Abolition of Section 21 – stay of execution

The Government has pledged that section 21 ‘no fault’ repossessions will not be scrapped until improvements have been made to the way courts handle legitimate possession cases.

Eviction Notice image

The Government has pledged that section 21 ‘no fault’ repossessions will not be scrapped until improvements have been made to the way courts handle legitimate possession cases.

At present it takes an average of over half a year for the courts to process possession claims where landlords have good cause, such as tenant rent arrears or anti-social behaviour.

The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has long argued that without quicker court processes, responsible landlords would simply leave the market following the abolition of section 21, at a time when renters are already struggling to find a place to live.

Housing Select Committee

Responding to a report from the House of Commons Housing Select Committee ahead of MPs debating the Renters (Reform) Bill on Monday, the Government has confirmed that implementation of the new system for repossessing properties“will not take place until we judge sufficient progress has been made to improve the courts.” It continues: “That means we will not proceed with the abolition of section 21, until reforms to the justice system are in place.”

Alongside this, the Government has agreed with the NRLA’s call for a new ground to repossess properties to protect the yearly nature of the student housing market. By scrapping fixed term tenancies, the NRLA warned that neither landlords, nor students, would have any certainty that properties would be available to rent at the start of each academic year.

The Government has said it will “introduce a ground for possession that will facilitate the yearly cycle of short-term student tenancies” which “will enable new students to sign up to a property in advance, safe in the knowledge they will have somewhere to live the next year.”

Landlord reaction
Ben Beadle - NRLA - image
Ben Beadle, CEO, NRLA

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said: “Reform of the rental market will only work if it has the confidence of responsible landlords every bit as much as tenants. This is especially important given the rental housing supply crisis renters now face.

“Following extensive campaigning by the NRLA, we welcome the approach taken by ministers to ensure court improvements are made before section 21 ends. The Government is also right to protect the student housing market. However, more is needed to ensure student landlords are treated the same as providers of purpose-built student accommodation.

“We will continue to engage positively with all parties as the Bill progresses through Parliament.”


  1. David Pearse, DWP DWP

    I salute you, sir. This could not be put more clearly (possibly still too complex for the politicians though)

    The ‘reforms’ over the last few years have reduced the available stock in our area in southern England to the extent that we typically have 20-30 applicants for every property. All that ‘help’ for tenants has resulted in massive problems for anyone looking to rent a home where we are. The whole provision of rental properties is now a complete mess and from what we see no one has benefitted from the changes. Landlords & agents have all lost out, and bizarrely the tenants have suffered the most!!!

  2. Politicians of both parties never learn, so to help them:
    Rule 1: Private Landlords invest in property to seek a return on their investment, and many use rental income as part of their retirement pension.
    Rule 2: Private landlords are NOT Social landlords and it is not their responsibility to provide homes for tenants, that is the job of Housing Associations, Local Authorities or Housing Charities.
    Rule 3: The more restrictions you place on Landlords, the more unattractive, investing in private renting becomes
    Rule 4: Fewer private rental investors results in fewer homes available for tenants.
    Rule 5: Fewer homes to rent in times of increasing population growth results in increasing rents – Read up on Law of Supply and Demand.
    The above may be statements of “The Bleedin Obvious” to property professionals and landlords, it is however intended for politicians!
    In Wales, we have had a Marxist led, anti private landlord government for some time and we have been able to see first hand the real effects of a government policy which is fundamentally opposed to the very principle of private renting.
    The result? – Drastic shortages of homes to rent and rocketing rents.
    Large numbers of landlords have simply sold up, (me included) fearful of not only loosing control of their property, but to the distinct possibility of even more draconian legislation, including rental controls being introduced, which is the usual way socialism responds to rocketing rents.
    To conclude this “Idiot’s Guide to The Private Rental Sector” – for politicians:
    Whilst it may be your genuine intention to help tenants and use landlord bashing as an attractive vote catcher, the more success you will have in driving private landlords out of the market.
    Reducing supply of homes to let, combined with increasing demand inevtiably drives up rents and make it more dificult for tenants to afford, or even find a home, thereby hitting those very people you set out to help in the first place!

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