Meeting MP about S21 Abolition – What’s the latest status?

by Readers Question

16:47 PM, 5th September 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Meeting MP about S21 Abolition – What’s the latest status?

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Meeting MP about S21 Abolition – What’s the latest status?

With the ‘B’xit’ word taking up everyone’s attention does anyone know the latest in regard to plans afoot to abolish Section 21?

I have a long pestered for a meeting with my MP tomorrow morning to discuss my issues with this from a Landlord perspective.

I clearly want to ‘guide’ him to get involved now, so he may want a few pointers and I would be grateful for help from Property118 readers regarding this to best effect.

Many thanks

Jennifer

Editors Note: We have a few article links below

Theresa May announces she will ban section 21

Section 21 is going, but let’s have a say on how it goes

The scrapping of Section 21: landlord responses

Section 21 ban risks hurting tenants

Scrapping Section 21 could have an even greater impact than Section 24



Comments

Dr Rosalind Beck

21:01 PM, 5th September 2019
About 2 weeks ago

McVey said she is going ahead with it. We thought that the new administration would rethink it but they are clearly following the populist path. McVey confirmed this in Parliament yesterday:

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2019-07-24.281625.h&s=landlords#g281625.r0

I have written an article about all the reasons it is so wrong. It has fallen on deaf ears. Rational argument counts for nothing these days.

https://www.conservativehome.com/localgovernment/2019/07/rosalind-beck-the-governments-war-on-landlords-will-only-make-the-housing-crisis-worse-for-the-lowest-paid.html

Rob Crawford

22:46 PM, 5th September 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Dr Rosalind Beck at 05/09/2019 - 21:01
Her response states quote, "on the 21st July we launched a 12 week consultation on the details of our proposals. The Government will collaborate with and listen to tenants, landlords and others in the sector to develop a more effective system that works for everybody. everybody". So the consultation is still running and has yet to be analysed. To say she is going ahead with it is jumping the gun a bit - even if we suspect this will be the result.

Dr Rosalind Beck

23:41 PM, 5th September 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Rob Crawford at 05/09/2019 - 22:46
It's not jumping the gun. She said:
'As part of this new deal, we will put an end to ‘no-fault’ evictions by repealing section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.'

Neil Patterson

8:56 AM, 6th September 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Just for Clarity this is Esther McVey's full answer on the 4th of Sept to a question posed by Chris Ruane Shadow Minister (Wales): To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effect of frequent house moves on the well-being of (a) adults and (b) children.

"Our consultation on Overcoming the barriers to longer tenancies sought views on the potential benefits of longer tenancies in the private rented sector. A number of people responded that increased security would improve tenants’ mental health and well-being. In particular, respondents mentioned that fewer house moves could help tenants have better access to local amenities, such as schools and GP clinics, and feel more integrated into their communities.

Earlier this year, the Government announced its commitment to improve security for renters, and intends to introduce a new, fairer deal for both tenants and landlords.

As part of this new deal, we will put an end to ‘no-fault’ evictions by repealing section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. Under the new framework, a tenant cannot be evicted from their home without good reason, providing tenants with more stability, and enabling them to put down roots and plan for the future."

On the 21st July we launched a 12 week consultation on the details of our proposals. The Government will collaborate with and listen to tenants, landlords and others in the sector to develop a more effective system that works for everybody."

However, in the current climate who knows if she is just repeating a statement by previous ministers, is on top of the brief or even economical with the facts!

Mike

9:44 AM, 6th September 2019
About 2 weeks ago

I am pulling out, simple as this, after current tenancies run out, all my properties will be sold at full market price or kept empty until such time as sales happen, but no new tenants.

reader

9:52 AM, 6th September 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Dear All,

Sadly rational has no part in politics. This is all popularist politics, there are more voting tenants than landlords.
Reasoning is not going to solve this issue, though the next housing crisis might. We just had to wait and watch.

paul robinson

13:30 PM, 6th September 2019
About 2 weeks ago

SECTION 21 Consultation – Info for all landlords and also specific Ministry of Housing feedback for HMO landlords using joint tenancies.

Warning Long post – but unfortunately necessary!

Copy of email extract at bottom of posting.

SCRAPPING SECTION 21 PROCESS AND CONTACT INFO.

I discussed with my MP and whilst he was supportive, I have not heard anything back from him.

I also phoned the ministry of housing (03034440000) and surprising someone did phone me back and following another email, they provide the below response.

They confirmed the process would be as follows:-

1) 12 week consultation
2) Info analyses and report written to government
3) Government would decide if to raise a bill
4) As primary legislation, would require a vote my MP’s in parliament.

Part of my own rental business deals with groups of young professionals on a joint tenancy, with fixed term tenancies and for a host of reasons provide great benefits to all parties, including providing safe, well priced quality accommodation allowing young professionals to save for their 1st house. The scrapping of section 21 will have a major negative effect on this market, as it will on the student market. We also have some single unit professional rentals and again sign fixed term tenancies (blocks), which all parties have always been happy with. But without the vehicle of section 21 allowing block tenancies it will have a negative effect, although not as great as the shared professional rentals.

