Section 21: What Does the Future Hold?
A new survey suggests that getting rid of Section 21 ‘no fault’ eviction notices would see landlords leaving the industry in large numbers.
The Landlord Action survey came up with some interesting findings around this subject. It outlined that:
- 73 per cent of landlords surveyed said they have had to serve a Section 21 notice, with 56 per cent using it because their tenant was in rent arrears;
- 10 per cent said they used a Section 21 because the tenants requested the landlord obtain a possession order;
- 5 per cent used a Section 21 to refurbish the property;
- 4.5 per cent used a Section 21 to sell the property;
- 2 per cent wanted to move back into the property;
- 0.6 per cent were ‘retaliation evictions’ – where a tenant had complained about disrepair.
The question over whether Section 21 offers landlords too much power is a debate which has risen its head in the wake of a government consultation into possible reforms within the private rental sector. This is not an area to be taken lightly as it currently offers landlords and mortgage providers the reassurance and flexibility to recover their asset should they need to.
These are important factors within the BTL lending chain, and ones which I hope the government take into consideration when evaluating Section 21. This is not an area which demands a radical overhaul. If decided upon, any potential changes need to be well thought out – not only for tenants but also for landlords and the BTL market in general – before any action is taken.