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Dramatic fall in use of ‘section 21’

Use of the ‘section 21’ route to eviction has plummeted over the last two years, the National Residential Landlords Association has reported.

The ‘no blame’ ground for eviction has been criticised by many tenant lobby groups and is likely to be amended or discarded in the Government’s promised rental reforms.

In the third quarter of this year, the number of cases brought to County Courts in England and Wales off the back of a Section 21 notice fell by 55 per cent compared to the same quarter in 2019, said NRLA. This fall is not merely as a result of the temporary ban on repossessions in response to COVID-19, it said.  

‘Even before the pandemic, between 2015 and 2019, the number of repossession cases brought after a landlord had served a Section 21 notice fell by 50 per cent’.

Government data shows that fewer than one in ten tenancies in England are ended because a landlord asks a tenant to leave, NRLA pointed out.

‘These figures dispel the myth, peddled by some, that landlords spend much of their time looking for ways to evict tenants for no reason’, said NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle.

‘Whilst we condemn any landlord who abuses the system, it is vital to remember that the vast majority of tenants and landlords enjoy a good relationship. It is in that spirit that the Government should develop its plans for a system to replace Section 21 in its forthcoming White Paper on rental reform’.

NRLA is calling for the new system to include clear and comprehensive grounds upon which landlords can legitimately repossess properties. ‘This will need to address some of the most difficult areas, especially ensuring swift action can be taken against anti-social tenants who cause misery for their neighbours and fellow tenants’.

  • NRLA has announced a new commercial partnership with landlord service provider Viewber. The collaboration means members will now be able to conduct online inspections of their properties.