Row of houses

Landlord associations are urging the new Conservative government to ensure reforms to the buy-to-let sector benefit both landlords and tenants as section 21 moves a step closer to being abolished. 

The Tories, who won a majority in the general election on December 12, pledged to end section 21 repossessions, and they appear to have kept their word with no-fault evictions set to be one of four key issues in Thursday’s Queen’s speech. 

But alongside abolishing no-fault evictions, the Conservatives also promised to strengthen landlords’ rights of possession by reforming the law courts. 

Boris Johnson’s party also vowed to give good landlords more rights to repossess properties when there is a solid and justifiable reason to do so. 

According to the Ministry of Justice, it currently takes private landlords an average of just over 22 weeks from making a repossession claim to the courts to the property being returned to them. 

A dedicated housing court would speed up and enforce possession cases, the National Landlords’ Association (NLA) say.

The association also wants to see the government reform section 8 evictions to end the predicted backlog of repossession cases that could follow the scrapping of section 21.

Without additional reforms, NLA analysis has found the supply of private rented houses in England would fall by 20%, or 960,000 properties after section 21 is banned. 

The research also found that the hardest hit would be some of the most vulnerable in society, predicting a 59% drop in the number of private rented properties available to households which claim local housing allowance or universal credit.

In addition, as many as 600,000 households – 13% of the sector – could face further rent increases as demand continues to outstrip supply.

Richard Lambert, the NLA’s chief executive, said: “We congratulate Boris Johnson on his return to No. 10 Downing Street as prime minister of a new Conservative government. We now stand ready to work with him and his team on the reform of housing regulations in a way that does not do long term damage to the supply of private rented housing.”

“No-one should be in any doubt about the dire consequences for the supply of private rented housing in this country if the government abolishes section 21 without any effort to reform the law courts and strengthen landlords’ rights of possession. There would be nearly one million fewer houses available for rent and the people who would be hardest hit would be some of the most vulnerable in our society: those in receipt of state benefits.”

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