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Following their victory at last week’s general election, the Conservatives have been urged by two leading landlord associations to make sure that any reforms made to the private rented sector (PRS) will ensure no obstacles for landlords wishing to seek repossession of properties.

The Residential Landlord Association (RLA) asked for a clear framework from the government, to ensure that there are clear and comprehensive grounds upon which landlords can seek repossession, following the expected scrappage of Section 21.

The National Landlords Association (NLA) urged the new government to establish a new housing court, in order to ensure that fault-based evictions as pursued through Section 8 would no longer involve what they termed a logjam of repossession cases that could follow on from Section 21’s scrappage.

National Landlord Investment Show – MPU

Looking to the future

The Conservatives have started this week, preparing to outline their legislative agenda, having secured a majority of 80 seats, the largest the party has been able to win since 1987, when Margaret Thatcher led the party into a third consecutive electoral victory.

A Cabinet reshuffle is expected, with some of the highest roles in government expected to be filled, as the Conservatives prepare for a new five-year term in office, with a weakened Labour opposition, and a fresh mandate from voters.

Plans to formally begin the process of ensuring scrappage of Section 21 will be closely watched, with a bill likely to be presented to MPs, with a number of readings by MPs and peers in the House of Lords. If such a bill were to receive approval from both the Houses of Parliament, Royal Assent would be the final step, before the bill would finally enter into effect.

Calls for clarity from the RLA and NLA reflect the fact that there is no clear timetable for how the policy will be enacted.

David Smith, policy director at the RLA, said: “With the demand for rented housing remaining strong, it is vital that the Conservatives’ plans for the sector, whilst being fair to tenants, have the full confidence of landlords.”

Richard Lambert, chief executive of the NLA, reacted to Mr Johnson’s victory, adding: “No-one should be in any doubt about the dire consequences for the supply for rental housing in this country, if the government abolishes Section 21 without any effort to reform the law courts and strengthen landlords’ rights of possession.”

Focus turns to 2020 and beyond

Attention is beginning to turn towards the speed with which Mr Johnson’s new government intends to carry out some of the party’s core manifesto pledges. The Conservative manifesto included some extensive plans to shake up the housing market.

The new government is now expected to make good on pledges for increased housebuilding and extending Right to Buy until 2023, as well as carry out a review to support increased homeownership, when the scheme expires.

A speedy resolution to Brexit is central to the new government’s approach, as a number of economic surveys have suggested that a lack of confidence by buyers and sellers was having an adverse reaction on activity in the housing market in the pre-election period.

Another survey earlier this month suggested that the construction sector contracted in November.

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Peter Adams
Peter reports for Property Notify about how political developments have a direct impact on the UK housing market. He does this, through his reporting on topics such as Brexit, government policy and the various political arguments that surround housing.

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2 Comments

  1. Unless LL are able to repossess their properties quickly when tenants breach their tenancy conditions then LL will continue to leave the AST lettings market.
    Most repossessions are caused by the FAULT of the tenant in failing to pay the FULL contractual rent.
    S21 was the more effective process compared to S8.
    With S21 abolishment leaving the dysfunctional S8 process many LL will determine that the S8 process is inadequate for them to manage their business.
    Unless the S8 process is vastly improved to be as effective as S21 then many LL will get out of AST lettings.
    There has been no forward guidance as to how the S8 process is to be improved to be as effective as S21.
    It is highly unlikely that Govt will enhance the S8 process to equal the effectiveness of S21 as it somewhat defeats the the object of the exercise in abolishing S21.
    It is a fact that the current County Court system is inadequate to deal with eviction processes as they are now let alone when all the current S21 cases have to be dealt with by S8.
    The theoretical timelines for eviction are just that………..theory.
    Practically it can easily take 10 months to ultimately evict a tenant and that is when using the more effective S21 process.
    Govt fails to understand how long it takes to get rid of tenants who mostly fail to pay their contractual rent.
    Abolishing S21 will just enable wrongun tenants to further abuse their LL by being able to stay rent free even longer.
    This situation will be financially unviable for many LL.
    As such those LL may determine that the business risk is simply too high and will choose to sell up.

    1. Most landlords will agree with you. Politicians buy their votes buy sacrificing landlords.

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