21 Sections to go?

21 Sections to go?

As we head towards what is expected to be a very difficult Christmas period for many, new data has emerged showing that the number of potential ‘no fault’ evictions in England has jumped by 76% when compared with the same time period last year (between April and June).

A Section 21 Notice can be served by a landlord with no reason needing to be given for the eviction.
Whilst the government has pledged to get rid of Section 21 Notices in the near future, this will come as no consolation to the 33,750 households who told their respective councils that they were ‘threatened with homelessness’ which means they were likely to become homeless within 56 days.

When presented with a Section 21 Notice, tenants have two months to move out of the property.
In a cost of living crisis like the one we’re currently living through, this presents even more unexpected challenges than it would in a different context and under different conditions.

From a landlord’s perspective, a survey of the members of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) showed that most could see a way of operating without Section 21’s, as long as alternative legislation was brought in.

Contrary to what the media might say, landlords don’t want to see their tenants evicted for ‘no reason’, as having a good tenant in place is far better than having no tenant at all, but there are eventualities which require the use of Section 21’s, and so alternative arrangements would need to be brought in and be up to scratch. Otherwise, landlords could end up with their hands tied completely, as they were during the pandemic, when some saw their investments ruined by bad tenants with no intention of ever paying.

It’s important to distinguish between bad tenants who won’t pay and good tenants who can’t pay…
On the issue of vulnerability, something we’re always looking out for at #TeamCES, a government spokesperson said:

"This government is committed to abolishing Section 21 evictions, protecting 1.3m families with children from the risk of losing their homes, and have provided £316m this year to councils to help ensure no family is without a roof over their heads.”

It’s potentially good news for families and households in the medium term then, but it still leaves many in a very uncertain position ahead of this winter.

Section 21 Notices may be served an eviction of their own soon, but for many, it might not be soon enough.

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