Majority of landlords 'have never used Section 21'

A large majority - 80% - of landlords have never used the Section 21 powers to perform a no-fault eviction, a study has found.

Related topics:  Landlords,  Eviction,  Section 21
Amy Loddington | Online Editor, Financial Reporter
11th April 2023
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Analysis of a survey of 271 landlords by property specialists Leaders Romans Group stated that the legislation is 'rarely overused' and 'even more rarely misused'.

The survey, which looked at landlords across estate agency brands Gibbs Gillespie, Hose Rhodes Dickson, Leaders, Moginie James, Portico, Romans and Scott Fraser, found that 80% of landlords have never used Section 21 and of those that did, the majority did so when the tenant was in breach of the lease - with just 3% doing so when they were not.

Despite this, the incoming Renters Reform Bill proposes to abolish Section 21 evictions, meaning a tenancy will only end if a tenant chooses it or if the landlord has valid grounds for posession.

On 15 February 2023, Baroness Scott of Bybrook said: “Ensuring a fair deal for renters remains a priority for this Government, and we will legislate in this Parliament to abolish Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions’.”

The proposal was seen as controversilal by landlords, with many believing repealing the legislation wouldn't be possible without changes to the legal system.

Allison Thompson, national lettings managing director at LRG commented:

“Leaders Romans Group, along with the majority of our landlords, is committed to raising standards. But while we are fully supportive of ‘professionalising’ the private rented sector, many of the proposed changes, including the repeal of Section 21, would pose new challenges to landlords which could penalise both landlords and tenants.

“It is important to bear in mind that private landlords are vital to meeting increased demand in the rental sector and that unnecessary measures which would result in an exodus of landlords from the market would be detrimental to rental affordability.

“We also believe that the Government should re-think its proposals surrounding assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs). It has been suggested that tenants should be permitted to serve notice of two months’ at any point. This would create considerable uncertainty for landlords, which is unwelcome in an already challenging market. There has been a request to amend this, so that two months’ notice is only permissible when the tenant had been in the property for at least four months. This compromise would provide some further security for landlords, while allowing flexibility for tenants.”

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