Half a dozen landlords gathered at our offices yesterday to discuss what’s keeping them up at night, and one thing rang loud and true from the meeting.

When LandlordZone yesterday gathered 13 landlords together in one room with a variety of portfolio sizes, just one key message rang out from the meeting.
Their clarion call was that banning Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions will be a car crash of significant proportions.

Many of the landlords had at least one horror story of a rent-defaulting or anti-social tenant who had taken them months to evict from a property, something banning Section 21 evictions will make worse, they claimed.
And yet the government is ploughing ahead with plans to redirect all AST evictions through the courts system and rely on a modified Section 8 notice procedure.
But although the meeting was told by Landlord Action Brand Ambassador Paul Shamplina that his discussions with Ministry of Housing officials were making headway and that modifications to the Section 8 notice plans had been agreed, the landlords felt civil servants were not listening on the key issue.
One landlord, who didn’t want to be named, said that unless the government pumped substantial funds into either the existing court system or the proposed replacement Housing Court, then abolishing the Section 21 evictions process would extremely problematic for him.
“Many tenants will either play the game in court to lengthen the period they can stay for free in a property, as some do already, or overworked courts will take months to hear cases, resulting in the same outcome,” he said.
Another landlord agreed, pointing out that one effect of the government’s evictions plans would be that landlords may have to begin bribing tenants to get them out.
Other issues occupying the minds of the landlords included the possibility of rent controls, the rise of Airbnb as an alternative to traditional rentals, the rapid spread of HMO and Selective Licensing controls, the issue of young offenders being housed by local authorities in private rented accommodation, the rise illegal sub-letters and the unfair demonising of landlords in the media. “Being a landlord can be quite a solitary business so I thought it would be a good idea to start these engagement groups to enable landlords to meet and talk with each other, discuss what’s worrying them, where the market’s going and update them on the latest regulatory developments,” says Shamplina.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Many of the landlords had at least one horror story of a rent-defaulting or anti-social tenant who had taken them months to evict from a property, something banning Section 21 evictions will make worse, they claimed.

    Ahh the poor things,
    Let’s rephrase
    Many Renters have at least one horror story of a landlord who’s not paid their deposit back, fixed what was asked, or not replaced broken items, or not addressed damp , health issues etc
    There is strife on both sides, it’s not all one sided , hopefully the government does act on section 21

    • Mike,

      I totally agree, there are issues on both sides, most definitely. But we have to make sure the court system will work sufficiently when possession hearings will be doubled.

      If landlords leave the market and want to sell their properties, it will create more evictions and homelessness.

  2. The car crash is also on the tenant’s side. I personally know of an HMO where every tenant is being handed a section 21, this tells me that the Landlord is most likely going to put the property up for sale. I’m a bit out of touch but market values were 10% more for vacant properties, so there is an incentive for evictions there. Having bought a tenanted property I had no prep costs, no referencing costs and was getting a yield from the property from day one. The HMO I mentioned is not an isolated case, as here in Hastings I know of two other HMO’s where the same thing has happened. So apart from making things more complicated for Landlords, it is also adding to the homelessness issues which government claims to be tackling. It’s a bit ironic that the Government is bringing in this ruling to give tenants more protection and at the same time in the run up, is increasing the amount of people becoming homeless. I work with homeless people, so I get to see both sides.

  3. What, with the change in the law regarding tenant fees, and now the probable abolition of section 21, it feels that it’s all about the tenant with no regard to the landlord.

  4. I find that saying ‘no pets’ or asking for a fee on top for pets is discrimination and should be stopped. We have cats and we are very, very clean.
    there are more dirtier people around than cats. Cats groom themselves constantly.

    • Robert,

      I think it’s important that landlords should definitely consider taking more tenants on with pets. It’s now been more challenging as the government have reduced the deposit cap to 5 weeks, but statistically a tenant will stay longer in a property if they have a pet.
      The government are really getting behind encouraging landlords to take tenants on with pets because they help with company and their well-being.

      • I am a pet lover for 40 yrs of pets and I absolutely disagree my property was wrecked with pet hairs and flees and urine smell had to have fumigation more than once.
        So no I would not take any pets anymore.
        And it’s hard with an HMO where tenants friends bring pets and the garden is spoilt. No one owns up to it.
        How do you police that ?

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