The government’s proposed scrappage of Section 21 has been deemed unworkable and could threaten the supply of rental homes across the UK, according to the Residential Landlord Association (RLA).

Plans to scrap Section 21 were announced by the government back in April, but the RLA has been a vocal critic of the move, believing the measures would fail to ensure that a landlord could regain possession of a property.

The RLA’s comments come as the government’s consultation on scrapping Section 21 closes on 12th October, after having been open to the public for several weeks, allowing relevant parties to have their say about the proposals.

LIS Show – MPU

Association raises concerns

One of the RLA’s top concerns regarding the government’s consultation was that it failed to consider proposals that would actually prevent the breakdown of tenancies occurring.

The RLA claimed that issues surrounding Universal Credit were a common reason why tenants find themselves in rent arrears, and that the consultation didn’t include provisions for this issue.

The scrappage of Section 21 could also have the unintended consequence of making it harder for landlords to evict tenants displaying anti-social behaviour, they added, as the new system of requiring landlords to provide legal grounds for eviction would open them up to the possibility of these tenants simply challenging their eviction notice.

This increasing level of legal wrangling would require proof to be presented, but the RLA added that those affected might be unwilling to do so, especially if they were continuing to live with their tenants in the run-up to any court hearings.

Differing views towards scrappage

In a survey of its members, the RLA found that 84 per cent of respondents would be more likely to become more selective about who they rented to, if the system made it less certain they could regain possession from tenants, in the event of rent arrears or anti-social behaviour.

Another potential consequence of the measure that the RLA cited was that the number of landlords operating in the private rental sector (PRS) could potentially decline, reducing the supply of rental properties and pushing up rents for existing ones.

In contrast, the pressure group Generation Rent has welcomed the government’s proposals. On 8th October, some of its members, as well as members of the London Renters Union, paid a visit the Ministry of Housing.

Their members assembled outside the ministry’s offices, displaying banners and signs, sharing stories about unfair evictions, as well as calling on the government to guarantee the security of tenure for renters.

At the time of writing, it is unclear precisely when Section 21 is likely to be scrapped, but all three main political parties now explicitly support moves to scrap it, meaning it is highly unlikely the proposals would be overturned, no matter which party forms the next government after a general election.

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Steven Taylor
Steven reports on the daily churn of the property news cycle, often reporting on the stories you may have missed during the week. He covers a range of topics, including market sentiment, new findings and announcements by policy-makers.

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    1. Next we will be told we cannot sell our properties. Indeed, John Mcdonnell proposes his “Theft from Citizens Bill” (aka Tenants right to buy at Governement determined discount) if labour get in power. The politicians are crazy. Add to this Rent Controls proposed by labour it seems the UK is not a place to risk your investment in residential property, indeed landlords will leave. Generation Rant and the likes do not even see that they are driving landlords away with years to landlord bashing that there will be less and less property available to rent and the idiots in Government are not going to come to the rescue with millions of social houses. Some better off tenants will get on the housing ladder and good luck to them but poorer tenants are the ones that will be the true victims whilst Shelter and Generation Rent will claim success and what great organisations they are (but not if you are on benefits!)

    2. Clearly this is a total mess and it’s high time the government stopped interfering in the PRS. The constant changes imposed on Landlords will have a massive long term effect of reducing the volume of homes available to rent in an industry that would take many years to recover if that is even possible. Scrapping the section 21 will cause hardship to tenants and also limit portfolio expansion reducing it to a level that will no doubt place local authorities under greater pressure to house people indefinitely.
      The Claims made by Labour outlining a plan to offer a privately owned Landlords property for sale are Absolutely disgusting and surely is deemed as theft of personal property The legality of such action is highly questionable unless of course the Landlord is in agreement to sell his property.
      Labour also voice in their proposal that the Tenant can purchase the property at a discounted price. This surely could cause the Landlord to incur a debt where the property is subject to a mortgage and a discounted sale price failed to pay the balance of the mortgage.
      We are in a housing crisis and rather than punish Landlords with A raft of badly thought out measures the government really need to motivate measures Landlords to improve and expand portfolio rather than drive the sector into potential decline. Whilst the tenant action groups celebrate their success they will shortly realise that a hollow victory is no victory at all !!

    3. All that has been suggested will occur in the UK has already happened in Ireland.
      There is a massive homelessness problem due to LL having left the market due to the Irish version of S24.

      The Irish Govt is now desperately trying to attract LL to return but they AREN’T having it!
      No surprise there.

      Rents have massively increased and tenants are far worse off.

      Those LL are clearly managing perfectly well not being in the Irish PRS.

      Not so the tenants!!

      This is the way UK LL will react and remember this is with the Irish S24 not being retrospective.

      As has been suggested a virtual storm will occur when the full effects of S24 are realised.

      Then LL who finally understand what is going on will bale out of the PRS.

      I’m just praying I’m out before all these LL realise what is going on.

      Perhaps there might be lots of cash rich LL who will be able to take over mortgaged LL properties.

      If so I say good luck to them.

      All they then have to gamble on then is that there WON’T be a Labour Govt who will seek to expropriate their properties via their proposed bonkers RTB scheme

    4. So now we see the effects of Section 24 and Section 21, the Chicken are coming home to roost. The Land Registry report to August 2019 shows massive price drop in London prices and a stagnant economy, this is a direct result of S24 & S21 meddling by Osborne & others not forgetting Stamp Duty Land Tax hike where by the buyer knocks this off the Sellers price.

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