The myth that landlords can evict at a moment’s notice

by Readers Question

15:24 PM, 13th November 2019
About 7 months ago

The myth that landlords can evict at a moment’s notice

Make Text Bigger
The myth that landlords can evict at a moment’s notice

Some of the so-called housing charities like to say that tenants must be protected, that they have no security in the private rented sector, that they can be asked to leave at a moment’s notice, on a whim from the landlord. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Landlords must always give at least two months’ notice and usually only issue notice if the tenant has not paid the rent for some time and has accrued a large amount of arrears. This is the point at which the possession process begins. It then takes many months, with obstacles thrown in the landlord’s way, left, right and centre.

Below is a recent case, which illustrates how long it actually takes to get possession with Section 21. All the time that possession is denied the landlord, the landlord is pushed further and further into debt while the tenant lives rent free. What is clear is that Section 21 must not be abolished; it must be strengthened.

A recent case:

Sarah is a polite young lady, 26 years of age. She works as an administration assistant for an electronics company, quite well paid but she’ll never be a millionaire on her salary.

In mid-2016 she excitedly picked up the keys for her first property purchase, a Taylor Wimpey new-build apartment in a shiny new development in Newport.

Two years later Sarah and her boyfriend of 3 years Steve decide to take the next step on the property ladder and purchase a 3-bed home. They find a buyer for Sarah’s flat but at the last minute Sarah’s buyer has his mortgage offer withdrawn by his lender.

Sarah is told that the lease for the flat is toxic and the lender isn’t willing to take a chance on it, because of issues to do with the ground rent the lender could lose the money secured against the property.

Steve and Sarah have to decide whether to proceed with the purchase of their dream home. Money would be tight until another buyer is found. Convinced it won’t take long given the interest in the apartment, they press ahead. Unfortunately, however, each time they find a buyer for the apartment, it falls through for the same reason as the first time.

By this time Steve and Sarah are getting desperate for the money they need in order to refurbish their new home. They are living in a property with damp and no proper kitchen.

Sarah decides to look into renting out the apartment. However, she is told that as she took out a Help To Buy loan when she bought the property, she can’t rent it out. She therefore decides to get someone to rent it on a lodger agreement as these have no restrictions.

A lodger/tenant in his early 40s moves in on 21st January at a rent of £162pw, including bills and council tax.

On week 6 the tenant doesn’t pay the rent. Over the following month he makes a few more part payments and then stops paying completely. Around this time Sarah discovers that the tenant is on a suspended prison sentence for stealing money from a football club that was meant for an animal charity.

Sarah takes advice, as she relies on the rent to pay her own bills including the mortgage and the utilities that the tenant is benefiting from.

On 20th May, by which time the tenants owes a considerable amount of arrears, Sarah issues a Section 21 notice, with an expiry date of 22nd July.

The tenant does not vacate by 22nd July so court proceedings are started. The possession hearing takes place on 26th September. Due to a technicality over the serving of a S21 for a lodger agreement the hearing is adjourned.

The second possession hearing takes place on 15th October; possession is granted. The tenant must leave by 29th October.

The tenant does not leave by 29th October and informs Sarah that his council housing officer had instructed him to ‘sit tight’ and wait for a Bailiff’s warrant. An application is made on 30th October for a bailiff’s warrant.

The bailiff who covers the area has been away on compassionate leave and returns to the office to find around 30 cases waiting for his attention. He estimates he will not be able to enact the eviction any time before 12th December. By this point, the tenant will have ripped Sarah off the tune of around £3636, excluding eviction costs of around £1200. In what universe is this seen as a system favouring the landlord and not the tenant?

Other issues:

  1. Is it right that when someone is not paying the rent, they get to stay rent-free in a property, where the landlord is paying the mortgage and all the bills, for, in this case, 8 months? –
  2. How come councils and ‘charities’ are still instructing tenants to ‘sit tight’ and wait for a bailiff’s warrant, when this causes huge losses to private landlords?
  3. How can the Government even be contemplating getting rid of Section 21 – currently the least awful option for landlords – because it is seen as favouring the landlord?

I would welcome landlords adding their own examples in the comments section below, of how long it has taken them to get their property back, so that we can present this to Government. These will be real examples, and not the fantasy ones imagined by the likes of Shelter – who, indeed are often complicit in advocating for these rogue tenants so that they can rip off decent landlords for even longer.



