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Section 21 research: Join the fight for fairer repossessions

Section 21 research: Join the fight for fairer repossessions

Axing Section 21 repossessions will see some landlords leave the sector while others will refuse to rent to those who are not in work.
The RLA’s largest ever research project saw almost 6,400 of you share your thoughts on the controversial government announcement that Section 21 is to go. Thank you to all those who took the survey.
This research refutes common claims tenants are routinely evicted for ‘no reason’ and the RLA believes it is the poor and vulnerable that will lose out as a result of the changes.
It has found that of the landlords that had used Section 21:

  • 84% had used it because their tenant hadn’t been paying rent
  • 56% had used it because of damage to property
  • 51% had used it because of anti-social behaviour
  • 26% said that they had served a Section 21 notice at the tenants’ request – to enable them to seek social housing to avoid them being classed as intentionally homeless

A huge 84% of landlords said they will be ‘more selective’ in who they rent to if the government goes ahead with its plan, over fears they would not be able to swiftly regain possession if and when there were problems.
The RLA has warned this means landlords will be less likely to rent to those considered to be of higher risk of rent arrears or causing damage to a property.
These groups include tenants claiming benefits and tenants with pets.
At present, landlords can repossess properties using two routes, Section 21 and Section 8.

  • Section 21 allows a landlord to repossess at the end of a tenancy and requires two months’ notice to be given but without providing a reason.
  • Section 8 allows a landlord to repossess under a number of set ‘grounds’ including rent arrears and anti-social behaviour.

One of the issues is the Section 8 process can take a long time – a period of time in which a problem tenant may refuse to pay rent or could be causing a nuisance to other tenants or neighbours.
It currently takes an average of over five months from a landlord applying to court for a property to be returned to them and many landlords responding to the survey said they were dissatisfied with the courts, citing numerous delays and problems.
The government now plans to consult on proposals to scrap Section 21 repossessions in favour of an as of yet undefined system – with the consultation yet to go live.

Section 21 consultation still open!

Section 21 consultation still open!

Our survey collecting landlords’ views in response to recent government announcements on Section 21 reforms is still live.  Almost 5,000 landlords have given their views so why not join them?  

To those who have already completed our Section 21 consultation survey, “Thank you”.

If you haven’t, there’s still time – this consultation may well be the largest landlord consultation exercise in our history, so please don’t miss out.  

A quick reminder – on 15 April the Government announced its intention to scrap the Section 21 possession process – so-called “no-fault” evictions.

It outlined plans to consult on:  

  • Putting an end to what the Government call ‘no-fault’ evictions by repealing Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.
  • Strengthening the Section 8 possession process, so property owners are able to regain their home should they wish to sell it or move into it.
  • Building a consensus on a package of reforms to improve security for tenants while providing landlords with the confidence that they have the tools they need.

We have put together a short survey – which we urge you to complete

This will be one of the biggest changes in private renting for a generation – it is vital your experience and opinions help shape these reforms.

Thank you for your continued support and valued input.


Royal Leamington Spa Buy To Let Annual  Returns Hit 13.02% in Last 10 Years

Royal Leamington Spa Buy To Let Annual Returns Hit 13.02% in Last 10 Years

Many Royal Leamington Spa people ponder the best places to invest their hard-earned savings and the best piece of advice I can give you is to do your homework and speak to lots of people. It depends on your attitude to risk versus reward. Normally, the lower the risk, the lower the reward whilst a higher risk is normally associated with the possibility of higher returns, yet nothing is guaranteed. At the same time, higher risk also means higher possible losses on your investment – yet if one looks at the bigger picture, the biggest threat to investing, predominantly when the investment is made in the short term, isn’t risk but actually volatility.

So where should you invest? The building society, the stock market, gold or property are options. This article isn’t designed to give you advice – just show you how different investments have performed over the last decade.

Let me start with the humble semi-detached house in Royal Leamington Spa … which in 2009 was worth £208,300 … so assuming I bought that property for that figure, then I looked at what if I had invested the same amount of money in a building society, into gold and finally the stock market…

Putting your money into the stock market (FTSE100) would have brought a return of 30.2% on your capital over those 10 years and an average of 3.79% a year in dividends (making an overall increase of 74%).