I have express my grave concern that despite there being 1000’s of shared HMO rentals, clearly define by legislation and majority licenced, the consultation document does not recognise or even discuss the impact of scrapping section 21 on this rental demographic. The lady I spoke to at the ministry of housing in fact said “the consultation document is geared towards single unit occupancy” which if you consider is a major oversight and in my opinion a flawed consultation process!

As you can see in the reply email from the Ministry of Housing, they have suggested “exploring” revising the consultation documents – however with limited time left on the 12 weeks, again I feel that this is flawed.

I would recommend that all landlords:-

Email their MP and also the following parties:-

TenancyReform@communities.gov.uk
Eleanor.Millington@communities.gov.uk
john.healey.mp@parliament.uk
james.hall@parliament.uk

Copy in:-

john.stewart@rla.org.uk
Policy@landlords.org.uk

Also if you are a HMO landlord, especially if deal with groups on shared tenancies, I feel it’s vital that we ask for the Consultation Document to me revised to recognised this large rental market, plus extend the consultation period to allow enough time for landlords to respond.

REPLY FROM MINISTRY OF HOUSING

Thank you for your email regarding Government proposals to remove Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 and for taking the time to talk on the phone recently. Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to you.

Please see below responses to your queries, which I hope will be helpful to you.

These answers reflect the proposals as they currently stand in the consultation document, which we are asking for views on. The Government will consider the responses to the consultation and the information gained through stakeholder engagement to decide on the new framework, and so the final framework may be different once this process is complete.

• Following the proposed removal of S21, subject to the proposal of still being able to agree an initial fixed term tenancy – at what stage in that tenancy can the landlord and tenant discuss another fixed term tenancy?

There won’t be a fixed point in the contract when landlords and tenants can discuss a new fixed-term tenancy – you would be able to do this at any point and could continue to use the two-month mark if that works for you.

A landlord could continue to find a new tenant to take the place of the existing tenants and issue a new fixed-term tenancy, in the same way as occurs at the moment, if all tenants are willing and agree.

However, the changes proposed in the consultation document would require the landlord to use one of the existing grounds for eviction under Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988 to terminate the tenancy, if they wished to gain possession of the property.

The consultation asks for views on the existing Section 8 grounds, including whether they need to be improved. It sets out that the Government plans to introduce a new ground for when the landlord wishes to sell the property and explores amending grounds for moving into the property, rent arrears and anti-social behaviour.

• As I understand it, following proposed removal of S21, and after the initial fixed term tenancy, if it isn’t possible to agree a 2nd fixed term tenancy, then the tenancy will default to a rolling periodic. With 5 tenants on a joint and severally liable tenancy, will only 1 be required to give 28 days’ notice to bring that tenancy to a close, or would all 5 have to be in agreement to bring that rolling tenancy to a close?

You are correct that if a fixed term contract comes to an end, and a new one isn’t agreed, then the tenancy will automatically become a statutory periodic tenancy.

If a joint tenancy enters the statutory periodic phase, any one tenant can serve notice to terminate. It is only during a fixed-term tenancy that all tenants must agree to end the tenancy together. The proposals as they currently stand in the consultation document do not seek to change this.

• Can the Q&A support document be updated to encompass shared HMO (licenced in particular), ensuring that this large sector’s feedback can be encouraged to be gathered and also easily analysed on receipt?

We are exploring updating the document so to explain how the changes will interplay with joint tenancies, to help landlords understand how this will affect them, including landlords of HMOs.

Thank you for also sharing details about your business model with us, and your thoughts on the impact the proposed reforms would have. As we discussed on the phone, the consultation is seeking to gather such views, to help shape the future framework so that it works for all parties.

If you haven’t already, I would encourage you to respond formally to the consultation survey. This can be done online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/a-new-deal-for-renting-resetting-the-balance-of-rights-and-responsibilities-between-landlords-and-tenants.

If you have any follow-up queries please don’t hesitate to come back to me.

With thanks again for your time,

Dr Rosalind Beck

13:45 PM, 6th September 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by paul robinson at 06/09/2019 - 13:30
Hi Paul.
Since you seem to have the ear of the department, do you think you could also follow up by asking about the proposed porting over of the Section 21 'traps' to the new version of Section 8? This is the killer to my mind - as it could mean that if for example a gas safety certificate were issued one day after the tenancy began, and then the tenant stopped paying the rent, the landlord would have no right to ever evict and the tenant could stay forever rent-free and even if they were exhibiting further anti-social behaviour, while the landlord met all the costs. It would be very good if you could get an answer back regarding this as it would be absurd and outrageous if they did not take this type of scenario into account.

paul robinson

13:58 PM, 6th September 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Dr Rosalind Beck at 06/09/2019 - 13:45
Hi Rosalind, good point that is also a concern.
You’d be best to contact them direct (it’s also my last day of work then on hols ;-).

But the way I approach it was email the main email and then phoned them and asked to speak to someone that was dealing with the consultation and the lady then phoned me back, plus dug out my intila email from the main mailbox.
I have listed the lady that replied to me so maybe a better way to contact/discuss the question you have, rather than starting with the main contact email.

david Brinsden

15:39 PM, 6th September 2019
About 2 weeks ago

I am doing the same. Selling 3rd house this year & not taking on any new tenants. I am concentrating now on commercial properties.

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