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Monday 29th April 2019

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Total Number of Property118 Comments: 2


11:48 AM, 30th April 2019
About A year ago

S21 ban: Should straightforward possession cases be decided out of court?

Reply to the comment left by Lindsay Keith at 30/04/2019 - 09:34
Very good thought. I will certainly be looking how I can achieve something like this. However I suspect that no issuing of notices will be allowed in the first 6 months to protect the tenant from be coerced into an end date and effectively bypassing the indefinite term that the tenant will be entitled to. The term controlled by the tenant with the landlord having no say! This is a nightmare for the student market.

My other conclusion is that if control of the tenancy term is removed from the landlord and the student can willy-nilly issue a termination any time then this will lead to voids. What will be my response? Increase the rent to cover the costs.... Read More


15:41 PM, 29th April 2019
About A year ago

S21 ban: Should straightforward possession cases be decided out of court?

Thank you Mandy for this excellent article.

My wife and I, who are accredited landlords with the NLA and licensed by Rent Smart Wales, specialise in providing HMO accommodation for students.

I want to emphasize how removal of Section 21 would cause us problems. As you say there can be legitimate unconflicted reasons to issue Section 21 notices and students are a good example.

We rent out to students on a fixed 12 months' term, eg from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020, and before 30 April each year, giving at least 2 months' notice, we issue Section 21 notices to terminate the tenancies on 30 June and prevent them automatically rolling over into statutory periodic tenancies. Why is this important? To make sure that the existing student leaves on 30 June and frees up the room for the new incoming student on 1 July. Issuing the section 21 is unconflicted because we, as landlords, want the student to leave, and the students also want to leave (to graduate, change house, go to different university, go home etc) and not have the obligation to continue to pay rent into a statutory periodic period. Of course, the students don't understand Section 21 notices - realistically why should they - and they think that they've only signed up for 12 months and no more. As caring landlords we try to guide the students through these processes and look after their best interests if we can.

Timing is everything in the student market, and so in the January to March period each year we are signing up new students for 12 months' term starting on 1 July. During this period we complete all of our start up tenancy processes - eg parent guarantors, taking holding fees & deposits and signing ASTs, etc - knowing with certainty that the existing tenancies can be terminated on 30 June via Section 21 notices. In short we have certainty that the existing student leaves as they had planned, and the new student arrives the following day as they also planned.

Roll forward into the brave new world of without Section 21. We sign up new students Jan to March, and come 1 July new student arrives, often from abroad and in the UK for the first time, and the existing student in the house decides at the last minute to stay on over the summer. New student arrives at midnight from abroad, often by coach from a distant cheap flight airport, and has no room and the existing student stays in the room until end of Sept effectively blocking the main academic arrival period July - Sept. And we as landlords can do nothing timely about this - issue section 8? On what grounds? No forget it - this doesn't work.

Ah you might say 2 months before the end of the fixed tenancy you ask the student to issue notice of termination. Even if we create all the paperwork and the means to deliver back to us, experience tells us that 40% of students will immediately oblige; 40% will oblige after a lot of time (over several months) and effort to persuade them; and 20% won't be bothered following the least path of resistance of doing nothing. Contrast with issuing Section 21 - we issue these notices, keep proof of delivery and we don't need their explicit consent or approval - which perversely students like because they don't need to do anything. And why should they have to worry about this?

And so for the student market specific provision needs to be made for these unconflicted legitimate terminations. Are politicians really interested in looking past the headlines of removing Section 21 to stop rogue landlords? No because it's not a vote winner.... Read More