The scrapping of Section 21: landlord responses

by Dr Rosalind Beck

14:39 PM, 28th June 2019
About 4 months ago

The scrapping of Section 21: landlord responses

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The scrapping of Section 21: landlord responses

Given that the Government appears to be rushing to scrap Section 21s possibly before the end of this year (and notwithstanding any change Boris Johnson might make to this if he becomes and stays as Prime Minister for any length of time), how are you as a landlord responding? “Section 21 could be outlawed within months, says outgoing prime minister Theresa May”

Are you going to instigate some Section 21s now, to get rid of any ‘dodgy’ tenants you have – the ones in arrears, notably? We all know that getting rid of them later through Section 8 will cost us a lot more in missed rent, so why not sort it now?

Are you going to give notice to tenants who you feel are very – or too – settled in an area? You might prefer to have more transient tenants – rather than those who are likely to stay even after their children have grown up. This might make your property worth less as you will only ever be able to sell to another landlord – because of your ‘sitting tenants’ – restricting your potential market, which will cost you.

Are you going to give Section 21 notices to any difficult tenants in shared houses – the ones that others find it hard to live with – whether because of their smoking, their rudeness, their aggressive attitude, their awful friends and visitors – including for example, drug addicts – and so on? We all know that Section 8 isn’t fit for purpose for this as other tenants and neighbours are often too scared to corroborate the fact that the tenant is anti-social.

It would be interesting to hear your views in comments below on how you will respond. If for example, you hear the ban is coming in by January 2020, what will you do and when?



Comments

Anthony Endsor

15:15 PM, 28th June 2019
About 4 months ago

I have 2 houses, both with excellent long standing tenants who would stay in the properties for many more years to come and never cause me any trouble, pay the rent on time, etc. Sadly though now, they are about to be made homeless thanks to the total stupidity of this government, aided by the so called 'charity' Shelter. I cannot risk the possibility of needing to sell in the future and having to accept a lower price as I cannot evict the tenants. I need to do this as soon as possible, though I have tried to hang on for a while since the legislation was announced, I don't think I can afford to leave it much longer.

Dr Rosalind Beck

15:37 PM, 28th June 2019
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Anthony Endsor at 28/06/2019 - 15:15
They have mooted that we may be able to give notice to them if we want or need to sell. But can we trust them? They might leave this clause out at the last minute or it may be amended in the Lords and got rid of.

I think it is Generation Rent who are also pushing for us having to give a gift worth 3 months' rent to tenants in these circumstances - presumably regardless of our financial circumstances, regardless of how long the tenants have been there and/or whether they are better off than us or have been good or bad tenants.

It is now a case of landlord:bad; tenant:good.

Also, what would happen if we tried to sell and then realised the market wasn't that good, we simply changed our minds or our circumstances changed? No doubt there will be a huge fine or gift to the former tenants for that as well - again, presumably regardless of our financial circumstance and/or even if we had to sell while in negative equity.

It is clear that our rights to do what we want with what belongs to us are completely undermined with this proposal. I wonder what personal possessions or assets will be next under attack? What other businesses or occupations will be treated in this outrageous way? Once fundamental rights are trodden on, like those related to private property, then anything is game.

It would appear that the sky is the limit for the number of ways that they can get at us - just look at the huge fines already in place for non-malicious, innocent administrative errors.

David Price

16:04 PM, 28th June 2019
About 4 months ago

I am very tempted to give all my tenants a section 21 and convert pairs of my small studios into spacious one bedroom flats ready to sell to those eager first time buyers. I will certainly give my drug dealing tenants section 21's where I have not already done so but not before obtaining a CCJ for debt so that they will find it hard to get accommodation elsewhere.

MoodyMolls

16:28 PM, 28th June 2019
About 4 months ago

Before the Government started the attacks on us I use to house mostly families on lha long term. S24 I evicted most on benefits due to having to increase rents and still after this I might be bankrupted. So more LHA tenants in temp accommodation because I was one of the few who housed them.
The removal of S21 I would certainly look at removing the tenants struggling now where as before I tried to work with them. My properties were family homes some I am now converting to single lets .
I will also start selling off family homes.Big families creat more wear and tear.
The tenants cant bel the paperwork I now have to give them and are shocked when I explain S24 they cant get their heads
around it.
Shame on Government, Shelter, Generation rent and Karen Bucks you have attacked a sector who I would say most were doing a pretty good job and had good relationships with their tenants. Your aims to drive out BTL .
Mean while rogue tenants continue to trash and not pay the rent. Take no notice of the tenancy agreement rules.
By the government not stopping this you are giving them a green light to continue.
I agree its an extreme course governments are on and yes I can see them attacking other areas. Basically they intend to strip you of any wealth you have created .
Its stealth taxes all the way in the future we might as well give up work .
Generation rate, Shelter focus on London and think the rest of the country is like this.
Its not ,many landlords dont renew tenancies every year and put the rent up its an expensive operation.
They are running around like headless chickens chucking out regs and refuse to listen to the likely consequences.
They then praise themselves up, meanwhile the homeless bill continues to rocket.

