The BBC has joined the ranks of landlord-bashing media by publishing a story that gives a distinctly one-sided view of an eviction, helping bolster Shelter and other organisations’ campaigns to ban Section 21 notices.

It quotes a tenant as saying she was in “panic mode” when given notice to quit via a Sectoin 21 and makes no mention that, under restored pre-Covid rules, tenants given notice via this route get two months’ notice, and are usually asked to move out informally beforehand.

Instead, the online article describes how Rachel, her partner and her adult daughter had lived in their rented home in east London since August 2019 but had struggled to pay rent during the pandemic.

It quotes her as saying: “I got an email to say she [the landlord] was serving us notice…I was quite upset, quite emotional, it was panic mode.”

Interestingly, the BBC story points to the latest quarterly evictions data from the Home Office highlighting how evictions are down compared to the same period in 2019.

Fewer notices

LandlordZONE has previously reported how fewer landlords are using Section 21 notices to evict tenants; according to recent government data, their use dropped by 55% over the past two years and by 50% between 2015 and 2019.

Despite this, the BBC quotes research from Shelter and only includes a short comment from the National Residential Landlords Association.

An NRLA spokesman tells LandlordZONE: “The NRLA is unable to comment on the specifics of the case reported by the BBC. However, whatever means a landlord uses to repossess a property it is vital that they follow due process. Where tenants feel this has not happened, they should raise their concerns with their local authority.”

LandlordZONE has approached the BBC for comment.

15 COMMENTS

  1. So typical of the one-sided view of the PRS. The woman says she ‘struggled to pay rent’ so we can assume a history of rent arrears. The PRS is not social housing and LLs are entitled to evict non-paying tenants.

    For all the pro tenant sentiment the only thing that Shelter & co have achieved so far is a deceasing supply of rentals & huge increases in rents.

    There are huge numbers of tenants who happily pay their rent & get on with their LLs who have been done a huge disservice by Shelter and co whilst the very renters they claim to represent are being priced out by Shelter’s actions.

  2. “I got an email to say she was serving us notice… I was quite upset, quite emotional, it was panic mode.”
    This shouldn’t really have been a surprise given the circumstances.

    “But after struggling financially during the Covid pandemic, her landlord told them they would have to leave.” They were clearly unable to afford the rent and it is not up to the landlord to continually offer them financial support.

    “Figures show a total of 9,410 court claims against tenants were made in the final quarter of 2021, compared with 9,676 in the same period in 2019.” So that’s less then which might indicate that landlords have been tolerant of, and shown empathy towards tenants who have struggled to pay their rent.

    “‘No fault’ eviction
    “We were shocked,” Rachel said. “The landlord had told us that the last tenant had been there eight years and that is what she wanted from the tenancy. Her vision matched ours in that respect.”” I’m sure it did but maybe the last tenant could pay the rent in full.

    “The eviction notice from her landlord was under Section 21 – a “no fault” eviction where no reason needs to be given for the decision.” This is to the tenant’s advantage. When S21 is abolished the landlord will have to give a reason and the reason in this case would be rent arrears which might well lead to the tenant having difficulty securing another tenancy.

    “During the pandemic, Rachel had agreed an adjusted payment plan with her landlord to help meet the rent while her partner was furloughed.” Clearly the landlord has been supportive of the tenant. I would guess that the tenant can no longer afford the rent.

    “But the approaching eviction now meant trying to save a second deposit while still paying rent, a situation that led to her falling into arrears.” She has at least £1505 in savings as she can afford to stay in the travel lodge.

    “”I can’t move into another property without a deposit and [the landlord] has that deposit, so I’m not actually in the same place as I was when I moved in. There was a lot of panic.”” The landlord must have been panicking too as they are not getting the rent in full.

    “When she first spoke to the BBC, they were facing eviction within a matter of days – and still did not know where they were going to live.” Does this mean that the bailiffs were coming, or just that the S21 ended?

    “The government created a £65m Rent Arrears Fund to support struggling renters in October 2021.
    But there have been hold-ups in getting the money to tenants, according to information from councils obtained by The Sun.” Let’s hope Shelter et al are going to get onto this.

    “The National Residential Landlords Association told the BBC that “the best way to sustain tenancies is to ensure tenants have the funds they need to pay their rents”.” and that they use that money to pay the rent.

