Fewer landlords are using Section 21 notices to evict tenants, assessment of official data by the National Residential Landlords Association has revealed.
These are the ‘no fault’ eviction notices that landlords use to evict tenants often when they wish to sell a property or move back in themselves, and the tenant will not leave voluntarily.
This kind of eviction is under the spotlight – many housing groups including Shelter and Generation Rent want to see them banned, and the government has said they will be replaced when its rental reform bill goes through parliament next year.
But the government’s own data shows that the use of Section 21 notices plummeted by 55% over the past two years and, although this is in part due to the Covid evictions ban, it’s also part of a trend.
Section 21 cases dropped by 50% between 2015 and 2019 which can be explained, to a significant extent, by more and more landlords using Section 8 evictions which, although more expensive, can be faster than a Section 21 when notice periods are included.
“These figures dispel the myth, peddled by some, that landlords spend much of their time looking for ways to evict tenants for no reason,” says Ben Beadle (pictured), Chief Executive of the NRLA.
“Whilst we condemn any landlord who abuses the system, it is vital to remember that most tenants and landlords enjoy a good relationship.
“It is in that spirit that the Government should develop its plans for a system to replace Section 21 in its forthcoming White Paper on rental reform.”
The NRLA is calling for clear and comprehensive grounds upon which landlords can legitimately repossess properties including anti-social behaviour, and for the process in these cases to be speeded up.
At present, it can take an average of almost 59 weeks from a private landlord making a claim to repossess a property to it actually happening.
“The use of Section 21 accelerated applications has been declining every year for the past five years,” says evictions expert Paul Shamplina (pictured).
“As well as the pandemic, the measures within the Deregulation Act 2015 to prevent retaliatory evictions has played a part in lowering the use of Section 21 notices, as has the increasing use of selective licensing by local authorities.”