Will Tenants Lose Out due to Proposed Rental Change?

Will Tenants Lose Out due to Proposed Rental Change?

8:47 AM, 10th December 2021, About a month ago 13

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In a recent letter to all MP’s, landlords have pointed out the potential unintended consequences of a proposed change to the law intended to ‘enhance the rights of those who rent‘.

Tenants’ groups have been lobbying Government for some time to get the Section 21 ‘no fault’ eviction notice revoked, claiming it is unfair to tenants’ security of tenure. After this sustained pressure, Government have indicated they will acquiesce to this demand, trailing a new White Paper, and Bill due next Spring where, among other matters, they propose to remove the Section 21.

On behalf of landlords, iHowz Landlords’ Association have told MP’s that it was the introduction of the Section 21 in 1985 that aided a doubling of tenants in the Private Rented Sector over the past 35 years. Government, Councils and Housing Associations have been happy to allow this trend – even though it has been their responsibility to house tenants, especially socially disadvantaged tenants – leaving private landlords to house people, at the landlords’ risk.

iHowz go on to say that if the Section 21 is removed, only tenants with impeccable references will be offered accommodation, and there is a real danger of many not being able to find a home, especially socially disadvantaged, and vulnerable tenants. The social system would not be able cope with this and would risk being overwhelmed. Consequently, this proposed change will impact the very people it proposes to protect – tenants.

Recognising that the existing notice period is unfair to longer term tenants, iHowz propose a sliding scale of notice periods – whereby the Section 21 would be a 2 month notice for new tenancies (as at present) but would increase to become a 6 month notice where a tenant had been in occupation for more than 4 years.

Additionally, iHowz are also proposing that tenancies of more than 2 years would attract the ability to have the last two months of the tenancy rent-free where a landlord regains possession using Section 21, thus allowing the tenant to save funds for a potential new tenancy, or even to buy.

Both these proposals taken together would result in far more security of tenure for longer term tenancies, and the landlord would be safe in the knowledge that they were guaranteed to get back the properties they own.



Comments

by Ann Shaw

10:53 AM, 10th December 2021, About a month ago

Ludicrous!! The supply of good rental property is becoming scarcer and scarcer for tenants - Wonder why? s24 (wholly outrageous landlord tax), ever-increasing legislation/statute firmly weighted in the tenants' favour, County Courts with hearings light-years away and now the eradication of the only one tiny avenue of redress we landlords have left, ie to gain possession of our properties, s21 - To add insult to injury, suggesting tenants' are offered 2 months' rent-free at the end of the term, is an absolute outrage!!! Landlords have had enough, there are other ways to make our living, and for a lot of us, it isn't even a living anymore, we are just treading water - No wonder I am selling my houses. No wonder I am getting out of this god-forsaken industry - We have put up with enough and there is only so much you can take - When I last checked my email, it didn't say .org at the end!! Furious Landlord and rightly so...

by Ron H-W

11:05 AM, 10th December 2021, About a month ago

Would you believe that I once had a tenant who WANTED a Section 21 ?

A married couple took a tenancy of a 1-bedroom flat - but this became overcrowded once they had 2 or 3 children.
And, unfortunately, the guy lost his job, so they were then on benefits.
The scale of said benefits would/could have covered a larger place (especially in a slightly cheaper area), but they couldn't leave voluntarily, else the L.A. would have taken the attitude that they had made themselves homeless.
From my point of view, I unexpectedly needed to do a bit of repair/refurbishment which was impractical while the place was inhabited, so it also suited me also.
So, if Section 21 had not been available, what COULD have been done?
* Section 8, inventing something - which would have shown the tenant/s in a bad light? (and maybe allowed the L.A. to take the view that they "had made themselves homeless")
* Tenants stay in an overcrowded space, moving temporarily so the repair/refurbishment could happen?

Neither of those would seem satisfactory!

by Pamthomp33

11:12 AM, 10th December 2021, About a month ago

The disruption to tenants lives is the same whether they have been a tenant for 6 months or 4 years so I don't see the logic around extending the notice period as their costs would be the same. As for letting tenants off the last 2 months rent, REALLY! Would any other business do this sort of thing, no of course not. Tenants sign an agreement stating duration of tenancy expected and more often than not, it is extended beyond this. There are no longer tenant fees so the only cost incurred would be removal costs which cannot be avoided. Its the nature of the beast unfortunately.

by LaLo

11:23 AM, 10th December 2021, About a month ago

Write 'direct' to the housing minister - I've had replies in the past! I've just realised why they are called the conservative 'party' !!

by Seething Landlord

11:36 AM, 10th December 2021, About a month ago

I hope but very much doubt that in their letter to MPs this association made it clear that they represent nobody apart from themselves, and possibly their members if they bothered to carry out a proper consultation before writing (unlike NRLA with their equally daft proposals).

by Monty Bodkin

11:40 AM, 10th December 2021, About a month ago

Landlords would end tenancies at the 2 year point and/or start a new tenancy. Obvs.
They've not thought this one through.

by LaLo

12:58 PM, 10th December 2021, About a month ago

Come on - I think you are all being a bit unfair. The government (poor things) have got to dump the homeless problem on to someone! The PRS is ideal, if there are any difficulties LLs can always take out loans against property and get into a mess later - not the gov's problem! On to other matters. I've heard the government are giving out grants to struggling businesses e.g. tenants not viewing/moving due to fear of picking up covid ???

by LaLo

13:38 PM, 10th December 2021, About a month ago

Come on - I think you are all being a bit unfair. The government (poor things) have got to dump the homeless problem on to someone! The PRS is ideal, if there are any difficulties LLs can always take out loans against property and get into a mess later - not the gov's problem! On to other matters. I've heard the government are giving out grants to struggling businesses e.g. tenants not viewing/moving due to fear of picking up covid ???

by Jo Westlake

17:11 PM, 10th December 2021, About a month ago

In reality how many times would the 2 month freebie kick in? How often do we suddenly decide to evict long term tenants just because we feel like it?
The vast majority of tenancies end because the tenant decides to move out. No Section 21 so no 2 month freebie.
If we want to sell we can try selling with tenants in situ.
If long-term tenants suddenly stop being good tenants chances are a Section 8 would apply so no 2 month freebie.
Probably the main consequence of this proposal is that long term tenants would face far higher annual rent increases. Currently a lot of us rarely increase rents for existing tenants and when we do those increases are modest. If we have to budget for a potential 2 month freebie I imagine the easiest way to do so is from those tenants who may potentially benefit from the freebie.
Isn't this proposal very similar to the Deed of Assurance Mark Alexander suggested years ago?

by iHowz Landlord Association

12:23 PM, 11th December 2021, About a month ago

We hear everything said, and can understand the immediate reaction.

We totally agree that landlords won’t be evicting for no reason, and we make that point quite strongly in our paper. The intention of the Government is to abolish section 21 evictions unless a landlord wishes to sell their property. The intention, therefore, is to create "Life Tenancies."

Our proposal seeks two things. First, to retain section 21 evictions.

Second, in the event a landlord chooses to use a section 21 eviction (a no-fault eviction) to make the process fairer by covering the tenant's costs, and allowing a longer period of notice.

There is nothing in our proposal that will stop a landlord using a section 8 notice. There is nothing in our proposal compelling a landlord to use the proposed modified section 21 eviction process.

In short, we firmly believe section 21 evictions should be retained. We respectfully, suggest you read our detailed paper, which appears on our website under "Campaigns"

Thanks for all the comments and feedback – keep them coming.

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