Gold doesn’t earn interest – yet it has increased in value by 26.9% over the same 10 years whilst putting your money in the building society, the money hasn’t increased in value, but would have earned you interest of 24.46% or the equivalent of 2.21% per year.

Investing in an average semi-detached house in Royal Leamington Spa over the last 10 years has seen the capital increase by 56% (an equivalent of 4.55% per annum) and the income (i.e. the rent) has provided a return, based on the original purchase price, of 125.49% or the annual equivalent of 8.47% … meaning the overall return, based on the original purchase price of an average semi-detached property in Royal Leamington Spa, is 13.02% per annum.

Notwithstanding No.11 Downing Street’s grab at the profits of buy to let landlords by hitting the buy to let sector with several fiscal punishments with a 3% stamp duty level, a decrease in high rate tax relief for landlords and an increase in rate of CGT on residential property profits, the facts remain that ‘bricks and mortar’ is still one of the preeminent and most constant investments available.

The bottom line is, the buy to let investment remains the mainstay of the British property market, serving to support aspiring homeowners as they work to conquer the, sometimes difficult, financial obstacles of home ownership. With Central Government over the last 30 years only paying lip service to address the lack of new homes being built or tackling the affordability on a consequential scale, it is highly probable this will continue for the next 5/10/15 years as there will always be a call for a respectable, and above all, honest buy to let landlords delivering decent housing to those that need it.

Tax rises hitting tenants in rented housing

Tax rises hitting tenants in rented housing

TENANTS in private rented housing are bearing the brunt of the Government’s tax increases on rented housing.

That’s the warning being issued by the Residential Landlords Association as research shows the supply of homes to rent is drying up whilst demand continues to be strong.

Data released today by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors warns that whilst demand for rented housing from tenants “held more or less steady…for the third month running”, the number of landlord instructions “declined once again, rounding off a year in which they have fallen in all twelve months.”

The RLA is blaming the Government’s tax rises on the sector for the difficulties tenants now have in accessing suitable private rented housing. This includes the restriction of mortgage interest relief for the sector to the basic rate of income tax and a stamp duty levy which penalises the development of new homes to rent. This is despite the Chartered Institute of Housing recently noting that “tax reliefs deliver a much bigger benefit to home-owners than they do for private landlords.”

RLA Policy Manager, John Stewart, said:

“Whilst the Treasury seeks to dampen investment in rented housing, demand from tenants shows no signs of slowing down. Recent tax rises have served only to make the housing crisis worse.

“Rather than seeing it as a problem to be managed, the Treasury needs to develop a series of pro-growth tax measures that support and encourage the majority of good and decent landlords to provide the new homes to rent we desperately need. Otherwise tenants will find it increasingly difficult to find suitable homes to rent at affordable prices” 


RICS’ latest UK Residential Market Survey for December 2018 can be accessed here . It notes:

“In the lettings market, demand from tenants held more or less steady (on a non-seasonally adjusted basis) for the third month running. Alongside this, landlord instructions declined once again, rounding off a year in which they have fallen in all twelve months. Rental expectations remain modestly positive for the coming three months, with respondents pencilling in roughly 2% rental growth at the national level for 2019.”

In November 2018 CIH published a report on subsidies for different types of housing tenure. Details can be accessed here. It notes:

“Tax reliefs deliver a much bigger benefit to home-owners than they do for private landlords. Net tax relief for owners was some £29 billion in 2016/17 (£10 billion paid in tax; £39 billion received in tax reliefs). In contrast private landlords paid net tax of at least £8 billion.”

 The Residential Landlords Association: The home for landlords

The RLA represents the interests of landlords in the private rented sector across England and Wales. We’re home to over 50,000 landlords nationwide, with a combined portfolio of over a quarter of a million properties. A growing community of landlords who trust and rely on us to deliver day-to-day support, expert advice, government campaigning, plus a range of high-quality services relevant to their needs.