    Whilst I do feel very sorry for people who can’t afford their rent it’s not up to a private landlord to offer them financial support. It seems the landlord in this case has tried to help the tenant but that in the end the tenancy is going to fail.

    • Spot on.. I would also add:

      “She said it was within her rights not to give a reason why. She wanted to rethink being a landlord… it was pretty vague in that respect,” Rachel said. Sounds like the landlord is fed up of being the villain, after helping the tenant out during the pandemic, the constant media attacks and extra regulations, additional taxation, calls or more taxation.. Doesn’t sound vague to me, sounds like a lot of other landlords, she is fed up and wants to leave the PRS..

  3. I have lodged a complaint with the BBC over this, and suggest everyone else does too. Unless we point out the injustice of such biased articles, then they will inevitably continue (probably even with our complaints).

    I had to laugh when the BBC screamed blue murder over the license fee being de-criminalised, yet rent arrears are a civil matter.

    It makes me laugh how we cannot ‘not’ pay our license fee despite not wanting anything to do with the BBC, and yet in regards to property, people always have the freedom of movement, if they don’t like their landlord, rent is too much, or for any other reason, they can move on.

    Just shows how awful the BBC is, the sooner the license fee is removed the better, at least people will be given the freedom of choice. I for one will not be subscribing to their biased and awful service. Vile organisation.

  4. So if Rachel went to Tesco’s and walked out with a months worth of shopping in her trolley without paying the BBC would vilify Tesco for having her up for shoplifting. Of course they wouldn’t, so what’s the difference between a tenant not paying rent. The BBC is a nasty left wing run organisation. The sooner it’s defunded the better.

  5. S21 has to be issued.
    If just a 2 month NTQ not using the prescribed S21 notice then if the tenant fails to vacate then a LL would need to issue a S21 or a S8.

    It is obvious why LL issue S21 as it is part of the repossession process.

    A 2 month S21 notice MUST have been served before a PO is applied for if not using S8.

    That is why LL use S21.

    LL are using this to exit the PRS or to exit AST.

    Many LL are converting to
    AIrBnB
    FHL
    SA
    Consequently tenants need to be removed.
    S21 is the start of that removal process.

    Fortunately I am escaping the PRS.
    All my properties have been sold to owner occupiers.

    So that is 4 properties lost to the PRS and 16 homeless occupants.

    Though 3 have sourced 2 rental flats in the same block as mine.
    Two have found other rental accommodation which is costing them £400pcm inclusive more than I was charging inclusive.

    My buyers AREN’T former tenants.

    The vile propaganda spewed out by the vile BBC is outrageous.

    The BBC should definitely be defunded.

    Force the BBC to fund itself from advertising.

    The BBC advertises for many minutes it’s own programmes.

    Advertising is THE way to fund itself.

    Advertisers will flock to the BBC to pay for advert slots.

    The harsh world of commercial reality should be imposed on the evil lefty wokeist BBC.

    We cannot allow the BBC any longer to spew it’s vile propanganda.

    I still haven’t forgotten that BBC reporter stating that S24 was removing ‘generous tax relief’ from LL that every other small business availed themselves of.

    Evil BBC!!
    On a par with RT!!

  6. This is just one reason I refuse to fund the BBC & choose not to have a TV license. I’ve not missed using BBC or live TV one bit for the last 5 or 6 years. So much is available to stream that I’m never short of content to watch. No need for the TV license imho.

  7. Dear NRLA, you’ve been asked for a statement, you don’t probably feel this documentary is ‘fair’, so with your contacts get a documentary highlighting the PRS! Place it on social media, tackle shelter head in, make the government/ Gove understand the implications of EPC,S21….

    • Agreed, stop preaching to the converted (we are LLs, we deal with tenants everyday) The NRLA needs to start making some noise and be more forceful in representing LLs and the PRS.

    • Fully agree. The NRLA seems more concerned about promoting all their partners and associated services (insurance, inventory services, mediation, DIY rebate cards…) than truly defending us. More and more disappointed by their apathy

  8. NRLA are pretty weak in addressing the one sided pro shelter propaganda. Looks like NRLA doing their own PR in house. Probably time to engage a proper PR agency that can get a more balanced view into the media. so far NRLA have been ineffective at doing this. What’s the point of them if they can’t even get some pro PRS articles into the mainstream media. As someone who worked in marketing, I worked with external PR agencies and they are always more effective than in house PR. Come on NRLA, step up your game, we are getting slaughtered here.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here