James Fraser

18:28 PM, 28th June 2019
About 4 months ago

I have two families who have been with me more than a decade. They pay rent ok but the houses are terribly kept, by far and away the worst in the portfolio and nothing like the condition I handed them over in. I would be happy to keep these two on but with the homes fitness requirements, licensing, and the end of S21, I cannot risk keeping them on and getting blamed for how they live. S21 was a safety net that gave THEM security. If it’s going, then so are they, as I can’t afford to be stuck with them indefinitely.

Dr Rosalind Beck

19:38 PM, 28th June 2019
About 4 months ago

Student lets are also a complete can of worms. If anyone here has firsthand experience to report regarding what is actually happening in the live experiment that is the Scottish PRS that would be good.

In the absence of that information I am completely flummoxed regarding how it will work. At the moment in Cardiff, most student houses get let between about November and February for the following 1st of July. I also hear that foreign students reserve properties far in advance. This will no longer be possible as the incumbent tenants will have indefinite tenancies - so new ones cannot be created while they are there and haven't given notice.

So, the only way I can see things working is that everyone will have to wait until say the beginning of June and then, and only if, all current tenants give their written notice, will it be possible to line up new tenants. If one can't be bothered to give their notice or if one decides they'd like to stay over the summer, it will become farcical with under-occupied houses and drops in rental income and legal cases. Even if that does not happen, June will be ridiculously manic with months of usual lettings activity crammed into a few weeks.

Another scenario will be if students' courses finish early. My son's finished early April this year. The students could then give notice say early March (if they have to give one month's notice under the new regime) for early April. The landlord will then be left with an empty house until maybe September when students return.

The landlord won't be able to rent the house out short-term over the summer as what if those 'indefinite' tenants (the 'temporary' summer ones) don't leave come September or even just one of them doesn't?

These scenarios will be likely to destroy some portfolios - bad for landlords and also bad for students, as supply drops. Also, does the Government really want to see thousands of empty houses over the summer, during a housing shortage?

The only real solution will be for landlords to turn away from this market. Far from this helping tenants it will mean that second and third year students who by far prefer to live in traditional private rentals will have no choice but to rent in the hugely more expensive institutional blocks. This will put students even further into debt.

Landlords on the other hand will have to hope they can switch to professional shared lets. This may not be possible in some cases, so they may end up with empty houses for a long time, before they can sell, as many others may need to sell. A surge of properties on the market may cause a crash. Some will celebrate this; many - especially those who have bought in recent years - will not as they may be pushed into negative equity.

We also have to look at the effect of a housing crash on the wider economy. This could be more serious than the alleged potential impact of Brexit and it will be completely caused by the stupidity of the current Government through their ill-conceived intervention in a sector that they do not understand.

What a complete pig's ear. The Government does not realise that you mess with one part of an inter-connected system and it can bring the whole lot down.

Bill Williams

8:27 AM, 29th June 2019
About 4 months ago

I have a large family home, formerly our family home, let out to a family. Our tenants have been there for some 7 years and have been very demanding. Despite the property having a £20k refurb before they moved in, they have constantly demanded alterations and improvements to suit their personal requirements, ie retile bathrooms and kitchen to their personal taste. Alterations to the new kitchen, demanding new carpets 2 years into the tenancy, carpets were new etc. Eventually the bathroom was flooded? and considerable water damage caused in the bathroom, rooms below and the carpets, the first thing that happened was a request for permission to rip out the carpets please as they were smelling, before the assessors arrived. The tenants were interfering with contractors quoting for repairs and quotes received were to the tenant's specification, not like for like which I am insured for. This resulted in considerable delays when requotes for like for like were obtained. I have of course refused these demands and I think they now realise they have what they signed for, nothing more nothing less. I have been happy to live with this even with late rent payments, but with the removal of S21 on the horizon I can forsee problems arising again and will certainly be issuing an S21. Another family will be seeking a new home.

Monty Bodkin

9:05 AM, 29th June 2019
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Dr Rosalind Beck at 28/06/2019 - 19:38
One of the obvious consequences will be student landlords only taking on joint and severally liable tenants with home owning guarantors.

Luke P

9:21 AM, 29th June 2019
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Dr Rosalind Beck at 28/06/2019 - 19:38
Joint and several tenants/tenancies on student lets would allow one tenant to give notice for all. Any remaining tenants could be subject to mesne profits…not that that solves the problem of the new academic year’s entire household being blocked by one person (and the hassle of getting mesne profits from the guarantor as the student would no doubt have no assets).

Dr Rosalind Beck

10:01 AM, 29th June 2019
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 29/06/2019 - 09:21
Yes, Luke, it also doesn't solve the problem of them all giving an early notice leaving houses empty for up to 5 months over the summer. Great use of housing in a housing shortage. Great for the economy - where people will come from abroad to work, do Erasmus etc. and have nowhere to live whilst being surrounded by empty houses.

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