Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has heavily hinted that his party will end Section 21 – the means by which landlords can regain possession of the properties without having to give a reason – if and when it comes to power.
As such, it is likely to change the way the private rented sector currently works.
A tweet from Corbyn followed Monday night’s Panorama programme featuring controversial landlord Fergus Wilson, who in turn has hit out at the BBC for its “left wing bias”.
However Corbyn’s tweet was slightly odd in that it referred to ‘revenge eviction’ – a phrase normally used in specific connection with landlords using Section 21 in situations where tenants have asked for improvements to their homes.
Monday’s programme, a Panorama special presented by Richard Bilton, particularly looked at Wilson’s use of Section 21 notices to regain possession of his properties. However, there was one allegation of a ‘revenge eviction’ after a couple complained about heating.
Wilson is planning to sell up his portfolio of properties and has served notices to “mass evict” tenants.
The programme has led to a wave of comments, including from Corbyn.
He said in a tweet which used the Panorama hashtag: “We’ll be on the side of tenants and people without a home to call their own, not rogue landlords. It’s time to end revenge eviction.”
Wilson has hit back at Panorama in typically robust manner, saying: “The BBC is known as the Biased Broadcasting Corporation for very good reason.
“Every time Richard Bilton is on a housing programme it is the same old gramophone record of the poor parents with children with nowhere to go!
“It is a subject close to his heart! However, he does the TV audience no good at all by taking up precious time showing tenants forced out and avoiding dealing with the cause of the problem.
“No time was spent dealing with the prime issue of why are landlords leaving buy-to-let in their hordes due to the punitive tax regimes being introduced for landlords by HMG.
“I am slightly different as I am retiring due to old age, but for those younger landlords exiting BTL it is because the Government has made it so unattractive.
“I ran through the reasons why the private sector is no longer investing but it was cut out in favour of Richard Bilton’s same old song.
“HMG needs to address just why the private sector landlord is no longer investing.
“It is time for Richard Bilton to be thrown on the scrapheap. He is out of time and out of touch.”
Many in the private rented sector believe that it was the introduction of Section 21 which reinvigorated this part of the housing market, giving landlords confidence that they would be able to get back their properties. However, in Scotland, a ‘no fault’ eviction is no longer allowed.