Why we need Section 21: rogue tenants do exist

One landlord is facing £29K of rent arrears

Here’s a shocking story we’ve just spotted in Letting Agent Today. It illustrates exactly why at Ringley, we have been campaigning in favour of keeping the so-called no-fault eviction process known as Section 21. There are rogue tenants out there and there must be an efficient process in place for landlords to evict them when necessary.

Landlord David Wright, who owns a property in Warrington, was recently left with rent arrears of around £29,000 by one of his tenants. When he finally regained possession of his rental home, he had to spend £2,000 on clearing the property of rubbish and waste. He faces a further bill of thousands of pounds to repair the damage that the tenant caused to the property.

According to the press report, the house was coated in grime and mould and littered with half-eaten food containers, pet food and medication. Many of the fixtures and fittings, including the carpets, were damaged beyond repair. No one should have to put up with this when all they are doing is trying to make a living by providing a home for someone in good faith.

Legal for Landlords, the law firm representing him in gaining possession of the property, does not think the landlord is likely to recoup the rent he is owed.  Sim Sekhon, managing director of the firm says “This case illustrates why plans to abolish Section 21 are so dangerous for landlords’ rights…. It’s vital to have a robust legal mechanism in place to reach a resolution in a timely manner.

In fact, a Section 8 notice was used in this case because of the amount of damage caused and the extent of the rent arrears. But, as Sim points out, there are plenty of cases where that wouldn’t be appropriate. “Section 8 alone doesn’t have enough teeth to protect the landlord and, for many, it’s frankly a terrifying thought that this outdated legislation is all they may have to protect their interests”.

We wholeheartedly agree.

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