The Government has moved to reassure landlords that it’s committed to introducing reforms to create a fairer and more effective rental market, but has rejected a petition’s call for quicker evictions.

Responding to an online petition signed by nearly 12,000 people that pushes for landlords to be able to instigate court proceedings when tenants have stopped paying rent for two weeks, it says: “We are grateful to landlords for their forbearance during this difficult time and are conscious of the financial pressure on landlords.”

It explains that it will reform the market “when parliamentary time allows”, adding: “This will be achieved by legislating to remove Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, to provide tenants with more security – but also strengthening the grounds for eviction to ensure that landlords have confidence that they can gain possession when it is fair to do so.

“This includes working closely with the Ministry of Justice to explore how we can simplify court processes and make them work more efficiently.”

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Petition

Leading property investment mentor and landlord, Ranjan Bhattacharya (main picture), launched the petition in early October, which now has 11,804 signatures.

He believes the current system is unfair to landlords who have to wait lengthy periods for repossession, while incentivising some to only rent their properties to tenants with higher than average income who are likely to care about getting a bad credit rating.

In its reply, the Government says that given the ongoing pressures of the pandemic, it believes its current approach strikes a fair balance between ensuring landlords can progress the most urgent cases and ongoing protections to tenants.

It says: “The Government has been clear that tenants remain liable for paying their rent.

“Where possible and appropriate, including cases of rent arrears, we encourage landlords and tenants to consider alternative dispute resolution such as mediation to reach a mutually acceptable agreement to resolve their dispute, without the matter needing to go to court.”

11 COMMENTS

  1. There is no fair balance between LLs and tenants – it is currently heavily skewed towards tenants! Result – the highest average rents ever seen outside London.

    • Yep, rents in my area are gone up a lot! One of my tenants has just left and the going rent is now 17% higher than the rent I was charging them.

      “Responding to an online petition signed by nearly 12,000 people that pushes for landlords to be able to instigate court proceedings when tenants have stopped paying rent for two weeks, …” As a landlord, I would welcome the ability to instigate court proceedings to evict after 2 weeks and would only do this if the tenant didn’t have a good reason for not paying the rent. I had one tenant who didn’t pay his rent because he gave the rent money to his mum to go on holiday. He just couldn’t see that he had not paid for the holiday, but that I had!

      it says: “We are grateful to landlords for their forbearance during this difficult time and are conscious of the financial pressure on landlords.” Did landlords have any choice? Conscious of the financial pressures? Did anything to help landlords….. let’s see….. ah! that’s a big fat NO!

      “It says: “The Government has been clear that tenants remain liable for paying their rent.

      “Where possible and appropriate, including cases of rent arrears, we encourage landlords and tenants to consider alternative dispute resolution such as mediation to reach a mutually acceptable agreement to resolve their dispute, without the matter needing to go to court.” I tried this – the tenant asked for mediation and then changed his mind.

      The courts are far too much in the tenants’ favour. No wonder so many landlords are selling up. Flipping properties is a better investment, especially if you’re flipping your only home.

      • Yes, a thousand times yes. All landlords now must surely see that this ‘Conservative’ government is hell-bent on driving small private landlords out of business by almost any means possible. They want to replace them with corporate build to rent schemes mainly financed by their City friends – Osborne started it.

        • Yes Malcolm, I totally agree with you. The Conservatives only want us as a means to house people they don’t have enough properties for, but their long term plan is to dump us, as they hope to be able to enable big city investors to cash in now that rents are getting ever higher. And who has driven rents up ??……. the Tories, by bringing in more and more punitive and expensive measures aimed at landlords, so landlords have to keep increasing rent in order to recover their growing costs.

  2. “This will be achieved by legislating to remove Section 21”

    Good luck, with trying to evict problem tenants. if someone is a drug dealer, will neighbours stick their neck out and provide the evidence needed for an eviction.

    • Most of the time the police don’t act, even when they are told about drug dealing from a house.
      They only do the whole “Dawn Raid with Battering Ram” thing when the local reporters are available.
      It’s all just for show.
      Most of the informers are other rival drug dealers or disgruntled drug buying customers.

  3. More landlords, need collect rent via bank transfer. Less excuse of I pay my rent in cash….. That is the only way to protect bad tenants.

    Landlords, should be able to register bad debts without of going to Court….. and provide details to referencing agencies.

      • Agreed. You can’t hide a house from the government, so what’s the advantage of cash?
        There will be plenty of records of the tenants living there.
        HMRC will just assume you have been paid market rent. Good luck proving otherwise…

  4. The deciding factor is that there are more votes to be had from tenants than landlords.
    As the government believes that the situation that it has created is a ‘fair balance’ then it has lost credibility in my view.
    An independent body should be set up to review the rental situation and come up with a fair solution. The government should not be allowed to judge its own case.

  5. Agreed the balance between tenants and landlords is scewed so much. We are re-renting a property and going to raise rent by 25% as in Manchester we used to want long term tenants but we will make it uneconomical for them as the government wont support the landlords. The government have not supported landlords with tenants who are not paying.

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