Lui Renzo is a landlord with five properties that he rents out in Hull and Cleethorpes. He has been a landlord for 18 years and manages his property portfolio alongside holding down a full-time job working in manufacturing.
Here, Lui explains why he once relied on using Section 21 to gain possession of his property quickly, after a tenant accrued more than £2000 rent arrears and left him struggling financially.
In nearly two decades of being a landlord, Lui Renzo has only had to gain possession of his property a handful of times.
Even then, he has only done so when the tenant has been at fault. The method Lui has used each time to gain possession is the “Section 21” route, with excessive rent arrears being the most common reason why.
A few years ago, one of his tenants ended up owing him over £2,000 in rent. With a mortgage and other bills to pay, Lui was left with no choice but to issue the tenant with a notice of possession.
“I have only ever used Section 21 to gain possession of property when I have needed to evict tenants who are causing me issues”, begins Lui, continuing:
“I have never asked anyone to go unless there has been a real problem. With one tenant I was worried I was going to be unable to meet my own mortgage repayments because they were in rent arrears with me. I gave them a few months to try and sort things out, but then I desperately needed the property back. I just couldn’t afford to not receive any rent of them anymore, so they had to go”.
“The houses are an investment for me, and the rent I receive goes towards paying the mortgage, so even though I also work, there’s not a huge amount of money left at the end of the month”, says Lui.
When Lui issued his tenant with a Section 21 notice, and the N5b form, the process of gaining possession took several months.
“I used Section 21 process because it seemed like the only feasible route to go down, as the Section 8 seemed very complicated to me and I had heard it is very time consuming”.
“The tenant wouldn’t comply with the notice, and in the end the bailiffs had to come around. In total, it took five months from serving the tenant notice to getting my property back. All the while I wasn’t receiving paid any rent, and I was struggling to pay the mortgage. It was very stressful for me and my family”.
On two other occasions, Lui had to serve a Section 21 to gain possession of his property, when two tenants were committing serious anti-social behaviour at his property, relating to drug abuse.
On the 15th April, the Government announced that is will be launching a consultation on banning Section 21. Following this announcement, the RLA launched a major survey, collecting the views of landlords on the possession process.
Lui says that he responded to the survey, because he wants to see improvements to the current court process, before Section 21 is scrapped altogether.
“If Section 21 has got to go, then it is crucial that this is replaced with something more appropriate, and this means strengthening the Section 8 process”, he says, continuing: “Landlords need to be able to evict bad tenants in a smooth and efficient manner. I need to have the confidence that if something were to go wrong again, I would be able to get my property back quickly. Past experiences have been very stressful for me and my family, and I don’t want it to happen again”.
“My daughter is a tenant, so I can both sides of the argument and I understand that good tenants should be protected for the minority of bad and irresponsible landlords, so whatever legislation agreed needs to be fair for both parties. Perhaps something like the Scottish model.”
- Are you a landlord with experiences of using Section 21? We would be interested in hearing from you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Write to your MP: We are encouraging members to write to their MP about possession reform. To do so, log in to our my rla platform and click on the campaigns section.