Section 21: new consultation, new government – now’s the time for action
The last few weeks have seen a flurry of activity in Westminster – from Theresa May’s Government making a final attempt at creating a legacy, to the appointment of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, and the almost-total shake up of the Cabinet, and of Government priorities.
One of the last actions of the May Government was publishing the consultation on the abolition of Section 21. The consultation will be open until 12 October 2019, and landlords are encouraged to respond directly, via the gov.uk website, by email or by post.
Now is the opportunity for landlords to make their voices heard.
So – what are the key points for landlords to know?
The Government proposes removing ASTs from the Housing Act.
There are a number of proposed changes to Section 8 grounds – but all are up for debate.
The Government wants to introduce some protections for tenants where a Section 8 is used, such as requiring prescribed information to be served, such as the How to Rent guide, gas safety certificate, deposit protection information and Energy Performance Certificate.
The consultation mentions court reforms – but doesn’t commit to the widescale reform needed to ensure possession cases are more consistent, quicker and less costly.
Action 1 – tell the Prime Minister what you think (by Monday!)
Thousands of landlords have already signed the NLA’s postcard to the Prime Minister to Save Section 21. We will be delivering the postcards to Number 10 next week so this is your last chance to make sure your name is included and explain why you think Section 21 shouldn’t be abolished.
You can still sign the postcard online – with the final day for signatures Monday 12 August.
Look out for details and photos of the delivery of your postcards to Downing Street on Wednesday via our social media channels and in your email inbox.
Action 2 – respond to the consultation
The NLA has produced guidance to support landlords in understanding the consultation document, the Government’s proposed changes and how you can put across your views effectively.
We have also answered some frequently asked questions about the consultation and what the proposed changes would mean for landlords.
Responses to the consultation must be received by the Government by Saturday 12 October. The document is lengthy – 75 pages – and it’s vital that individual landlords make their voices heard. Personal experiences and detail about the challenges which the proposals will pose for your business are essential to show the Government the impact the change would have.
We have produced this guide to help members navigate the consultation document, including an outline of the consultation and details about the issues which the Government is asking under each question.
Action 3 – lobby your MP
Your MP is your representative in Westminster, where the Section 21 proposals will be further scrutinised. If MPs don’t vote for the Government’s legislation it cannot become law – think Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
Therefore, it is important to contact your MP about your concerns regarding Section 21 and the court processes. Simply put, the more landlords an MP has contacting them on the same issue the more likely they are to do something about it – landlords can make an impact. MPs have a duty to represent their constituents. And, remember, above all, your MP wants your vote.
The NLA has produced a lobbying guide to support you to engage with your MP, including how to find out about your MP, the themes you can include in your correspondence, and the action you can ask them to take.
If you have any further questions about engaging with the consultation, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 7840 8938.