It’s a reality ‘universally acknowledged’ that part 21 is dangerous for tenants and, subsequently, ought to go. Shelter has stated so. The CAB has stated so. All of the political events have stated so.
However is that right? Is it ALWAYS dangerous for tenants?
It’s a part of the political temper simply now that part 21 is evil and needs to be eliminated.
However then it was the political temper in 2016 that membership of the EU was dangerous and needs to be go, and look what occurred to that. Clearly, the advantages of Brexit haven’t been as promised.
The truth that ‘everybody thinks’ one thing doesn’t essentially imply that ‘everybody’ is correct.
So will eradicating Part 21 deliver untold advantages to tenants? Or, certainly, any advantages? Is it the reply that can remedy our rented housing issues?
Clearly, it can remedy some present points.
- Landlords should give a cause when evicting tenants
- Rogue landlords will be unable to routinely evict tenants who demand their authorized rights
- Due to this fact tenants will (it’s hoped) have a higher long-term safety
Nevertheless, it can additionally deliver different issues in its wake which some could not have thought-about. Let’s check out them.
Enforcement of requirements
There are a selection of ‘pre-requisites’, which embody compliance with numerous well being and security and different tenant safety laws, which landlords should adjust to as a situation of utilizing part 21. For instance:
- Landlords should have obtained and served a fuel security certificates earlier than the tenants transfer in
- Tenants should have been given a legitimate vitality efficiency certificates
- If a deposit has been taken, landlords should have protected it and served ‘prescribed info’ inside 30 days
- If the property is a licensable HMO, the owner should have obtained an HMO license from the Council
- If unlawful tenant charges have been charged, they should have been refunded
- The owner should have served the federal government ‘Tips on how to Hire’ booklet informing them of their rights
- No eviction can happen inside 6 months of the Council serving an enchancment discover
The truth that part 21 is just accessible after compliance with these guidelines is a giant issue influencing landlords’ compliance with stated guidelines.
The grounds for possession that can apply if part 21 is eliminated will not be conditional upon these guidelines in the identical method. Tenants can normally defend if their rights will not be upheld, however it will usually result in a nerve-racking and time-consuming court docket declare. It won’t forestall the owner from bringing a declare in any respect, as is the case with part 21.
Assist for tenants requiring council re-housing
It’s not usually realised that many claims for possession below part 21 are introduced on the tenants’ request.
This occurs when tenants wish to be rehoused by the Native Authority, however the Native Authority refuse whereas they’ve an current house. Even when this house is now not appropriate for them, e.g. whether it is too costly.
But when the tenants transfer out of their rented house, Native Authorities will then usually refuse to rehouse them on the premise that they’re ‘voluntarily homeless’. Which means that they need to have stayed the place they had been till evicted. Although that property was unsuitable for them.
After I did eviction, work a considerable variety of claims had been introduced merely to pressure Native Authorities to rehouse their tenants. Because the claims had been introduced below part 21 Native Authorities couldn’t declare that the tenants had been voluntarily homeless – as a result of the eviction was not based mostly on the tenants’ fault (as for instance it could be in the event that they had been evicted for hire arrears). As a result of part 21 is a ‘no fault’ floor.
If part 21 goes and landlords have to provide a cause for the eviction, it will in lots of instances be based mostly on hire arrears, and this will likely give Native Authorities grounds to refuse to rehouse.
I do know they don’t seem to be supposed to do that, however everybody is aware of that they do. Typically they haven’t any alternative as a result of large scarcity of Native Authority lodging accessible for rehousing.
The impact of eviction below ‘dangerous tenant’ grounds
The truth that a tenant is evicted below one of many ‘dangerous tenant’ grounds (mostly hire arrears) won’t solely hamper tenants acquiring Native Authority housing. It can additionally delay landlords within the non-public sector.
Most landlords will use part 21 if they will, as it’s faster and extra easy (and subsequently cheaper). The results of that is that we don’t actually know for certain (apart from anecdotally) what the primary causes for evictions are.
As soon as part 21 is unavailable, it won’t cease landlords from evicting tenants. Nevertheless, it can then turn into obvious what the primary causes for eviction are. That is dangerous information for the tenants being evicted – as they are going to discover it far tougher to search out different lodging.
This could be good for landlords, although – as dangerous tenants will discover it much less straightforward to cover their earlier dangerous behaviour.
The issue of anti-social behaviour
One large cause why landlords use part 21, once more usually on the request of tenants, is to take away a co-tenant or neighbour who’s behaving in an anti-social method.
It’s well-known that anti-social tenants could cause big distress to others. Part 21 is the one method that they are often eliminated comparatively rapidly.
After the lack of part 21, landlords should show the anti-social behaviour in court docket. Which carries quite a few large issues:
- The tenants will likely be incentivised to defend to ‘clear their identify’ – one thing which isn’t an issue with part 21, the place no cause is given
- In the event that they defend, it can take for much longer to acquire a possession order as there’ll, in lots of instances, must be a trial. It might take over a yr, throughout which the distress for neighbours will proceed
- It will likely be a way more costly declare for the owner to deliver, which can discourage some landlords from doing this. In any case, they don’t seem to be usually personally affected as they dwell elsewhere
- Different tenants could have to provide proof in court docket to show the anti-social behaviour. Which they might be unwilling to do, fearing reprisals from the anti-social tenant (who are sometimes very disagreeable individuals)
I see the issue of evicting anti-social tenants as being the largest problem raised by the removing of part 21. There must be main enhancements in our court docket system – one thing unlikely to occur any time quickly.
I do perceive why tenants and tenant organisations are so sad with Part 21. Nevertheless, the true drawback is an absence of obtainable properties to hire.
If we had an ample provide of rented properties, then it could be straightforward for tenants confronted with eviction to search out different lodging. Tenants would additionally have the ability to keep away from these dangerous landlords who evict tenants for claiming their rights.
There’s additionally the truth that landlords have to really feel that they will get better possession of their property if vital. As I explain here, the non-public rented sector in all probability wouldn’t exist in any respect in its present state if part 21 had not been launched within the late 1980’s.
If landlords are apprehensive that they are going to lose all management (as occurred below the 1977 Hire Acts) they might promote up, decreasing the accessible pool of lodging. This might be a catastrophe – not for the landlords however for tenants, and can push up rents. It’s one thing which is already beginning to occur.
In my view, the most effective answer to the housing issues is a serious growth of public sector housing constructing, ideally utilizing modular constructing strategies with excessive environmental requirements. That can profit tenants usually way over the removing of part 21.
However what do you assume?