NLA – Save Section 21 postcard campaign

by Property118.com News Team

8:36 AM, 3rd May 2019
About 2 years ago

NLA – Save Section 21 postcard campaign

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NLA – Save Section 21 postcard campaign

The NLA have launched a postcard campaign against the banning of section 21 to tell the Prime Minister, Theresa May, what you think the repercussions of this decision are and will be.

“We are asking you to complete and return your postcard to us, explaining why you agree that Section 21 should not be abolished. We will hand deliver the postcards to Number 10, as a physical indication of the weight of opposition to this announcement.

Postcards are being shared via UK Landlord, membership communications, and at NLA meetings and events.

You can also sign up online here.”

#saveSection21


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Appalled Landlord

10:46 AM, 3rd May 2019
About 2 years ago

It is good to see someone resisting the alarming decision to repeal Section 21, which was brought about by pressure from ignorant disrupters in the organisation that calls itself Generation Rent.

Any landlord who does not want tenancies to become interminable should sign the NLA’s petition to Save Section 21.

The consultation was about whether to introduce a minimum length of 3 years for tenancies. Section 21 was not mentioned in the questions.
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/795448/Overcoming_the_Barriers_to_Longer_Tenancies_in_the_Private_Rented_Sector_-_government_response.pdf

Question 16 on page 35 asked what the minimum term should be. Only 83 tenants (22% of the 375 tenants who bothered to take part in the consultation) wanted no limit set.

Question 14 on page 33 was “ Do you think that a three-year tenancy with a six month break clause as described above is workable?” Respondents were also offered the opportunity to provide a comment in a free text box.

There were 2,088 replies, 377 of which came from tenants (18%).

Paragraph 140: “11% felt that the current system already meets the needs of the sector – although only ten tenants made this comment. Whilst respondents were not directly asked for their views on Section 21, a small number of respondents felt that the proposal would not go far enough to improve security of tenure (5%), and others, mostly tenants, advocated repealing the Section 21 eviction procedure (3%). Generation Rent stated that it is necessary to remove ‘no-fault’ evictions to improve the model’s viability and deliver improved security of tenure. They argued that the use of Section 21 undermines the Government’s intentions to rebalance the relationship between tenants and landlords”.

3% of 2,088 respondents is 63 who were mostly tenants. If they had all been tenants they would have represented only 17% of the tenants who replied.

Did MHCLG decide to repeal S 21 because 17% of tenants who replied? Or was it because Generation Rent stated that it is necessary to remove ‘no-fault’ evictions?

Appalled Landlord

10:58 AM, 3rd May 2019
About 2 years ago

You are welcome to copy and paste any or all of my message to the Prime Minister, which was:

“You have been misled. A Section 21 notice is merely the process by which a tenancy is ended, it is not a cause of homelessness. Shelter knows this, see https://m.england.shelter.org.uk/campaigns_/why_we_campaign/tackling_homelessness/What_causes_homelessness

Most Section 21 notices are issued because of rent arrears or anti-social behaviour. Homelessness only results if the tenant cannot obtain another tenancy. Shelter knows this as well, see https://england.shelter.org.uk/professional_resources/policy_and_research/policy_library/policy_library_folder/research_shut_out_households_at_put_at_risk_of_homelessness_by_the_housing_benefit_freeze

The UK rental market was squeezed almost to death in the 20th century by lifetime tenancies and rent control. A sitting tenant reduced the value of the property drastically. Here’s what a former Rent Officer has written:

“Section 21 notices were introduced by the Housing Act 1988.
It proved to be a ground-breaking piece of Conservative legislation, designed to improve the rights of landlords and stimulate the development of the modern private rented sector that we see today.
Importantly it gave landlords confidence to invest, simply because they knew they could get their properties back.
Before 1988 the picture was pretty miserable, with landlords unable to remove a tenant in occupation (a “sitting” tenant) and the controlled rent meant that the capital value would be typically half what it would be if the property could be sold with vacant possession.
Therefore, letting a property was a reluctant and risky choice.”
https://www.propertyindustryeye.com/opinion-abolishing-section-21-and-restoring-rent-controls-could-return-us-to-bad-old-days/ .

Landlords and tenants do not just have a contract, they have a relationship as well. If that relationship breaks down, with the tenant constantly paying late or being insolent, abusive, obstructive, refusing access or misusing the property for example, the landlord can evict the tenant in about 6 months using Section 21. Without Section 21 he will be stuck with the tenant for the latter’s lifetime, which might exceed his own, because making a landlord’s life a misery is not a ground for termination under the alternative procedure, Section 8.

Most landlords in the UK have only one rental property, or two. Do you think they are going to take the risk of being stuck with a tenant from hell? Would you?

Repealing Section 21 would turn the clock back to 1987. Landlords would sell up, reducing the supply of rental accommodation, thus forcing up rents. Even the precipitous announcement of its repeal, at the demand of the organisation calling itself Generation Rent (GR), will have made some landlords do this already.

