How to see if a tenant has had a section 21 before

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    How to see if a tenant has had a section 21 before

    Hi
    As it becomes harder to evict tenants, we are keen to ensure we get good honourable tenants.
    How can we tell if a tenant has been served a section 21 before.
    Thanks Paul

    #2
    You can't be sure. You check with their current and previous landlords and you undertake referencing which checks for CCJs. Neither of these methods is foolproof so I'm afraid you end up making judgements about the applicant based on what and how they present to you.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Paul V View Post
      Hi
      How can we tell if a tenant has been served a section 21 before.
      Most people who rented a place in England before 2015 when many landlords used to attach a section 21 notice alongside with the tenancy agreement when tenant first move in?

      Landlords server s21 for all kind of reasons, I don't know what you think whether tenants have ever received one would tell you?
      I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

      I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Paul V View Post
        As it becomes harder to evict tenants, we are keen to ensure we get good honourable tenants.
        How can we tell if a tenant has been served a section 21 before.
        As S21 is a 'No Fault' eviction process then what would that tell you anyway?

        Simply that they are "good honourable tenants" who have previously had to move out of a rental through no fault of their own?
        (Because their previous LL wanted to sell up and leave the PRS?)

        Comment


          #5
          I would suggest, you vet T's prior to viewing, if they say their were living on a friends couch for the last 1-3 years, move on in my opinion especially if they are employed. Some T's avoid getting referencing from previous LL's especially if they have had a bad relationship, so they try to hid it by saying they lived on couch's.

          If they have been evicted, then owed rent this would show up on a CCJ check. I would suggest you offer T's 6 month initial contract. Unlike unemployment, where if a employee lies during an interview and gets the job, if they then fail to do the work, the employer can dismiss them during the probation period.

          Comment


            #6
            Section 21 notices aren't that good an indicator of what a tenant has been like in the past.
            There's a lot of concern about taking on decent tenants, which is sensible because it keeps landlords on their toes.
            But poor outcomes aren't that common - no one knows how many section 21 notices are actually served, but remarkably few get escalated to court.

            And about half of all section 21 notices that come to court are usually served in three or four London boroughs.
            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

            Comment


              #7
              Thank you for your replies.
              Yes we always vet - stringently, and just wanted to add this check to that process.
              We have been renting out properties for near 40 years and have never had to serve a section 21.
              We have just asked the tenant to vacate and both agreed an amicable date, either as stipulated in the contract or even a few months longer.

              It seems to me that section 21s are only served when the Landlord and Tenant cant agree a date, which then forces the Landlord to go "Legal" with the added expense, court processes, stress etc.

              I appreciate some tenants my be no fault - but it would be it would be nice to know so we could ask them about it.

              Can we explicitly ask a previous Landlord if a tenant just agreed to leave or whether the Landlord has to use a section 21?
              Thanks

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Paul V View Post
                Can we explicitly ask a previous Landlord if a tenant just agreed to leave or whether the Landlord has to use a section 21?
                There's nothing stopping you asking.

                There's a common feeling amongst legal housing people that many (or even most) section 21s are escalated to courts to move on tenants who can't afford rapidly increasing rents - there's a correlation between areas where s21 notices go to court and areas of rapidly increasing rents.
                Central London boroughs and hot spots like Bristol and Cambridge.
                Some areas have no s21 related hearings in a quarter at all.

                If that theory is correct, the current changes in property price trends, with central London being one area where rents aren't increasing as fast as they did previously while other, traditionally less popular areas are seeing increased demand and, consequently, more rapidly increasing rents should be reflected in changes in the pattern of possession hearings.

                I think it's quite risky to assume that there's anything negative about a tenant who's received a section 21 notice from a landlord.
                Or that a lack of a s21 notice is, in any way, a positive.
                Most tenancies are ended by the tenant.
                When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                Comment


                  #9
                  TBH from my reading on this forum there seems to be a subset of landlords who will reach for a S21 given the slightest reason.
                  (And as said it's been quite common for some to issue one for no reason but as 'a precaution').

                  "I caught my tenant picking his nose -disgusting so I sent him a S21", maybe farfetched yes, but not by much from some posts I've read.

                  "I don't like the smell of the food my tenant cooks/eats - so I sent him a S21", much less farfetched, you could probably find one similar here with a search.

                  'Precautionary', just-in-case, S21s still happen: https://forums.landlordzone.co.uk/fo...1-just-in-case

                  It's one reason why S21s are on their way out.
                  Too many landlords have been using them for reasons that are not what they were intended for, thus messing things up for everyone else who did use them properly as intended.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    In a sensible country anyone would be able to look up decisions taken on disputes between tenants, landlords, agents etc etc... For free..

                    As in Scotland, now...
                    https://www.housingandpropertychambe...unal-decisions

                    So a landlord/agent can check up on prospective tenant's history, likewise tenant can check on agent and/or landlord.

                    Come on England, catch up!

                    (Yes of course there are aspects of landlord/tenant law where England is preferable to Scotland..)
                    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thank you for all the replies and information.
                      the Scottish system does seem a good idea :-)

                      Comment

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