Jacob Young MP addresses NRLA members on Renters (Reform) Bill

Jacob Young MP addresses NRLA members on Renters (Reform) Bill

10:53 AM, 29th April 2024, About 2 months ago 24

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The Housing Minister tells NRLA that ‘stay put’ instructions by local authorities until bailiffs arrive, is completely unacceptable.

Jacob Young MP addressed NRLA members in a webinar after the Renters (Reform) Bill passed its final stage in the House of Commons.

Mr Young also covered licensing and the abolition of Section 21 in the 45-minute meeting.

Completely unacceptable

It’s common practice for councils to tell tenants to remain in their rented home when facing eviction.

The Homelessness Code of Guidance states where applicants are threatened with homelessness councils must take reasonable steps to help prevent it from occurring.

The first step the guidance says: “Housing authorities should not consider it reasonable for an applicant to remain in occupation until eviction by a bailiff.”

Mr Young told NRLA members that local authorities telling tenants to stay put is completely unacceptable and creates further delays in possession.

He added that local authorities must contact landlords to understand the circumstances of the eviction and establish what steps can be taken to prevent homelessness.

Bill which works for landlords and tenants

Housing charities have condemned the government for delaying Section 21 evictions arguing it leaves tenants at risk.

However, Mr Young told the NRLA: “Undertaking a full review of the court system before section 21 goes for existing tenancies is the sensible way forward.”

He also revealed plans to phase-in changes to the repossession system would prevent landlords – and tenants – from facing the ‘cliff edge’ experienced by landlords in Scotland and Wales during similar times of change.

Mr Young also addressed concerns regarding the property portal and selective licensing.

The NRLA has argued selective licensing is not needed if the property portal exists. Mr Young confirmed a planned review will take place of licensing schemes to minimise their overlap with the so-called property portal being introduced when the Bill becomes law.

He also suggested licensing fees could be cut and schemes downsized.

NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle said: “We are delighted the Minister was able to join us so soon after the latest amendments were passed, to give us exclusive insight into the decisions made and roadmap for change.

“This demonstrates the Minister’s commitment to ensuring the Bill is one which works for landlords as well as tenants.”


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Comments

Ryan Stevens

10:26 AM, 29th April 2024, About 2 months ago

He can tell us that it is unacceptable, but he can suggest nothing, other than:
local authorities must contact landlords to understand the circumstances of the eviction and establish what steps can be taken to prevent homelessness.
Naturally the local authorities will do this.....after the tenant has stayed put for 6+ months!!

roger radford

10:26 AM, 29th April 2024, About 2 months ago

My tenant told me that this is what the council told him. It will cost me hundreds before a bailiff moves in. He’s a good tenant and pays on time, but they now have two kids in my 1-bedder, which means I could be contravening the council’s licensing laws because of overcrowding. The councils are in effect encouraging non-payment of rent, as tenants come to realise that the best way to get re-housed by their council is to default until the bailiffs arrive. They are incorrigible.

David

10:28 AM, 29th April 2024, About 2 months ago

we know it's unacceptable so has he confirmed he will personally contact every council in the country to confirm this!
Oh really so sounds like not only a property portal but also licensing schemes will still exist.Just wonderful.Whats that three pence of the licensing tax.
A "sensible review " of the court system but will that even happen.
I am not convinced it demonstrates anything just more political hot air.

Paul

10:31 AM, 29th April 2024, About 2 months ago

This is what the council will always tell the tenant. And that is why I will not take tenants on benefits. I have from time to time and not had issues, but why should I expose myself to someone else's misfortune which is then compounded by the council. If this attitude was altered ( stopped ) then more property would be made available for benefits tenants. Do they really not see this ?

Ian Narbeth

10:46 AM, 29th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Too little, too late. There have been a dozen Housing Ministers in the past 13 years and this is the first time, so far as I am aware, that one has commented on this topic.

The guidance that “Housing authorities should not consider it reasonable for an applicant to remain in occupation until eviction by a bailiff" is weak.

It should say: "We will make it unlawful and will penalise any authority that instructs or encourages an applicant to remain in occupation until eviction by a bailiff. We require that landlords obey court orders. It is only right that tenants do so too."

Ray Guselli

10:56 AM, 29th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Some years ago, the then Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis wrote to councils advising them not to do this. (stay put until bailiffs etc)

I was advised that this letter was only guidance and that the law required bailiffs to gain possession where a tenant did bot vacate as advised to by the court.

Key issues for me are: -

1. Does the council advise tenants that by staying until the court gives a possession order and subsequently a warrant for possession where they still remain, this will cost them. Whilst to those on benefits, it is often water off a duck’s back, for those who may be working it is a real and serious financial cost which could be avoided.

2. When a Local Authority is seeking possession of one of its own properties, do Local Authorities tell “their” tenants to remain until they get a possession order and bailiffs subsequently attend etc

The answers to these questions appear unavailable.

Decent landlords are penalised enough and it is tipping even further: can we have a level playing field please?

Adam Whitfield

10:57 AM, 29th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Out of curiosity. This might be a daft question.
If a council advise a tenant to stay put till the bailiffs arrive, do you have the ability to take the council to court due to the financial loss that decision has cost you?

Michael Booth

11:14 AM, 29th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by David at 29/04/2024 - 10:28
That has already been done in letters from a previous home secretary and it was as is still ignored , effectively telling a tenant to break a legal notice and two current laws.

Michael Booth

11:26 AM, 29th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by roger radford at 29/04/2024 - 10:26By defaulting on the rent you can section 8 notice , this also exonerates the council from re housing them as it is deemed that they have made themselves homeless, l had a tenant who tried this old chestnut and soon paid the rent in full and on time , l also informed them that not leaving on the date of my section 21 notice has also made them liable for my legal costs , she soon ran to the council demanding a house immediately.

Fed Up Landlord

11:46 AM, 29th April 2024, About 2 months ago

What the councils don't tell the tenant is that they are liable for the court and bailiff costs. It's a nice surprise when they are reminded of it. Sort of focuses the mind.

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