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Stockport Councillors Campaign for an End to Section 21 Notices

Tenant pressure groups are not fond of Section 21 notices, but councillors from Greater Manchester have joined a chorus of voices calling for the government to scrap Section 21 no-fault eviction notices.

Obnoxious Legislation

Stockport council bosses described Section 21 notices as ‘obnoxious’. One councillor told the Manchester Evening Press that several tenants had asked her for help after being handed a Section 21 notice and asked to leave their rental home. Labour councillor, Sheila Bailey, was addressing a council meeting. She described how one woman with three children and a sick father had begged her for help. Another mother with four school-age children was desperate with worry over having to find a new home.

“They can be told to pack up and leave their home for no other reason than the landlord wants them to go,” Ms Bailey said.

“They could be model tenants – paid their rent, looked after the property and not caused any trouble to anybody. But that counts for nothing because the law states you can be evicted for no reason at all.”

She told the packed council chamber that it was about time the legislation was scrapped. Councillor Bailey wasn’t alone in her criticism of Section 21. Her fellow councillor, Helen Foster-Grime from the Liberal Democrats party agreed.

“Abolishing Section 21 will give tenants more certainty and more stability in their lives and, like Coun Bailey, many of us here have had cases of people being very unfairly treated.”

The Link Between Section 21 and Homelessness

The council called for a report into how many people living on the streets had been evicted from the private rental sector under Section 21. However, this they concluded was a difficult number to quantify, as most evictions don’t pass through the courts unless they are contested.

Generation Rent says Section 21 notices are the single biggest cause of homelessness in the UK, but the National Landlords Association is fiercely opposed to the government’s plans to abolish Section 21. It says this move is very short-sighted and could encourage even more landlords to leave the PRS.

NLA Says Scrapping Section 21 Will Affect the Private Rental Sector

If the government makes it harder for landlords to repossess their own properties, to sell or move in, landlords won’t be encouraged to continue letting properties. This could have far-reaching effects, with reduced numbers of homes available to let and increased rents.

“Landlords currently have little choice but to use Section 21. They have no confidence in the ability or the capacity of the courts to deal with possession claims quickly and surely, regardless of the strength of the landlord’s case,” says Richard Lambert from the NLA.

The NLA invites concerned landlords to join them and have a say in what happens next.

Are you a member of the NLA? Are you concerned about plans to abolish Section 21? If so, let us know. You can connect with us on social media or leave a comment below.

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