RLA: Landlord support key to PRS repossession plans

Michael Lloyd

December 19, 2019

Ministers need to ensure the repossession plans for the private rented sector have the support of landlords, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has warmed.  

The RLA said that the proposals in the Queen’s Speech to end Section 21 repossessions need to be replaced by a system that ensures landlords have the confidence that they can swiftly and effectively repossess properties in legitimate circumstances.

It said without such confidence the supply crisis in the market will only worsen, making it harder for prospective tenants to find a place to live.

David Smith, policy director for the RLA, said: “We accept the need to protect tenants from abuse but it is crucial that plans to reform the way repossessions can take place are got right if the government is to avoid a rental housing crisis.

“Unless the new system is fair to good landlords as well as tenants, those same landlords who we need to support simply will not have the confidence to provide the rented homes that are needed to meet the demand.”

David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, criticised the government’s plans to abolish Section 21 evictions, as outlined in the Queen’s Speech.

He added: “In the absence of any meaningful plan to boost the level of social housing in this country, the announcement confirming the abolition of Section 21 in today’s Queens speech is another attack against the landlords who actually house the nation.

“If Section 21 is scrapped, Section 8 must be reformed and a new specialist housing tribunal created.

“Without this, supply will almost certainly fall which will have the consequential effect of raising rents and will further discourage new landlords from investing in the sector.

“ARLA Propertymark will be engaging with the government to ensure they fully understand the consequences of any changes, and we will be scrutinising the legislation, to ensure landlords have the ability to regain their properties if needed.”

The RLA has long called for the new framework to provide clear and comprehensive grounds upon which landlords can re-possess properties in cases such as anti-social behaviour and tenant rent arrears.

It has also called upon the government to develop a dedicated housing court to ensure that there is easily accessible and swift justice available where there are conflicts between landlords and tenants.

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