The government’s proposal to scrap the use of Section 21 notices to evict tenants has been poorly received by landlords, with many likely to consider existing the PRS if the plans go ahead, thus reducing the supply of much needed private rental stock, according to the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).
The organisation is deeply concerned that landlords will not be able to swiftly regain possession of a property where they have a legitimate reason if Section 21 repossessions are abolished.
Many landlords often have to rely on the Section 21 powers to retake possession, but the RLA is concerned that removing Section 21 repossessions will increase the workload on the courts as many more repossession cases would need to be heard by them and this would lead to even longer delays, beyond the existing average of 22 weeks.
The government has so far provided no proposals to ensure the scale of improvements needed to the court system.
Its plans also make it harder, and in some cases practically impossible, for private landlords to evict anti-social tenants, as renters will be able to challenge a notice to evict.
The RLA argues that such uncertainty would inevitably lead landlords to become more risk averse and less likely to rent to those tenants seen to be of higher risk of rent arrears or causing damage to a property, such as those with pets.
The RLA’s largest ever survey of almost 6,400 landlords found that 84% would be more selective in who they rented to for this reason.
David Smith, policy director for the RLA, commented: “The system for repossessing properties should be fair to both tenants and landlords. The Government’s plans do not achieve this.
“The Ministry of Justice’s failure to properly engage with the process and provide clear and detailed proposals to improve the court system is especially disappointing.
“Tenants and landlords need assurance that in legitimate circumstances they will not be subjected to long and stressful legal proceedings in repossession cases. Without this and other changes the government’s plans to scrap Section 21 will just make life more difficult for tenants.”
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