Residential Landlords Association (RLA)
Housing Secretary publishes written statement on Section 21 reform
The Housing Secretary James Brokenshire has revealed more information about planned housing reforms, following an announcement last week that the Government plans to consult on banning Section 21.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Brokenshire says that the forthcoming Government consultation will be “the start of a longer process” to introduce reforms.
A “package of reforms”
In his statement, Brokenshire said that the Government is planning on introducing ‘a package of reforms’, adding that this will improve security for tenants and provide landlords with confidence that they have the tools they need”.
Brokenshire goes on to explain the reasons behind the Government’s decision to consult on plans to abolish Section 21. He recently said:
“The private rented sector has changed dramatically in the last twenty years, and the sector needs to keep pace with these changes. The number of people who live in the private rented sector has doubled, and it is home to more families with children and older people. These households need stability and security in their home”.
“The current legislative framework leaves tenants feeling insecure. They can be asked to leave their homes, with as little as two months’ notice, without the landlord providing any reason, using eviction proceedings under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. This sense of insecurity can profoundly affect the ability of renters to plan for the future, to manage their finances or to put down roots in their local communities”.
In the statement, Mr Brokenshire acknowledged the importance for landlords of having confidence that the court system will work for them, should they need to use it. He recently said:
“The private rented sector must also remain a stable and secure market for landlords to continue to invest in. The legislation I intend to introduce will include measures that provide landlords with additional safeguards to successfully manage their properties. We will strengthen the existing grounds for eviction available to landlords under Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988. This will allow the landlord to regain their property when they want to sell it or move into it themselves.
It is important that landlords can have confidence that the court system works for them in instances when there is no other option but to seek possession of their property through the courts. That is why this announcement includes improvements to court processes, to make it quicker and smoother for landlords to regain their properties when they have a legitimate reason to do so”
Coinciding with last week’s announcement, MHCLG also published the Government’s response to the “Overcoming the Barriers to Longer Tenancies” consultation. You can read this response here.
James Brokenshire’s full statement can be read online here.
Following the announcement last week, the RLA giving landlords the chance to shape their rights to repossess properties. A major new survey has been launched, and landlords are being encouraged to share their experiences with the RLA. If you would like to take part in this survey, please click here.
When the consultation announcement came last week, the RLA raised concerns that there could be “serious dangers” to the supply of rental housing for vulnerable tenants, warning that landlords could lack the confidence that they would be able to repossess properties swiftly for legitimate reasons such as rent arrears.
To find out more about the upcoming Government consultation, watch our Frequently Asked Questions video with our policy manager John Stewart, here.
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