Section 21 abolition stinks!

by Readers Question

9:01 AM, 16th September 2019
About A year ago

Section 21 abolition stinks!

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Section 21 abolition stinks!

The following is not only absolutely true, so too are the photos.

As both a landlord and agent, every week are varying numbers of Gas Safety Checks that require their annual renewals and each week the engineer arrives at my offices to collect all the sets of keys to the relevant properties. It’s a system that seems to work just fine, until…

Last week I received a call from he plumber to tell me he could not complete the check (and therefore certificate) at a particular property because of a ‘problem’ with the bathroom. When I enquired, he said he could not describe it but would take photos and *show* me.

Aside from the missing bath panel and floor covering, it turns out he tenants had blocked the one and only bathroom toilet and rather than arranging its unblocking or contacting me, had decided, somewhat ‘creatively’ to go to the effort of obtaining a commode under which buckets lined with a plastic shopping bag would be placed as crude replacement facilities, with the intention of tying the plastic bags once full and disposing of them in the general household waste bin.

Whilst an unholy way to carry on, it *might* (just) have been a barely acceptable TEMPORARY solution, but the problem was mounting (literally) faster than they were bothered/able to get rid of it. By my nightmarish calculations (bearing in mind this is a mid-20s couple with no children), there must be weeks’ -if not months’- worth of human waste in that bathroom…worse still we’ve just come out of a hot summer and there is no apparent ‘pathway’ through the buckets to the sole bathing facilities!!

Whilst you’re trying not to heave at the viewing of these photos, do please also ignore the can of Vimto on the radiator…a ‘convenient’ beverage shelf within arms-reach, which you may need when taking care of business; and don’t forget (or rather do) the ‘HealthyFry’ being used as a weight to hold down the original, field toilet’s lid…who knows what’s trying to escape from there?!

On a serious note and based purely on the buckets (as I think the floor-covering and bath-panel might give me the ammo I needed), in a post-S.21 world, what grounds under a S.8 would this sort of thing fall if I decided I wanted rid? It’s most certainly antisocial -animalistic, even- but unless affecting anyone in the immediate vicinity, not so much a problem as far as a Judge would see. There’s not really any damage as such to speak of as smell would be considered temporary. This is a classic case, as far as I can see, of where a S.21 is absolutely required. MPs: take note!!

Do please share this article far and wide as it is a very real example of how certain members of the renting population behave. And even if it were only the odd one, there has to remain an effective remedy to situations like this.”


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Luke P

15:16 PM, 16th September 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Sue Twyford at 16/09/2019 - 14:18
I’m in Court every other week and at any one time have a dozen or so evictions at various stages, so I’m both no stranger to it nor put off by the process itself. I was using this other-worldly situation to highlight what LL’s at ‘the coalface’ have to deal with as well as point out it’s not particularly clear-cut how this could/would be dealt with in a post-S.21 world.

sheridan whiteside

15:22 PM, 16th September 2019
About A year ago

they've used supermarket "bags for life" though I suspect these wont be used again.Maybe they could be re classified as "bags for sh**e"

Tim Rogers

15:37 PM, 16th September 2019
About A year ago

I have no idea where a LL stands if he cannot get a gas safety inspection completed under such conditions.
Does the property become illegal to let?
Do you have to immediately stop letting the property?
How then do you remove the tenants within the law?
It has a definite feel of catch 22.
I agree that this scenario, in all it's detail, should be posted to all parties who pontificate about the PRS asking for their guidance as to how to act and remain within the law. Both as it is and how it will be unless common sense prevails.
Would environmental health be able to force a clean up?

Luke P

15:45 PM, 16th September 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Tim Rogers at 16/09/2019 - 15:37
The post-S.21 question was not specifically aimed at the scenario of not having a GSC, rather the LL wanting them gone because of the (by anyone's standards) horrendous way in which they live...because it's not -as far as I can tell- a specific issue/grounds for eviction under S.8. If the pooping in buckets isn't causing any damage to the property, it's not something I think is possible to evict for. Disgusting? Yes! But I don't think one can be anti-social in their own home if it is having no impact on the neighbours (assuming the smell is contained), but it makes for a strained relationship between the tenants and...well...everyone that comes into contact with them at/in the property.

15:47 PM, 16th September 2019
About A year ago

Rather than share this on the group I think you should be straight on the phone to your local private sector housing department and ask them to inspect the property immediately. Your tenants may be suffering from mental health issues and may need serious medical help and instead you are bleating about how bad this is for you!
I have found our local private sector housing department really helpful in these situations ( as a landlord of 30 years nothing shocks me anymore) and very supportive.

Luke P

15:58 PM, 16th September 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by at 16/09/2019 - 15:47
That's because it is bad for me.

Obviously this is not normal, but there are two of them living there. They should be able to and expected to support each other first and foremost (it is unlikely they are both affected by some mental illness). Secondly, they are, for the most part, perfectly ordinary and function just fine in seemingly every conceivable way. Not all weird and outrageous behaviour can be explained as an illness. They are simply scruffy buggers who are too thick to either know what to do or how to handle it. Where are their parents/family on a daily basis?

I am not equipped, nor inclined to take up the role of social worker and we should certainly stop making excuses for this sort of thing.


16:12 PM, 16th September 2019
About A year ago

Do pass this on to the newspapers and TV - Tenants From Hell.
The more examples of bad tenants that get into the press the better to show how awful they can be.

Rob Crawford

17:29 PM, 16th September 2019
About A year ago

In the dark old days a landlord would hire a gang of thugs to rid them of bad tenants. If landlords are stuck in a corner, I can see the return of this means of addressing problems such as this!

18:02 PM, 16th September 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 16/09/2019 - 15:58
And that is the kind of response and attitude that is getting landlords a really bad reputation.
Ultimately when we go into renting out property as an investment and hope to make returns we must also realise that investments also go down as well as up. Its not all plain sailing and most of the time its really hard work and most people have no realisation how difficult it is.
However bleating poor me on this group is not the way to address this as a professional landlord. This is exactly the same as moaning that your shares went down in value as if you expected them to always go up!
Deal with this in a professional and calm manner - yes its horrible and nasty to look at and you are placed in a difficult situation especially with a gas certificate that is about to expire which is why you need to get it on record as soon as possible.

Dr Rosalind Beck

18:09 PM, 16th September 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by at 16/09/2019 - 18:02
That's a very unsympathetic response. Presumably when you face difficulties you enjoy that kind of reaction from others - telling you you've made your bed etc. Luckily most of us are not like that and we are supportive - otherwise being a landlord would be completely intolerable given the issues we face and the additional war on us from the Government.

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