Landlords and letting agents have banded together to warn that Section 21 repossessions need to stay in place unless a suitable system comes in to replace them.
Groups representing landlords and letting agents have formed a ‘Fair Possessions Coalition’ to oppose the government’s plans to ban to abolish Section 21, known as ‘no fault evictions’.
The coalition warned the move would undermine investment in the buy-to-let sector – and instead called for a comprehensive overhaul of the regulations and processes which enable landlords to repossess their properties.
A spokesman for the coalition said: “Whilst landlords much prefer to have good tenants staying long term in their properties they need certainty that in legitimate circumstances, such as tenant rent arrears or anti-social behaviour, they can swiftly and easily repossess their properties in much the same way as social landlords and mortgage lenders.”
The coalition called for the establishment of a state funded ‘housing court’ to replace the current ‘complex system’, which would hear cases related to repossession issues as well as matters like disputes over property standards.
The group also called for welfare reforms, to better support vulnerable tenants to sustain tenancies, and smart taxation, to encourage the development of the new homes for private rent the country needs.
It argued that the current Section 8 process, under which landlords can repossess properties based on a number of grounds, is not fit for purpose and does not provide the level of certainty offered by Section 21.
The current judicial process for dealing with possession cases for tenants and takes an average of over five months from a landlord applying to the courts for a property to be repossessed, to it actually happening.