The NRLA has urged the government to address court hold-ups while debating the Renters Reform Bill – or risk undermining work to improve the sector.
The Bill gets its second reading on Monday, but NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle (pictured) believes uncertainty over its progress has made it difficult for landlords and renters to plan for the future.
“As they consider the Bill, MPs and Peers will need to make sure it secures the confidence of responsible landlords every bit as much as tenants. Should the Bill fail to secure the confidence of landlords, the shortage of homes will only worsen, ultimately hurting renters,” adds Beadle.
Ministers have pledged to guarantee improvements to the court system and it is crucial that problems are addressed alongside the Bill’s progress, he says. “As the cross-party Housing Select Committee has warned, an unreformed court system risks undermining the government’s planned changes to the sector.”
According to Ministry of Justice data, it takes a mean average of 29.1 weeks between a private landlord making a legitimate claim to repossess a property to it actually happening. In a report published earlier this year, the cross-party Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Select Committee noted that pressures on the courts would be exacerbated by the repeal of Section 21, as landlords seek to regain possession under Section 8, especially in the case of rent arrears and antisocial behaviour.
LRG surveyed 271 landlords across its estate agency brands and found that 80% have never used Section 21. Of those that had, 6% did so when the tenant was in breach of the lease and only 3% where the tenant was not.
Group MD Michael Cook says: “The vast majority of landlords don’t evict tenants on a whim. To end no-fault evictions through abolishing Section 21 is extreme, unnecessary, and damaging to landlords and tenants alike.”