Why does GR want to make them sell up? Because its middle-class members want prices in London to crash to a level they can afford. They supported George Osborne’s lunatic tax on mortgage interest because they knew it would drive landlords to sell up to avoid bankruptcy, at the expense of the poorest members of society who have been made homeless as rents have gone up.

GR seems to be writing MHCLG policy.”

Appalled Landlord

14:55 PM, 3rd May 2019
About 2 years ago

Section 21 does not cause homelessness, but its repeal will, because landlords will flee the market, and it is the poorest members of society who will suffer.

Even while welcoming the repeal announcement, Professor Whitehead of the London school of Economics wrote:
“What are the big problems? The two most obvious ones are that landlords will get more selective about the types of tenant they will accept, which could increase access problems, particularly for those on housing benefit. Some will simply be unprepared to risk a long-term involvement with poor tenants and will leave the sector or transfer into very short lets such as Airbnb.”
http://lselondonhousing.org/2019/04/no-fault-evictions-next-steps-and-foreseeable-problems/

Another economist, Ray Bourne, wrote about the proposed abolition of Section 21 in last Friday’s Telegraph
“One feature of post-1989 housing policy, including the birth of fixed-term “assured short-hold tenancies”, has been entry into the market of huge numbers of individual landlords owning a small number of properties.
Under the Government’s plan, they could get stuck with a difficult tenant, or locked out from accessing their own property.
The results of this policy are therefore obvious to anyone who understands basic economics. First, landlords will be far less likely to rent to tenants they consider high-risk. The incentive to engage in serious vetting, demanding extensive guarantees from tenants, will skyrocket.
Second, fewer landlords will remain in the sector and new, potential landlords will be less likely to consider it an attractive investment. All this reduced supply will, of course, raise rents further.”
https://www-telegraph-co-uk.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/04/26/no-fault-evictions-ban-epitomises-paucity-tory-economic-thinking/amp/?amp_js_v=0.1#referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.telegraph.co.uk%2Fbusiness%2F2019%2F04%2F26%2Fno-fault-evictions-ban-epitomises-paucity-tory-economic-thinking%2F

These are professional economists. They do not subscribe to Generation Rent’s crackpot claim that for each tenant evicted as landlords leave the PRS, another tenant becomes a first time buyer.https://www.property118.com/generation-rent-tries-hoodwink-policymakers/

Dan Wilson Craw's paper ends with “For policymakers this has important implications. Regulation such as greater security of tenure is designed to improve tenants’ lives by giving them much-needed stability, and the confidence to exercise their rights to fair treatment and safe accommodation. Such measures may well result in more landlords deciding to leave the market, causing the private rented sector to shrink and home ownership to rise. But there is no reason to think that in doing so they will make tenants financially worse off.”
https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/npto/pages/6563/attachments/original/1539456061/PRS_size_and_rents_Oct_2018.pdf?1539456061

With his mumbo-jumbo, Dan Wilson Craw does seem to have hoodwinked policymakers.

Appalled Landlord

16:59 PM, 3rd May 2019
About 2 years ago

Some lawyers think that a change in the law will be good for lawyers, but not for tenants:

“We note the aim of the government is to improve stability and certainty for tenants in the private rented sector. However, it seems that the section 21 process is not the cause of that uncertainty—it is only a symptom of the current housing market. As such, amending the process for evictions is unlikely to significantly improve the situation for tenants but may instead have a knock on impact on the availability of properties to rent and the rent that properties are available for.”

https://www.mishcon.com/news/banning-no-fault-evictions-in-englandwill-it-work

David Price

20:10 PM, 3rd May 2019
About 2 years ago

I have just served a section 21 on an elderly lady. She causes me no trouble, although she is a great problem to her neighbours, and pays her rent on time. So why am I being so nasty to her?

She has been found a place in sheltered accommodation but the alcohol in her refuses to go, so in conjunction with various organisations I am attempting to force the issue. She is obviously in great need for a bit of TLC which only sheltered accommodation could give to her, she is a danger to herself and her neighbours when she is drunk - a frequent occurrence. By issuing a section 21 I have started a process which will ultimately lead to a much better quality, and possibly quantity, of life for this individual. Soon she will be given the care which she so desperately needs but persistently rejects.

Without section 21 she would stay and probably die with me.

Just in case anyone is concerned whatever the outcome of her care plan I have no intention of forcibly evicting the lady.

