told a complaint has been made. All a tenant needs to do is to write to the "relevant housing authority" making a vague complaint about the "condition of the dwelling-house". Given the way councils operate landlords may not even be told there has been a complaint for several weeks. It may take the authority even longer to decide whether to take action. It will be a defence to the s21 proceedings for the tenant to point out in court that "the relevant local housing authority has not decided whether to inspect the dwelling-house or the common parts", assuming the HA can even tell the landlord at what stage they are in their deliberations. This means that inertia on the part of local authorities means that landlords cannot get the tenant out under s21. Supporters of the Bill will point out that if the court considers that the relevant complaint is "totally without merit" they can throw it out. What an extraordinary standard of proof for landlords to meet! On what evidence can the court decide this? The tenant shows photos of a damp patch or damage which are in fact caused by his own misuse. How can the court possibly say the claim is "totally without merit"?

What about the family who rent out their house temporarily and want to get it back for their own occupation? A manipulative tenant and an incompetent local authority could delay indefinitely getting the property back. Furthermore there is nothing to stop the tenant making numerous complaints, any one of which will be enough to halt the s21 application whilst the HA gets their act together and any one of which can ambush the landlord at court. The Bill also creates an incentive for HAs deliberately to act slowly in a misguided attempt to stop homeless tenants coming to them.

by Romain Garcin

10:57 AM, 25th November 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Anthony Wilson" at "22/11/2014 - 12:32":

" I think we should all be in support of their campaign against uncontrolled letting fees charged to tenants for example"

Surely, as principals and employers of the agents, landlords should and could do something about it if they wished without such political campaigns and calls for more regulation.

by Michael Barnes

15:30 PM, 25th November 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Monty Bodkin" at "25/11/2014 - 10:10":

The expectation is probably that you use a S8 notice if there is fault on the part of the tenant.

by Michael Barnes

15:58 PM, 25th November 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ian Narbeth" at "25/11/2014 - 10:36":

What about the family who rent out their house temporarily and want to get it back for their own occupation?

That is a mandatory S8 ground (provided the appropriate notice is in the tenancy agreement, and discretionary if there is no such notice).

I think that landlords have got used to using S21 as the default approach to getting a tenant out, but may now have to use the appropriate S8 ground if a relevant complaint has been made.

I'm sure that most of us agree that there are poor landlords out there who do kick out tenants who legitimately complain and also agree that such a practice should not be allowed. For those of us that provide decent housing, the proposals should have little effect: we can still use S21 as before (but will have to serve it at a different time, rather than 'keep one on file' from the start of the tenancy.

by Monty Bodkin

17:20 PM, 25th November 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Michael Barnes" at "25/11/2014 - 15:30":

It is common knowledge section 8 for rent arrears is not fit for purpose (unless undefended).

If this goes ahead without significant amendment, it will have a major effect on all landlords (except the criminal, who will ignore it anyway).

by Michael Barnes

20:14 PM, 25th November 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Monty Bodkin" at "25/11/2014 - 17:20":

Please could you explain what defence can be put up for a mandatory S8 ground?

by Monty Bodkin

21:12 PM, 25th November 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Michael Barnes" at "25/11/2014 - 20:14":

I suspect you are politely trying to lead me up the garden path and already know full well the answers to your question.

But here is a good starting point to understanding the failures of S8 (professional social landlords can't use the S21 accelerated procedure)-

Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?