Too little too late for Section 21

by Readers Question

11:58 AM, 2nd May 2019
About 2 months ago

Too little too late for Section 21

Make Text Bigger
Too little too late for Section 21

I attended the Clive Emson Auction on 30th April, 2019. As one might have expected many irate Landlords wished to speak with me over their concerns about what they considered very poor and biased reporting by Richard Bilton who in the eyes of the landlords, at least, has ousted myself as Public Enemy Number One!

I am doing a Master Class at the Holiday Inn, Sittingbourne on 13th June, 2019 hosted by Family Homes to answer any questions on any subject, but I rather anticipate that the number one topic will be what to do about tenants who will not pay their rent and take advantage of the added protection now given by HM Government.

They refer to Rogue Tenants? But is there such an animal? Surely all tenants pay their rent on the dot and look after the house!

However, the reality is somewhat different!

I will be clear. The vast majority of tenants pay their rent on the dot! In my experience 90% of tenants. If they do not then they receive a polite letter telling them the truth which is there is a Rent Guarantee! I will not be out of pocket, but if they exceed 14 days in arrears the Rent Guarantee will not be renewed by the Insurance Company even is they pay the rent up to date!

If the tenants are on Housing Benefit then the landlord will not get a Rent Guarantee on the tenants to start with!

It would be unlawful to refuse to give a tenancy, because the person is on Benefits. However, agents put two and two together and believe they are being kind by saying look do you wish to throw your fees away because in order to get a Rent Guarantee you must have an annual income of 30 times the monthly rent! If you cannot achieve that then you will not receive a Rent Guarantee! Of course, shortly they will not need to pay for the application. but they still will not qualify!

In UNDERWRITING SPEAK if a person is claiming benefits then it is a Claim waiting to happen.

Is there a way around it for battered wives? An Agent meets the battered mum and assumes she will be benefits! It is a very accurate assumption but not a universal truth! I have had battered wives earning very good money and they received a tenancy.

For the others in less fortunate circumstances it is a matter I have turned my attention to. If the prospective battered wife tenant has two parents who would qualify for a Rent Guarantee then I do agree to rent the house to the parents who can then sublet with my blessing.

Many landlords wished to speak with me about plain awkward tenants who will not pay their rent, and expect to live in the house rent free! Well it is shutting the door after the horse has bolted! Why did the Landlord not anticipate this? Where is the DUE DILIGENCE? Why is there no Rent Guarantee?

My advice is something most landlords do not wish to hear! Bite the bullet and get out of it as cheaply as you can. Immediately issue a County Court Summons after 14 days. If the tenant pays up all good and well but if he does not enter Judgement and send it to the High Court Enforcement office in Swansea. Ask that they apply to the High Court Registry for a Writ of Control. It will cost £66.00

The Sheriff will attend and levy on the possessions and arrange for those possessions to be removed.

When you issue for arrears you should include in your pleadings Contractual Costs so that you get all your money back! The reality is you will not get it all back! So learn from the experience and do not make the same mistake again. Claim for the rent until the end of the fixed term! Normally six months? If it takes you over £5,000 consider capping the claim at £4.999.99. Look at the fees! Is it worth it?

So what has this got to do with Section 21? You will wish to serve the Section 21 ASAP depending on where you are in the tenancy.

My advice is deal with any problem immediately before it gets out of hand! You will lose money but cut your losses!

Why is everyone so uptight about Section 21 which I say is a very necessary evil!

It is simply there are insufficient houses to house everyone. We have the lowest level in unemployment for 44 years! A very welcome statistic! With it comes a workforce and a shortage of housing! Once the Private Sector Landlord (PSL) has let their single house for 4 years they go to sleep!

It is no good Richard Bilton coming along with his banjo playing the same old song! The house is let! Committed to for 6 months, but in reality for over 4 years! The Fixed Term is the minimum occupancy.

The PSL cannot be expected to terminate the tenancies of Working tenants to take those on Benefits! The suggested arithmetic is very clear. A limited number of houses so kick out those who are working for those on benefits! Not too well thought out by the Housing Minister?

If there were enough houses then no one would be getting upset about Section 21.

There are now insufficient landlords as so many are exiting the sector. Most are very annoyed with Richard Bilton alleging bias for not covering the issue in the Panorama.

I will ensure he receives an invitation for 13th June, 2019! Let us see if he turns up!

Fergus Wilson



Comments

wanda wang

15:05 PM, 3rd May 2019
About 2 months ago

Then why did you agree to make the programme and painted the bias view on the landlords ?

Michael Barnes

15:57 PM, 6th May 2019
About a month ago

If the prospective battered wife tenant has two parents who would qualify for a Rent Guarantee then I do agree to rent the house to the parents who can then sublet with my blessing.

Does that not prevent it being an AST?


Leave Comments

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

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

Birmingham's Urban Quarter and the Big City Masterplan

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More