Nationwide, Crisis, and Generation Rent support scrapping Section 21

by Property 118

13:42 PM, 27th November 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Nationwide, Crisis, and Generation Rent support scrapping Section 21

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Nationwide, Crisis, and Generation Rent support scrapping Section 21

The Nationwide Building Society has reported on an event held by players in the rental and housing sector, with the main outcome being that organisations must work more closely together in order to effect meaningful change.

The industry roundtable was attended by representatives from across the private rented sector including Nationwide Building Society, Fair Housing Futures, Countrywide, ARLA PropertyMark, Connells Group, NLA, RLA, Generation Rent, and the Nationwide Foundation.

The group met to discuss some of the underlying issues impacting the private rented sector, and how the landlord and tenant relationship could be improved to benefit everyone involved in the rental process. Amid a range of contrasting views, there was there was consensus on the importance of establishing trust between landlords and their tenants.

The group felt tenants should be able to report issues without fear of eviction, and that landlords are confident their properties are being looked after. All agreed that the following steps could help achieve this:

  • Make tenancy documents easy to understand: Contracts should be easily readable, translatable and clearly and accessibly highlight the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords.
  • Role of lettings agents: More should be done to ensure that lettings agents understand and facilitate the necessary regulation at play in the rental process. It was agreed that full mandatory government regulation of lettings agents is the quickest and most effective method to eliminate unprofessional, unqualified and unethical agents from the property sector.
  • Improved, simplified sources of information: There should be a single point of contact for landlords and tenants where they can seek qualified, straightforward advice regarding their respective rights and responsibilities. Giving local authorities the resources to employ more dedicated Tenancy Support Officers was discussed as was the perceived benefits of a single information portal, replacing the current system where information for both parties is scattered across different Government and sector websites, where there is no standard benchmark of quality.
  • A review of insurance products on offer in the sector: There is potentially scope for more use of insurance in the sector, particularly landlords’ insurance as a route to mitigating risk and building trust. Insurance products available to landlords should also be reviewed to ensure they do not contain restrictions such as “no DSS clauses”, and to ensure that they do not inadvertently trigger unnecessary evictions.

A number of issues were discussed which were not uniformly supported but were discussed in a rounded way. These included:

  • A change in language. The current language used to discuss the private rental sector is outdated and has the potential to encourage stigma. Some took the view that use of new terms like ‘home provider’ and ‘resident’ could encourage respectful relationship-building between both parties.
  • More effective regulation: Some attendees felt strongly that respect and trust could not be developed between landlord and tenant without a robust regulatory framework offering tenants protection from unfair eviction, and potentially recriminatory rent increases.
  • Scrapping Section 21: Some present contested that Section 21 should not be scrapped, and that doing so would not necessarily resolve any of the outstanding issues within the sector, including property standards and tenancy length issues. However, others present argued in favour of scrapping Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions in order give tenants increased security in their homes. Nationwide Building Society, Crisis, and Generation Rent all support scrapping Section 21, with Nationwide requested it is abandoned in tandem with the creation of a specialised housing court.

Paul Wootton, Nationwide Building Society’s Director of Home Propositions, said: “It was great to convene such a positive and collaborative discussion with people representing different parts of the sector. I feel very optimistic about how we can take this conversation forward, and work to ensure that the private rented sector works for everyone. Nationwide members are both renters and landlords, and we’re keen to ensure that both parties get a fair deal from the sector.”

All participants will continue to work together around areas of consensus and hope to work constructively on these issues with the Government, local authorities, and other organisations in the private rented sector.



Comments

paul robinson

10:12 AM, 28th November 2019
About A week ago

Having met my local MP at his surgery I’d encourage all Landlords to do the same - voice your concerns and impact over scrapping section 21!!

The student and young professional shared HMO rental market needs fixed term tenancies and the vehicle of section 21 to accommodate this, plus give sufficient swift support to deal with antisocial behaviour and other matters if occurring in a HMO. Otherwise the other decent tenants would be continued to be affected and ultimately their safe enjoyment compromised by their antisocial housemate, leading to all sort of other issues.

Fixed term tenancies and the great benefit they bring to all parties in shared HMO are too long to list here, but fundamentally provide good quality accommodation to young professionals at a competitive price point, allowing them to save and getting on the property ladder themselves.

The government need look at the very different rental demographic, all across the UK and not as they have done with the tenant fee ban, role out “one size fits all” changes.

The proposed changes will again have a detrimental effect on decent tenants in fairly managed shared HMO’s and completely go against the governments goal of providing good quality shared and safe rental accommodation as a fair price!

The recent S21 consultation completely ignored the HMO shared rental sub market and the Ministry of Housing actually advised that it was more targeted at "single household rentals" and HMO shared rental Landlords would be best to use the "other" box to feed back their response.

In the following government document, there were an estimated 497,000 HMOs in England and Wales at the end of March 2018. http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN00708/SN00708.pdf How is it possible that this ½ a million rentals have not been recognised, or their landlords even encouraged to reply to the consultation?

This is fundamentally a flawed consultation and strongly suspect that the HMO shared rental students and young professional market will not be excluded from the abolition of S21.

The Ministry of Housing Confirmed the process would be:-

1) 12 week consultation
2) Info analyses and report written to government
3) Government would decide if to raise a bill
4) As primary legislation, would require a vote my MP’s in parliament.

Once the general election is over and things settled down, so know better who to contact. Would urge HMO landlords to contact their MP and also these parties (subject to who currently resides as Housing Secretaries):-

Robert Jenrick – Housing Secretary

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: ‪020 7219 7335‬
Email: robert.jenrick.mp@parliament.uk

John Healey – Shadow

Parliamentary
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: ‪020 7219 6359‬
Email: john.healey.mp@parliament.uk

Plus copy in the RLA & NLA:-

john.stewart@rla.org.uk
Policy@landlords.org.uk

Michael Barnes

21:05 PM, 28th November 2019
About A week ago

So no landlord representatives there?

Old Mrs Landlord

21:13 PM, 28th November 2019
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Michael Barnes at 28/11/2019 - 21:05
Who else would the NLA and RLA be representing?

Michael Barnes

21:17 PM, 28th November 2019
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by paul robinson at 28/11/2019 - 10:12
I agree regarding there being at lease 3 types of tenancy with differing needs ("normal", HMO and Student). I raised this in my response to the consultation (in several answers). I also pointed out that laws also need to consider the impact on joint tenants.

The consultation indicated that the previous consultation (overcoming barriers to longer tenancies) had many responses identifying student lets as a "special case", but the Government decided that they know best.

If (when?) S21 goes, there need to be S8 grounds that
* allow possession of student lets to be recovered at the end of the academic year.
* Allow possession of HMO rooms where T behaviour is adversely affecting the lives of other Ts.

Also you refer to 1/2 million HMO rentals.
Is that correct, or is it 1/2 million HMOs and in excess of 1.5 million rentals (let rooms)?

Michael Barnes

21:21 PM, 28th November 2019
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 28/11/2019 - 21:13
Ooops.
So few characters that I missed them. Everything else had whole words.

But then again do NLA/RLA really know what is going on at the pointy end and how ending S21 will result in more tenants being classed "intentionally homeless"?

Whiteskifreak Surrey

21:46 PM, 28th November 2019
About A week ago

Where is our Landlords Alliance in all that?

Neil Patterson

9:30 AM, 29th November 2019
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Whiteskifreak Surrey at 28/11/2019 - 21:46
NLA/RLA have a history of shutting out any other landlord interested partys.


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