With the government’s announcement in April 2019 that they were ‘ending no-fault evictions’, landlords might have been concerned that evicting a tenant from their property had suddenly become more difficult. However, what was being launched was a consultation on Section 21 amendments. Heather Wheeler, MP, stressed that the proposal to strengthen Section 8 would allow landlords further grounds for repossession of their properties under certain circumstances.
Also reassuring for landlords is the evidence that most qualified agents very rarely have to evict a tenant, and Paul Shamplina at Landlord Action, the eviction specialists, agrees with this. If the worst happens and a tenant has to be removed, it’s generally because rent hasn’t been paid, or because the landlord is either selling or moving back into their property. It’s unlikely that any of this will change during the government’s consultation.
At Leaders we are passionate that landlords retain the right to secure possession of their rented property when it is fair to do so, whilst tenants are also able to put down roots and make a home for themselves with a degree of certainty. As we are members of ARLA, we fully support the ‘Fair Possessions Coalition’ which represents landlords and letting agents to ensure any changes to repossessing a property do not rely on purely strengthening the ‘Section 8’ process, but overhaul the regulations and process surrounding eviction.
As part of this reform, the Coalition is calling for a ‘new, dedicated, fully funded housing court’ which should use mediation to make it easier and quicker for landlords and tenants to secure ‘swift and accessible justice’ if required as opposed to the current, long-winde legal process under Section 8, which benefits no one.
For good landlords and agents, we don’t believe the changes are likely to impact too hard and that’s partly because here at Leaders, we reference tenants extremely carefully and aim to nip any early problems firmly in the bud, to protect our landlords and tenants alike.
In addition, our experience supports the notion that most landlords have a long-term view on buy-to-let, with our average landlord investing for a minimum of 8 years. Many of these landlords retain long-term tenants and, in reality, they work together flexibly. This is suggested to be the case in many instances, as current research suggests that fewer than 10% of landlords end a tenancy agreement (source here). However, should an eviction become unavoidable, our fully-managed and portfolio lettings service options guarantee peace of mind by acting on a landlord’s behalf, and protecting their interests.
Everyone operating in the private rented sector, including tenants and landlords, will be able to comment and work with the government to devise a ‘new deal’ in the rental sector. Realistically, however, there is not much certainty about how quickly this proposal will develop, especially in view of the current state of fluidity at government level.
At Leaders we aim to shield landlords from the pressures that can accompany times of fluctuation within the sector. All it takes is a phone call to chat about how we can help you make the most of your investment, while reducing anxieties that can crop up. For an informal chat about the advantages of full management, do ring us on 033 3455 3464, or why not drop into one of our branches and speak to a member of our experienced lettings advisors? You can find our nearest office here.