Some good news for landlords - Finally

?This week, in some welcome news for landlords, the government revealed that it will not introduce the abolition of Section 21 until stronger possession grounds and a new court process is in place.

These improvements are aimed at simplifying and expediting the possession process. Here are the key points:

  1. Digitizing Court Processes: The government plans to digitize more of the court process to make it easier for landlords to use and streamline the process.
  2. Prioritisation of Cases: They will explore prioritising certain cases, particularly those related to antisocial behaviour, to expedite the resolution of such issues.
  3. Bailiff Recruitment and Retention: Efforts will be made to improve bailiff recruitment and retention, along with reducing administrative tasks, so bailiffs can focus on possession enforcement.
  4. Legal Advice for Tenants: The government aims to provide early legal advice and better guidance for tenants to help them find housing solutions that meet their needs.
  5. Mediation and Dispute Resolution: There will be a focus on strengthening mediation and dispute resolution as a way for landlords to settle problems without going to court. This will be embedded as a member service of the new Ombudsman.
  6. No Dedicated Housing Court: The government has rejected the idea of creating a dedicated housing court, stating that the costs would outweigh the benefits. Instead, they intend to improve the existing court capacity and processes.
  7. Implementation Timing: The government has made it clear that they will not proceed with the abolition of Section 21 until they judge that sufficient progress has been made to improve the court system.

In addition to these changes, the government has agreed to establish a new ground for property repossession to protect the yearly nature of the student housing market. This new ground will facilitate short-term student tenancies, allowing new students to sign up for a property in advance, ensuring they have a place to live for the next year.

These decisions and responses come in response to a report from the House of Commons Housing Select Committee, and it's important to note that the government's responses represent their position on these recommendations.

Sherrelle Collman, Managing Director of Caridon Landlord Solutions, commented:

“Whilst we accept that abolition of Section 21 will happen at some point, this should give landlords some much needed reassurance that the Government is listening to the industry and most importantly, landlord concerns. We have seen increasing delays in the length of time it takes landlords to gain possession of their properties, and abolishing Section 21 without addressing the fundamental issues with the eviction system would be catastrophic for the PRS.

It is understandable that tenants will see this as ‘kicking the can down the street’, but the consequences of removing Section 21 at this point would be far worse for tenants, reducing the pool of available rental stock even further and pushing rental prices up.

In addition, we would urge the Government to unfreeze housing benefit rates to stop the exclusion of lower income tenants from the private rented housing market.

The combination of high inflation and soaring rental prices means the freeze on Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates since April 2020 has effectively eroded the value of the financial support provided to people who qualify for housing benefit.

Whilst we understand that the rate of LHA is not an isolated issue; it forms part of the broader context of the housing crisis, which is complex and multifaceted, adjusting LHA rates to reflect the current economic climate and rising rental prices would be a step in the right direction.

Not only would it help to alleviate poverty and prevent homelessness, it would provide lower-income households with access to better housing options and encourage more private landlords to support this sector.”

<< Go Back