Chris @ Possession Friend

7:59 AM, 4th May 2019
About 2 years ago

The apathy that Appalled Landlord describes with the low number of responses to surveys on PRS issues is a serious one that doesn’t help.
What I believe contributes to that is the high, circa 60% of Landlords that are single rental property owners.
Just makes the PRS an easier target.
I think the RLA’s step of calling on various Landlord associations to hold a joint ‘summit’ is brave and forward thinking step.
It could also do with including online forum representatives from the likes of Property118 and Property Tribes, as the topic will have more ‘reach’.
NLA’s initiative of the above petition is also helpful but I believe such an important topic as Possession - Section 21 Does need collaboration and should include experiences of all the Property Re-Possession /. Eviction companies ( big and small )

Appalled Landlord

12:51 PM, 4th May 2019
About 2 years ago

Shelter ran a parallel survey, which presumably attracted contributions from its supporters and its clientele of disgruntled tenants. Its involvement was described in paragraph 49 of the government’s response:

“Shelter ran a survey containing 14 questions which closely mirrored the questions we asked in the Government survey. This helped to increase the number of tenants who provided a response, so we can be sure we are understanding and reflecting the views of both tenants and landlords on this issue. We have included supplementary information from their questions where applicable within this document, and we have clearly stated when information has come from Shelter’s survey. A list of the questions in Shelter’s survey is available at Annex A.”

Both surveys asked how long a tenancy should be fixed for: 6 months, 12 months, 2 years, 3 years, 5 years, No limit set and Other.

The questions were posed differently:

MHCLG Q16: How long do you think an initial fixed term tenancy agreement should last (not considering any break clauses or notice periods)? Please explain

Shelter Q5: In an ideal world, how long would you like your rental agreement to last? Assume you can give notice at any time when you would like to leave. Please elaborate. 

Paragraph 153 of the government response to the consultation reads “Tenants preferred an initial tenancy length of three years or longer. 24% chose 3 years, 17% chose 5 years and 22% preferred no limit set – preferences which were supported by tenants who responded to the Shelter survey, where 23% selected 3 years (819 tenants), 27% picked 5 years (967 tenants) and 35% favoured no limit set (1,244 tenants).”
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/795448/Overcoming_the_Barriers_to_Longer_Tenancies_in_the_Private_Rented_Sector_-_government_response.pdf

Only 22% of tenants replying direct, and 35% of tenants replying via Shelter, preferred no limit set. This means that the overwhelming majority of tenants who took part in the surveys preferred not to have unlimited tenancies.

Also, 90% of landlords, 91% of letting agents, and 76% of “other” respondents also preferred not to have unlimited tenancies. In total, 86% of respondents to the MHCLG survey did not want unlimited tenancies. Brokenshire’s conclusion? Repeal section 21, create lifetime tenancies and, fingers crossed, we might get a few votes from renters.

Sean Graveney

13:09 PM, 4th May 2019
About 2 years ago

Well, judging by this thread so far all I can say is that I hope they are big postcards.

🙂

PJB

9:04 AM, 7th May 2019
About 2 years ago

A most worthy campaign. These are my contributions. Feel free to consider these in your contributions:

Dear Prime Minister, I agree with the NLA because:
"Abolishing Section 21 will put many tenants at risk. I, like many other landlords, have used Section 21 instead of Section 8 because many councils and housing associations will automatically regard any Section 8 evictee as having made themselves 'intentionally homeless' absolving council or association of any responsibility to re-house the evictee."

Dear Prime Minister, I agree with the NLA because:
"Law makers need to be reminded that when a tenant is evicted, another tenant is quickly installed. The effect on the overall level of homelessness is zero. Only an increase in available housing or a decrease in population numbers can lower homelessness."

Dear Prime Minister, I agree with the NLA because:
"Abolishing S.21 will allow students to continue their AST agreement(s) on a statutory periodic basis if they so chose. In the meantime, the next set of students that have signed up to legally occupy the property can no longer do so. I believe the landlord is still responsible to honour the AST agreement and must find suitable accommodation for these displaced students. It is a situation that puts the potential incoming students, letting agents and the landlord in deep trouble. The University itself could also get dragged in.
This is a major trip hazard."

Dear Prime Minister, I agree with the NLA because:
"Abolishing Section 21 will put intolerable pressure on the court system to hear and judge on additional Section 8 cases. A way forward is to expand the deposit dispute resolution service to include Section 8 grounds into a new housing court or tribunal service. It would operate alongside, be administered by and funded by the existing dispute resolution service. It powers would be similar. The infrastructure is already in place. Additionally, the service could host an email repository service to act as an email ‘notary’ aiding the courts when they need to rely on bona fide historic email communications between landlord and tenant."

Dear Prime Minister, I agree with the NLA because:
"Abolishing S.21 will mean reverting back to Section 8 which has shown itself unable to provide safe judgements in cases involving 'un-tenant like behaviour' which is usually clearly defined in the AST agreement. The courts need to be able to act on such definitions and be able to accept independently verified historic email communications provided by email repository servers operated and maintained by housing courts or local councils."

Dear Prime Minister, I agree with the NLA because:
"Abolishing Section 21 will leave tenancies where circumstances have changed with nowhere to go. For example, changes often occur to mental status, heath and infirmity, infants arriving, children departing, spousal changes, etc. In these cases, the tenancy is no longer a correct match or fit to the property they occupy. The tenant is clearly not at fault and such evictees are able, if appropriate, to enter into a local re-housing programme."


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