Advising tenants to ignore Section 21 is harming landlords

Advising tenants to ignore Section 21 is harming landlords

According to the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks, advising tenants to ignore valid Section 21 Notices and waiting to be evicted by bailiffs is costing landlords dearly.

The Association draws attention to data recently released by the National Landlords Association which shows that 49% of tenants who received a Section 21 Notice said their local advice centre or local council had told them to ignore it.
The report suggests that councils and organisations like Citizen's Advice Bureau and Shelter actively encourage tenants to wait for bailiffs to evict them in order to qualify for social housing.

The NLA's report follows an investigation by the Telegraph which was kick-started after an anonymous poster on Mumsnet said their family was returning home from living abroad and their tenants were staying put after being advised by the council.
The poster said that the tenants' quest for 'homeless' status was subsequently leaving their family with nowhere to stay on their return to the UK.

The issue has been exacerbated in recent years due to increased demand for housing, combined with rapidly increasing rents and, according to the Telegraph, is most acute in London and Birmingham.

Patricia Barber, Chair of the AIIC, said: “We have been discussing the unfairness of this for years amongst our membership – it's very common practice and our members have to face this situation on an almost daily basis,”.

She says that it is deeply unfair that a landlord who serves a correct eviction notice – having potentially already lost several months' rent – is then faced with a tenant who refuses to move out.

The time between a Section 21 Notice being served and a subsequent visit from the bailiff can be several weeks, according to the AIIC, meaning that the landlord is still losing money.

There will then be additional costs for bailiffs, a locksmith and an inventory clerk – money which will be impossible to recoup, says Barber.

“From experience, a property vacated under these conditions will be left in a poor condition, often full of rubbish, including large items of furniture all of which need clearing,” she adds.

The property will usually require completely redecorating and cleaning and who will be paying for bringing the property back up to a lettable standard? The landlord.”

Barber questions the legality of this blatant discrimination against private landlords and says the advice given to their defaulting tenants will directly affect the landlord's bottom line and leave them with losses that they will struggle to recoup.

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  1. Solicitor2FlipperSolicitor2Flipper22 March 2016 22:42:28

    ...but even more worryingly, it is changing the face of communities. It has also happened to me, and strengthened my resolve to only let to the kind of tenant that would not aspire for social housing. I believe a lot of landlords are also moving out of the 'affordable' letting sector, and upgrades of c. £5k on a 2 bed flat will see this objective easily achieved. Private Landlords are often blamed for the 'social cleansing' of areas, but Local Authorities and government policies (e.g. the right to buy Housing Association property, which has resulted in a lot of HA stock being sold) are actually responsible for most of this unattractive new direction.

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  2. property guruproperty guru23 March 2016 09:41:01

    Can we all no see what our government is doing, Its pushed the debt across to the private sector. At the same time as the new UC systems start up the courts increased the costs for eviction, again this was the same time that ALL the charities and housing teams were instructed to ignore section 21 and notices. Think about it how much does our government save while debt are racked up in the private section for those who have been told not to leave as they will make themselves homeless thus no entitlement. So if a tenant leaves the government saves money as they don't have to re-home. The tenant ignores as instructed and sit in your property racking up debt and saving government HB rent, Private landlord has to take to court, more major delays, more savings, and oh the court cost have shot up, shelter stated that there is more arrears now than ever before, more evictions than ever before and just when the court costs double. Then the bailiff waiting list, again more time before you get you property back. Not to mention when you do get it back you have council tax straight away again same time. So if an eviction took 6 months and the government made more charges and saved more rent and HB. And all that debt is pushed onto the private sector. You and I who pay the government pay yet again. Not to mention the crazy changes revenge eviction, just a further delay and push towards the private sector. We don't run our own business to the ground the government does.

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  3. yusuf valiyusuf vali23 March 2016 09:58:32

    Great article - but one incorrect figure which was used was that it takes several weeks after section 21 to get a court order. After serving a section 21 notice, and then processing an accelerated possession order - it then takes several MONTHS to get the tenant out, NOT several weeks. Once a court order is granted you then have to wait for a court bailiff which can another month or 2 to arrange. As a general rule - the easiest thing is not to rent to council tenants

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