The number of landlords using Section 21 notices to evict tenants is currently on the rise, with eviction specialist Landlord Action claiming that the total reached 34,080 last year, an all time high since 1991 when the procedure was developed.
The number of claims was up 20,000 year on year, a figure attributed to a need to vacate a property swiftly for financial reasons as opposed to waiting during the lengthy Section 8 procedure. Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action, suggested some reasons for the Section 21 cases. They include deposits not being protected, incorrect information on the notice and tenants asking for a 42 day possession order due to mitigating circumstances.
Another concerning factor which encourages Section 21 notices was said to be the behaviour of councils. Many encourage tenants to refuse to vacate the property due to the nationwide social housing shortage. This means that many councils refuse to aid the tenant before an eviction date is set, meaning that tenants are unlikely to leave a property of their own accord as they would effectively render themselves homeless.
Shamplina said: ‘Of course, with tenants experiencing cuts to their Local Housing Allowance (LHA) benefit, many landlords are also keen to re-gain possession so that they can re-let their property at a higher rate to private tenants, because demand is so great, especially in the south of England. This is contributing to the shortage of available housing for LHA tenants. We have many cases where there are quite significant rent arrears, but landlords are writing it off just to get vacant possession, as they know there is little chance of recovery.’