What is Section 21 and why does it need to be scrapped?

Landlords can remove tenants without giving a reason. That’s unfair and it needs to change.

Most of England’s 11 million renters are on contracts with fixed terms of six months or a year; after this period has ended, landlords can evict their tenants with just two months’ notice – and without even giving them a reason. These ‘no fault evictions’ were introduced under section 21 of the 1988 Housing Act. Before this, private tenants had much greater security and it was much harder for landlords to evict tenants who paid the rent on time and looked after the property. The government has finally decided to consult on ways of improving renter security, but - while there are some promising aspects to their proposals - they suggest that no-fault evictions will remain. Generation Rent, the New Economics Foundation, ACORN and the London Renters Union are launching a campaign to abolish section 21.

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The housing crisis is splitting the country in two

The number of houses being left empty has increased by 25% in the past decade - and so has the number of households with 6 or more people. That's according to the Office for National Statistics, which has published analysis of household composition data from the 2011 census. 

It's already well-documented that private renting has risen as fewer people are able to afford to buy a house, but these two statistics are a stark illustration of the growing inequality in British society as a result of the broken housing market. The 3 million-plus people crammed into the 543,000 households of 6 or more would be a bit annoyed to know that there are over 1 million homes around the country that are going spare. 

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Boris' Rental Standard may not help a single tenant

Today (Wednesday 28th May) in Haringey, London Mayor Boris Johnson launches his refreshed London Rental Standard, an accreditation scheme for landlords. We're not impressed and doubt this scheme will help one single tenant.

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Deposit schemes fail to close rip-off loophole

The three tenancy deposit protection schemes have rejected our calls to close a loophole that enables rogue landlords to abscond with their tenants’ money.

Seb and I met the three government-backed schemes – MyDeposits, the Deposit Protection Service and the Tenancy Deposit Scheme – earlier this month to propose changes to prevent tenants’ money becoming unprotected should their landlord or letting agent be expelled from a scheme.

 

 

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7 mistakes to avoid when renting a new home

The housing market is always changing and expanding, and more people are now renting privately than ever. However, with the increase in demand comes an increase in the amount of letting agents who are willing to try and get as much money as they can.

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Mark Carney and how the house price boom could scupper the economy

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney's warning this week that the housing market represents the principle threat to the economic recovery created a media shock, but little response from those in power. This displays a lack of understanding at senior levels of the scale and immediacy of this threat.

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No let-up for house price inflation

House prices continue to outpace wages. Hot on the heels of Mark Carney's interview with Sky News and David Cameron's interview on this morning's Today Programme, the Office for National Statistics published its House Price Index, which confirmed that there’s no let-up for first time buyers, who are facing double-digit inflation and stagnant wages.

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What should be in the Renter's Manifesto?

There is one year until the 2015 General Election and housing will be a central issue. We are deep in a housing crisis and radical action will be needed, whoever is in government once the votes are counted.

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Letting fees ban - how MPs voted

We've had a number of requests to publish the list of how MPs voted in the failed bid to outlaw letting agent fees to tenants. You can see the full list here.

This campaign isn't dead though. We'll be working with enlightened Peers to bring this back in the Lords. Unlike MPs, Lords don't get their letting agent fees paid on expenses so we're expecting more support.

Deposits gone for a Burton

You may have seen us on Channel 4 News recently discussing their investigation into rent-to-rent landlord Daniel Burton. Just to update you, we met yesterday with the heads of all three schemes to discuss how tenants can be protected from people like Burton.

We had a very productive meeting and we will continue to discuss a range of ideas on issues around the Daniel Burton story. We'll let you know how these discussions progress.

Alex

MPs snub renters over letting fees

The Government yesterday backed letting agents over renters by refusing to ban fees to tenants. In voting on the Consumer Rights Bill, Conservative and LibDem whips defeated the ban 281 to 228. The Government instead promised new fines for agents who don’t publish their fee tariff.

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