Brandon Taylor is a landlord in Lowestoft, Suffolk.
Here, he explains why he’s concerned about what could happen if Section 21 were to go altogether, and why he thinks the alternative Section 8 route to gain possession is not fit for purpose.
Brandon Taylor has been a landlord for more than 35 years, and says he usually tends to avoid using Section 21 to gain possession of his property-the so called ‘no-fault’ route to repossession.
Instead, he opts for the Section 8 route to gain possession, the ‘grounds based’ process.
However, there have been a couple of occasions where Brandon has been left with no option but to serve a Section 21 notice on a tenant, in order to get his property back as quickly as possible when he really needed to.
“I was forced to use Section 21 to gain possession of my property a few years ago, when some tenants were behaving very antisocially and annoying the neighbours”, said Brandon.
“It was a family house and the father was drinking a lot, and often the police would have to be called. The family caused so much disruption over the course of six months, and neighbours were constantly complaining to me about it.
“It was horrendous, and I knew that I needed to gain possession of the property as quickly as I could because of all the disruption to the neighbours. By using Section 21 I was able to do this-the Section 8 route could have taken months”.
Brandon says that in his view the current Section 8 route to gain possession needs improving.
He says that if Section 21 were to go at the moment, without a suitable replacement there would be no way for landlords to get their property back quickly when they need to.
“The trouble with Section 8 process is the time it takes to get a court hearing date, as this is usually between 5-7 weeks, says Brandon.
“Section 8 is fine for mandatory issues such as contractual rent arrears in excess of two months but if you need possession because of antisocial behaviour issues, you are expected to provide proof of the alleged anti-social behaviour.
“This is difficult to collect as the Police and Local Authorities refuse to share information with you due to Data Protection limitations and neighbours are usually scared to attend court or provide statements due to possible reprisals. For these reasons Landlords usually go the Section 21 route with such issues knowing that they are guaranteed to secure possession. “
“If Section 21 goes and is not replaced with something that allows landlords to take possession of their properties easily, it is likely to finish off the sector.”
- If you are a landlord in England, we are urging members to write to their MP about possession reform. This can be easily done by using the MY RLA platform.
- If you’re a landlord in Wales, the Welsh government launched its consultation on possession reform last week. To read more about this and have your say, click here.
- Are you a landlord interested in sharing your experiences of the possession process? If so we want to hear from you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org