14:29 PM, 20th December 2019, About 3 years ago 7
Government plans to scrap ‘no fault’ evictions, reiterated in the Queen’s Speech, will dramatically increase the risk faced by private landlords and lead to the loss of thousands of homes in the private rented sector, the National Landlords Association (NLA) has warned.
The NLA, which represents 42,000 members, urged the Government to avoid creating an unnecessary crisis in the private rented sector by ensuring that reform of the court process is implemented alongside any change to tenancy legislation.
In the Queen’s Speech, Boris Johnson’s government reaffirmed its pre-election commitment to repeal Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, which landlords currently rely on to bring tenancies to a lawful end without apportioning blame.
The NLA attacked the Government’s flagship housing policy, explaining that without court reform, it would risk leaving tenants worse off. The Association cited research from Capital Economics, an independent consultancy, showing that if Section 21 is abolished without any accompanying reform of the law courts, the supply of private rented houses in England could fall by 20 percent (960,000 dwellings) as landlords choose to either exit the market or reduce the size of their portfolio.
It also pointed to data showing that there would be a 59 percent reduction in the number of private rented dwellings available to households in receipt of local housing allowance or universal credit (770,000 fewer dwellings) because landlords would instead opt to rent to people more able to demonstrate a track-record of making regular payments and a steady income.
Richard Lambert, Chief Executive Officer of the NLA, said:
“Landlords need certainty of their ability to end failing tenancies. If this cannot be provided by Section 21 then the Government must reform the courts. Strengthening landlords’ rights will make no difference if the court process is seen as simply delaying or obstructing possession.
“The NLA is deeply concerned that the Government will precipitate a housing emergency, deepening the crisis of supply and affordability faced by many households. Landlords will stop letting to tenants who are perceived as higher risk and ultimately sell properties which would otherwise provide much needed homes for those who cannot afford to buy.
“If ministers do not address the problems of capacity within the Courts Service before removing landlords’ ability to use the no-fault procedure, the dramatic increase in cases that will be brought before it will bring the system to its knees.”