Luke P

22:55 PM, 20th November 2019
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Disabled Tenant at 20/11/2019 - 21:07
The truth is, in this country, nobody is made to take responsibility for their actions. There’s always a safety net for bad tenants…particularly those with children. Perhaps if LLs cannot evict good tenants without reason (though sale or living in it has to be possible), then bad tenants should be evicted and either abandoned by the State for a period or put into a hostel…nothing less. But no, bleeding heart councils will use the kids as the reason to just move them on to somewhere new. Whilst not the child’s fault, perhaps children should be removed for neglect by the parent(s) failing to keep a roof over their head…one of their basic duties as a parent. But then child services are strapped for cash and you’ve got potential psychological impacts on the kids. We’re not tough enough, so tinker at the edges will continue to be the order of the day. Until LLs give up. There aren’t many new, younger LLs ‘coming through the ranks’, so there’s a greater and growing problem brewing.

Mick Roberts

7:04 AM, 21st November 2019
About 6 months ago

Here's my latest Section 21 only yesterday, where your mates daughter who you let move in 9 years ago with NO DEPOSIT to help her out, she then wants Section 21 to help her get a council house, this is how she leaves the house.
She now in Homeless hotel in Nottingham at £400 a week the Council paying for her.

Luke P

9:04 AM, 21st November 2019
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Disabled Tenant at 21/11/2019 - 08:39
See just one of hundreds (literally) of my tenant woes…

Mick Roberts

12:40 PM, 21st November 2019
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Disabled Tenant at 21/11/2019 - 08:39
Yes, not his fault. He disgusted in her.

She took oven out cause apparently we went halves.

She said put house up for sale about 4 months ago. Here it was then, reasonably nice.
This was the condition of the house 4 months before. Reasonably good. In fact one could say very nice from the photos.
And the girl says she's done nothing wrong.

No, she just an horrible ignorant bas___d.

U might have seen me in some porn films years ago. The big one.
Yes. they've used a few of my houses with my voices on the tv programmes.

Yes yours was shocking Luke. Tenants from Hell Bulwell. Tenants from Hell Bestwood Park Tenants from Hell Top Valley Nov 2010 Tenants from Hell May 12th 2010. Tenants from Hell May 10th 2010.

The rest are on

Luke P

22:53 PM, 21st November 2019
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Disabled Tenant at 21/11/2019 - 22:13
But what about in a post-s.21 world? And one where access is refused?

Appalled Landlord

2:29 AM, 22nd November 2019
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul Shears at 22/11/2019 - 00:45
No Paul, I accept you are a landlord because you joined Property 118 in 2013, a few months before I did.

Disabled Tenant popped up at 11.12 on 20 November and started by giving advice to landlords, presumably from Shelter’s manual

Having eased himself into Property 118 he started to post nonsensical propaganda the next day.

Do you think it likely that a tenant would move into a dilapidated property and start to look for tradesmen to refurbish it, and deduct their bills from the rent?

Ignoring the cost of materials, how many days’ skilled labour would your monthly rents cover?

You are clearly angry about what spivs have done in your street, in the overcrowded South East. But none of your examples, however exploitative, has anything to do with Section 21, which is what this thread is supposed to be about.

Mick Roberts

7:01 AM, 22nd November 2019
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Disabled Tenant at 21/11/2019 - 20:14
I din't notice the fence had moved. Till they did a bunk.

She din't ask.
And u can't take these people to small claims court. Chucking good money after bad.

It's not his fault.

Few months ago, I don't put me face on.

Mick Roberts

7:05 AM, 22nd November 2019
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 21/11/2019 - 20:48
I can't get away with 6 monthly inspections on my number of houses. Takes me 2 weeks just on inspections every 6 months. I could never go on holiday again.


22:19 PM, 2nd December 2019
About 6 months ago

Landlords are too often ripped of by tenants and the law seems to prevent them getting speedy redress. I have posted today where a sole tenant passed away. Without permission or authority the son has moved his family in and refused to communicate in any way. We will have many months wait before we can regain our property with both the cost of the legal procedure and lost rent. Things need to change to help landlords

john mcghee

11:32 AM, 7th December 2019
About 6 months ago

Why dont all of us landlords make all the tenants lodgers instead as it gives us a lot more power to do what is needed when it is needed.
Can anyone tell me if this is a possible fic for all of us , or is it illegal to do this ?????

1 3 4 5

Leave Comments

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

Forgotten your password?



Aldermore resumes physical BTL valuations in England

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