Section 21 and Section 8 evictions interview with Buy Association

Discussion in 'Interviews' started by totallyproperty, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. totallyproperty

    totallyproperty Administrator Staff Member

    Property Forum recently spoke to Ben Ashcroft, Client Experience Manager at Buy Association, about Section 21 and Section 8 evictions.

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    Can you tell us what the difference is between a Section 21 and a Section 8 eviction notice (as they stand in law today)?

    In my understanding, Section 21 allows landlords to gain possession quickly without the requirement for a lengthy and timely court hearing. Usually a ‘no-fault’ eviction, even evictions with grounds like rental arrears and anti-social behaviour often use this route. Simply due to the shorter and simpler process.

    Section 8 allows a broader range of grounds for taking back possession of property. But it’s a much lengthier process that involves mandatory grounds for eviction, evidence, paperwork and court dates. Which can take over 22 weeks on average*, according to government research. Which is a huge amount of lost time and money.

    There are government plans to consult on legislation to abolish Section 21, can you explain what this might mean for landlords?

    Abolishing Section 21 is grabbing headlines, but the consultation does seem to be taking a broader look at allowing property owners to repossess their property. The UK Government have highlighted an intention to improve the current Section 8 rules and processes. Both in terms of expediting the court process and allowing property owners to regain their homes should they wish to sell it or move into it.

    However, there is a real risk that if these potential changes to section 8 are not communicated or effective. We could see more section 21 evictions, while landlords try to retain possession of their properties before any new laws come into effect. Something we’ve already seen off the back of other changes to government legislation. Which sadly means less homes for tenants.


    What are considered valid reasons for evicting tenants?

    Broadly, bad behaviour. We hear a lot about rogue landlords, but not as much about rogue tenants. Some tenants really abuse the property they are renting and can put the owners under a lot of duress. For Section 8 evictions there are few valid reasons...

    The more serious grounds such as tenants not paying rent, or paying rent repeatedly late. To serious damage to the property or furnishings, beyond the normal wear and tear. I’ve seen some truly terrible sights of the damage bad tenants can do.

    Then there are tenants with antisocial behavior, noise complaints, illegal activities. Providing false information to obtain the tenancy. Everything from manufacturing drugs to prostition can and has happened.

    Or simple breaches to the tenancy contract. Which are commonly things like having unauthorised animals or pets in the house, smoking indoors or subletting. Which with the short term lets craze is becoming increasingly more common (and illegal in places)

    There are also routes for mortgage providers to take possession of the property, in the case of the landlord failing to pay the mortgage. Or if they property requires development or repairs.

    All of which requiring evidence to prove the grounds are valid.

    There is also, as suggested in the announcement and I've already mentioned. Plans to add the right to take back possession of a property to move in or sell.


    How well-supported are landlords (legally) if they wanted to regain their current rental property from a tenant and move back into it as a residential home?

    This is something I don’t see mentioned much. Having been renting myself for over a decade in various places. I understand the challenges and frustrations of being a tenant.

    But there are challenges for property owners, especially accidental landlords. Which, according to the UK governments Landlord survey make up almost a third of landlords in England & Wales **. Who have originally bought their property to live in themselves. Before renting their properties out.

    A few of my colleagues are in this position and there is often occasions when owners need to sell a property or move back into it.


    With Section 21. It’s a relatively straight forward process as long as the owner serves the right notice and completes the right paperwork. A good property management company could handle most of this for them. Or they could handle directly themselves, with some legal advice. Either way time and costs would be involved.

    With section 8, in its current format, it's not a simple process. And I’d welcome any review of this by the government

    Some of the Landlord Associations like the RLA, can provide some great advice and are actively lobbying the government on these issues. So I’d recommend seeking assistance there.


    Please tell us a bit about your key services for landlords?

    At BuyAssociation, for over 14 years, we’ve been working with property investors and developers to bring together everything they need to maximise their returns.

    Offering first access to UK property investment in regional cities with potential for strong rental yields and growth. Buy-to-let developments in cities like Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool and other commuter locations with potential. Backed by our award-winning advice completely free of charge.

    If we can’t help you directly, we likely know someone who can.


    Sources

    *https://assets.publishing.service.g...rd_Possession_Statistics_Oct-Dec_18_Annex.pdf

    **https://assets.publishing.service.g...achment_data/file/775002/EPLS_main_report.pdf
     
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