Fears of landlord exodus over stricter laws are ‘overblown’ – SMF

Fears of landlord exodus over stricter laws are ‘overblown’ – SMF

0:03 AM, 5th April 2024, About 2 months ago 14

Text Size

Stricter regulations of landlords, including ending Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions, wouldn’t lead to a shortage of rental properties, one think tank says.

New research from the Social Market Foundation (SMF) challenges the government’s justification for watering down the Renters (Reform) Bill.

It says by studying other countries, England lags in tenant security with short tenancies which allow landlords to evict tenants without giving a reason.

The research suggests these practices put English renters at a disadvantage.

‘English renters get a bad deal’

SMF researcher, Niamh O Regan, said: “English renters get a bad deal, certainly compared to their counterparts in other countries.

“Fixed term tenancies are too short, and no-fault evictions make periodic tenancies too risky.

“What’s more, cash-strapped councils and fragmented dispute resolution services are unable to consistently guarantee minimum standards, allowing bad landlords to continue to operate.”

She adds: “Longer tenancies and stronger protections for tenants would alleviate some of the pressures they face and make long-term renting a more attractive proposition – which it needs to be, given many of us are likely to be renting for much longer in future.”

Fears that landlords would leave are ‘overblown’

The SMF says that the Bill should not have been tweaked after opposition from Conservative MPs because fears that landlords would leave are ‘overblown’.

It points to Scotland, which banned ‘no-fault’ evictions in 2017, and saw no decrease in rental supply.

That contradicts research from the Scottish Association of landlords which found there are 22,000 fewer rented homes in Scotland.

The report, entitled ‘Let Down’, highlights alternative approaches used elsewhere with Scotland and Ireland offering indefinite tenancies, providing renters with greater stability.

In Ireland, the SMF says that the private rented sector has doubled in size since similar legislation was introduced.

Streamlining the rent dispute system

Along with abolishing Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions and adopting longer tenancies, the SMF proposes streamlining the rent dispute system.

It says that complaints can fall under various jurisdictions, making it difficult for tenants.

The report suggests a single point of contact, similar to systems in place in Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.

The SMF further recommends mandatory landlord registration to ensure landlords meet basic standards and deter bad practices.

Share This Article


Cider Drinker

8:38 AM, 5th April 2024, About 2 months ago

This think tank need to think again.

The current exodus is just the tip of the iceberg. Properties are illiquid assets. Many landlords are subsidising the tenants and will be waiting for the right opportunity to escape - before their losses become unsustainable.

Reluctant Landlord

8:56 AM, 5th April 2024, About 2 months ago

its true - it wont lead to a shortage of rental properties...

Because there is ALREADY a housing crisis and no supply!

Think Tank's thinking, sunk.

Cider Drinker

10:08 AM, 5th April 2024, About 2 months ago

According to the 2021 Census for every hundred properties in England…
21 were rented by private landlords.
17 were rented by social landlords.
62 were owned (30 with a mortgage).
Every year, hundreds of thousands more migrants cross the Channel. Every few will buy their own home. This means they will add to the demand for social and private rentals.
There were 5 million privately rented properties in England. Add half a million migrants (three quarters of a million in 2022) and that’s probably 250,000 more people looking for private rental properties every year. So, over 4 years, there’s potentially 20% more people looking for privately rented accommodation.
Landlords have been leading the sector. That is a fact. With no sign of government easing the pressure, the exodus will accelerate rapidly.
Sadly, I will never have a new tenant. When any leave, I’m out.


10:18 AM, 5th April 2024, About 2 months ago

What planet does this think tank live on, sold most of mine over the past 3 years one to go this time next year most landlords I know are selling some or all of there portfolios, one in particular has 30 for sale in a packaged deal, another so called influencer with no knowledge of the real world!

Paul Essex

10:20 AM, 5th April 2024, About 2 months ago

I am also a 'silent quitter' when my current tenants leave I will not be replacing them.

I may still be forced to evict if anyone starts raising 'standards' higher than EPC C which I have only just managed to reach, or if a discounted right to buy looks likely.


10:37 AM, 5th April 2024, About 2 months ago

I believe they are on the wrong track with their flawed logic.

It certainly did not improve matters for tenants when they brought in these draconian laws in Ireland, there were queues of people chasing every property. I wonder why that government are busy trying to reverse them now!
The think tank should have considered the reason why Mrs Thatchers government gave us section 21
If my figures are correct pre 1988 housing act the rental market had shrunk to circa 8%


10:51 AM, 5th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Scotland didn't see a decrease in rental supply as tenants there pretty much have a property for life. Once in you can't get them out

John MacAlevey

10:52 AM, 5th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Social Market Foundation..stuffed with socialists & left-leaners.

Martin Roberts

11:39 AM, 5th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Landlords are selling, it’s Government policy to force them out.

They may not like this truth, but truth it is.


14:12 PM, 5th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Martin Roberts at 05/04/2024 - 11:39
No, governments are not forcing landlords out. It is a consequence of their policies that is doing that. Governments want landlords, small and large as they are cash cows but they are being swayed into policies that don't stack up financially for existing landlords - and put off new landlords

1 2

Leave Comments

In order to post comments you will need to Sign In or Sign Up for a FREE Membership


Don't have an account? Sign Up

Landlord Tax Planning Book Now