04 Oct 2021

The chief executive of Shelter says the experience of Scotland shows that the scrapping of S21 eviction powers produces benefits that far outweigh disadvantages.

Polly Neate, speaking on BBC Radio 4, says that Scotland effectively scrapped its equivalent of Section 21 almost four years ago. 

“We’ve done a lot of research on the scrapping of S21 in Scotland and the benefits for renters have been huge and the problems that could have been predicted … simply haven’t arisen” she told listeners to the You and Yours programme.

She said a similar pledge to scrap S21 in England, made by the government two years ago and likely to feature in an imminent White Paper on rental reform, would be beneficial to the most vulnerable tenants facing issues such as the end of furlough, fuel price increases and the £20 cut to Universal Credit.

“This is a perfect storm for renters … and it’s brilliant the government is doing this’d we really need this to happen as soon as possible” she continued. 

Neate went on to say that while tenants can theoretically report poor landlords to local councils, but “they fear this will make things worse”. She also said both councils and the police required assistance in identifying letting agents and landlords who broke the law.

The Shelter chief executive also used the opportunity to warn the government not to use the rental reform legislation expected shortly to replace Section 21 with a mere “tick box” allowing agents and landlords to suggest tenants were behaving anti-socially.

You can hear the programme here – the rental discussion, which also involves Chris Norris of the National Residential Landlords Association, begins around 11 minutes 40 seconds in.

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