Housing secretary Michael Gove has moved to reassure private landlords that the Government backs them, describing their work as '�vital' to a functioning rented sector.
His column for the NRLA members magazine appears to be an attempt to quell criticism of his Renters (Reform) Bill launched in parliament during May.
Awaiting its second reading in parliament, the bill will bring in huge changes to the way landlords and letting agents let and manage properties including a wholesale overhaul of regulation, rental contracts and eviction law.
From his comments, it's obvious that Gove is acutely aware that landlords are getting fed up with being painted as the '�bad actors' in the private rented sector, emphasising that they offer tenants 'with flexibility and choice, and the value for money options that go with them'�.
He also points out that a rented home can be 'at the same time a home and an investment, a valued asset and precious security, a shelter and haven'� and that he wants to 'strike a balance'� between landlord and tenant needs.
Turning to evictions, Gove says he wants the looming abolishment of Section 21 evictions, and the introduction of beefed up Section 8 notices, to ensure the law is there to protect victims whether that's the landlord or tenant.
He also pledged to provide 'more comprehensive grounds for landlords to recover properties'� and to make it 'easier to repossess them where tenants are at fault'� and to use digital platforms to speed up the process of getting repossession claims through the legal process.
Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, says: 'We welcome the housing secretary's commitments, and his recognition of the importance of individual landlords.
'As he rightly notes, the Renters (Reform) Bill needs to work for responsible landlords every bit as much as tenants. Without this it will serve only to exacerbate the rental housing shortage many tenants are now facing.'