Calling on Boris to now strengthen landlord repossession rights

Calling on Boris to now strengthen landlord repossession rights

9:57 AM, 16th December 2019, About 4 years ago 3

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The National Landlords’ Association says the Conservative government must start a new housing court and reform Section 8 “fault-based” evictions to end the logjam of repossession cases that will follow the abolition of Section 21 “no fault” evictions

The new Boris Johnson led Conservative government must take urgent action to deliver on its pre-election promise to strengthen landlords’ rights of possession by reforming the law courts if it is to stave off a crisis in the private rented sector, the National Landlords Association warns today.

In the wake of the Conservative Party’s victory in the General Election, the NLA, which represents 42,000 landlords, calls on Mr Johnson to introduce a new dedicated housing court and to redefine the terms of Section 8 “fault-based” evictions.

If this doesn’t happen, the NLA predicts there will be a big reduction in the number of houses available for rent and a disproportionately negative impact on the supply of housing for people receiving state benefits. NLA-commissioned analysis carried out recently by Capital Economics using our most recent members survey found that if the government abolishes Section 21 without additional reforms:

  • The supply of private rented houses in England would fall by 20% (960,000 dwellings) because landlords would sell-off their rented properties to house buyers rather than other landlord
  • There would be a 59% reduction in the number of private rented dwellings available to households which claim local housing allowance or universal credit (770,000 fewer dwellings) because landlords would choose not to rent their property to people with an unreliable record on paying their rent
  • The number of homes facing rental increases would amount to 600,000 homes (13% of the sector) because the reduced supply of rented housing would force up rental costs

In its manifesto, the Conservative Party confirmed that if it won the election, it would press ahead with plans to abolish Section 21 which allows landlords to pursue fast-track “no fault” evictions, but it also said that it would “strengthen landlords’ rights of possession”. The NLA urged the Conservative government to strengthen landlords’ rights in two ways:

  1. Create a housing court that would unblock the logjam of possession cases that would almost certainly build up when Section 21 is abolished.
  2. Update the terms of Section 8 which allows landlords to pursue cumbersome “fault-based” evictions so that landlords can swiftly reclaim their property when tenants fail to pay their rent or commit antisocial behaviour.

Richard Lambert, the NLA’s chief executive, said: “We congratulate Boris Johnson on his return to No. 10 Downing Street as prime minister of a new Conservative government. We now stand ready to work with him and his team on the reform of housing regulations in a way that does not do long term damage to the supply of private rented housing.

“No-one should be in any doubt about the dire consequences for the supply of private rented housing in this country if the government abolishes Section 21 without any effort to reform the law courts and strengthen landlords’ rights of possession. There would be nearly 1 million fewer houses available for rent and the people who would be hardest hit would be some of the most vulnerable in our society: those in receipt of state benefits.”

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Neil Patterson

11:50 AM, 16th December 2019, About 4 years ago

David Smith, policy director for the RLA, commented: “We look forward to working constructively with the government as it develops its plans for the private rented sector.

“With the demand for rented housing remaining strong it is vital that the Conservatives' plans for the sector, whilst being fair to tenants, have the full confidence of landlords.

“The election should also be seen as an outright rejection of Labour's plans for rent controls. They would have undermined investment in the sector, choked off supply and made it more difficult for tenants to find the good quality homes to rent they need.”

Ian Narbeth

17:08 PM, 16th December 2019, About 4 years ago

I will be writing to my MP about the proposed abolition of s21. I urge all landlords to do the same and to re-iterate that the courts system needs to be reformed before s21 is abolished.
Even if you don't have Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), tell your MP that the s21 consultation was flawed because it failed to mention HMOs and that over two million people live in them. It will be better if it takes longer to bring in the legislation so that it is not rushed.

Annie Landlord

17:50 PM, 16th December 2019, About 4 years ago

I'm concerned that the government will have little time for smaller PRS landlords and may skew legislation to favour the the growth of larger corporate landlords. It will also be interesting to see how the government manages the issue of social landlords. SRS landlords have been calling for them to be exempt from any legislation banning S21, as they use it too.

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