An in-depth report into the government’s plans to abolish Section 21 evictions claims it will harm the very people the ban hopes to help.

The report, commissioned by The Lettings Industry Council (TLIC), predicts that without investment into the already stretched court system, a ban will create a reduction in overall supply, higher rents and a huge leap in possession hearings.

TLIC was set up in 2015 by Theresa Wallace, Head of Compliance for Savills’ lettings division, and Kate Faulkner of Propertychecklists, to bring together representatives from all the industry’s bodies and schemes.

The organisation wants to understand the impact and risks of abolishing Section 21 evictions, which it says include tougher tenant screening and even greater exclusion of benefits claimants, lower income families and those in insecure employment.

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Banning Section 21 will also lead to a 20% reduction in overall supply, 600,000 tenants facing rent increase, 770,000 few homes available to benefits claimants and 60,000 additional possession hearings.

Benefits

Currently, S21 offers mandatory possession, limited scope for judicial challenges, is quick and simple and relatively low cost.

And TLIC supports improving conditions including health and safety in the PRS for tenants but says you cannot make such drastic changes to Section 21 without forward planning to deal with the inevitable impacts, and also makes recommendations to balance these impacts.

The concern is that the Government will do the bare minimum and this report shows that would create chaos across the sector. If the government is determined to forge ahead with their plans, TLIC suggest a four-pronged approach (see below) to mitigate the downsides of the abolition of the Section 21.

1. Strengthen Section 8 grounds

This should include strengthening rent arrears and anti-social behaviour grounds, ‘sale of property’ grounds and introduce an accelerated process.

2. Mediation

Provide a mediation service fully resourced with experts to reduce the number of court cases.

3. Court reform

The judicial infrastructure will buckle if Section 21 is abolished and therefore a specialist court for evictions that can operate virtually and in person must be established.

4. Bailiff reform

Expand the bailiff system by either setting up a self-funding public bailiff service or make the use if High Court Enforcement Officers standard.

Read the report in full.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. The student and young professional shared HMO rental market needs fixed term tenancies and the vehicle of section 21 to accommodate this, plus give sufficient swift support to deal with antisocial behaviour and other matters if occurring in a HMO. Otherwise the other decent tenants would be continued to be affected and ultimately their safe enjoyment compromised by their antisocial housemate, leading to all sort of other issues.

    Fixed term tenancies and the great benefit they bring to all parties in shared HMO are too long to list here, but fundamentally provide good quality accommodation to young professionals at a competitive price point, allowing them to save and getting on the property ladder themselves.

    The government need look at the very different rental demographic, all across the UK and not as they have done with the tenant fee ban, role out “one size fits all” changes.

    The proposed changes will again have a detrimental effect on decent tenants in fairly managed shared HMO’s and completely go against the governments goal of providing good quality shared and safe rental accommodation as a fair price!

    Last years S21 consultation completely ignored the HMO shared rental sub market and the Ministry of Housing actually advised that it was more targeted at “single household rentals” and HMO shared rental Landlords would be best to use the “other” box to feed back their response.

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