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  • Property-a-holics

    Landlord confidence key to possession reforms



    Section 21 repossessions should be retained in the private rented sector unless and until a new system is in place that provides landlords with the same level of confidence  about repossessing properties in legitimate circumstances.

    Groups representing landlords and letting agents forming a ‘Fair Possessions Coalition’ have united in warning that plans to abolish Section 21 repossessions without a new system in place would undermine investment in the sector at a time when private landlords are relied upon on to provide homes for one in five households in England.

    In a statement, the Coalition notes that 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.

    It is 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 is confusing 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.

    Instead of tinkering with the system, the Coalition calls for a comprehensive overhaul of the regulations and processes enabling landlords to repossess their properties. It should lay out clear grounds for repossession that are unable to be exploited by criminal landlords or unreliable tenants.

    Linked to the reform should be the establishment of a new, dedicated, fully funded housing court.

    This should make better use of mediation taking into account models in use abroad and meet in local venues such as schools and community centres, making the process less intimidating and easier for landlords and tenants to obtain the swift and accessible justice they need if the relationship is to work effectively.

    The Coalition argues that such reforms must form part of a wider package of measures including 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.

    ___________________________________


    The Fair Possessions Coalition is made up of:

    ARLA Propertymark; Cornwall Residential Landlords Association; Country Land and Business Association; East Midlands Property Owners; Eastern Landlords Association; Guild of Residential Landlords; Humber Landlords Association; iHowz; Landlord Action; Leeds Property Association; National Landlords Alliance; National Landlords Association; North West Landlords Association; Portsmouth and District Private Landlords' Association; Residential Landlords Association; Safe Agent; South West Landlords Association; and Theresa Wallace (Chair, The Lettings Industry Council).

    A full copy of the statement, which has been sent to the Government, can be accessed >>> here.

    Don't forget you can join myself and other industry commentators on a webinar hosted by the RLA at 11.00 this morning. 

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    SEE ALSO  -          Section 21 - curated threads, news, & videos

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    This is what the government has said The bolding is by me.

    26. The Government will ensure that landlords continue to have the safeguards they need to operate in the private rented sector with confidence. We are clear that any changes to Section 21 legislation will need to be underpinned by enhanced Section 8 grounds and a simpler, faster process through the courts. Landlords will benefit from the stability of long-term tenants, including the security of an assured rental income and fewer void periods. 27. Landlords need to have confidence that they will be able to regain their property quickly in cases where the tenant has broken the terms of their tenancy agreement or where the landlord has other reasonable grounds. Without these assurances, landlords may be prompted to leave the market, which would not help tenants. We are therefore planning to introduce new Section 8 grounds, in parallel to removing Section 21, to strengthen the rights of landlords to recover their properties when necessary, including when they want to sell or move into the property themselves. The Government will consider limiting the use of these new grounds until the tenancy has lasted for two years to provide tenants with additional security.


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