NLA in Action - The fight to save section 21
One of the more interesting aspects of representing landlords is the variety of seemingly unrelated issues which are vitally important in the context of providing homes. However, this month’s focus has been about as close to single issue as the NLA is ever likely to get.
It will come as no surprise to most that the big issue stealing focus at the moment is the proposal to abolish Section 21 in England, removing the no-fault possession in England (the Welsh Government has made a similar pledge); as it has been removed in Scotland.
What will the abolition of Section 21 mean for landlords?
Theresa May’s announcement that her Government will consult on plans to remove no-fault possession in England was almost certainly designed as a shiny and short-term populist distraction from the on-going debacle that is Westminster’s handling of the UK’s exit from the European Union. However, the impact on landlords is going to be far from superficial or short-lived.
For the last few decades Section 21 has been the hedge that allows landlords to invest, and accept the uncertainty represented by a variety of groups of tenants. It has provided confidence and kept businesses going when faced with the potentially devastating costs of regaining vacant possession.
Anybody who has ever worked in the private rented sector knows the value of no-fault, against the backdrop of a Section 8 process with more flaws than a concrete tower-block, but the problem with a politically motivated decision is that it is usually immune to evidence or common-sense.
This is why we need to approach this problem from multiple angles.
What can landlords do to save section 21?
When the Government publishes their consultation, we need landlords to respond, detailing their extensive experience of what works, what doesn’t, and what will cause the most damage. We will be using local meetings, as well as online resources, to support members to draft their own submissions.
We expect this to be published in the next few weeks, but in the meantime please share relevant experiences, or insights with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ultimately, with an issue as central to landlords’ businesses as this, there is no need to wait for the Government’s timetable. We need the help of as many landlords as possible to demonstrate how strongly we feel about the abolition of Section 21.
Every NLA member should have recently received a postage-paid postcard with their summer edition of UK Landlord magazine. Alternatively, these will be handed out at local meetings and are available to complete online.
These postcards are an opportunity for landlords to speak directly to government, simple write your reason for supporting the NLA’s campaign to #savesection21 on the front of the card and post it back to us – we will do the rest by delivering them directly to 10 Downing Street.
How can landlords ensure their voice is heard?
Every completed postcard is a demonstration of support for Section 21 and against the Government’s plans. We need as many landlords to show their support for the campaign as possible, in order to show a united front before the government. That's why we're asking you to share this campaign with your local landlord businesses, and others in the landlord community.
You can also share this post with the hashtag #SaveSection21 to gain further support for the campaign.