While often portrayed as the Ogre in the story, the majority of private landlords have for years been providing good quality rented accommodation to shore up the struggling social housing sector under ever changing legislation. With an overloaded court system, dealing with rent arrears or anti social tenants has been extremely difficult for landlords meaning a delay in securing possession of their properties. This coupled with the general frustrations landlords faced with further legislative changes this year, has meant many are wondering if now is the time to exit the market.
BUT....there is good news within the paper and underneath the headlines, there is an acceptance that good landlords need to be considered when looking at reform of the sector as a whole. The paper states;
"Of course, we also want to support the vast majority of responsible landlords who provide quality homes to their tenants. That is one of the reasons why this White Paper sets out our commitment to strengthen the grounds for possession where there is good reason for the landlord to take the property back."
Perhaps not such a worthy headline....but it grabbed my attention!
It goes on to add
"The existing system does not work for responsible landlords or communities either. We must support landlords to act efficiently to tackle antisocial behaviour or deliberate and persistent non-payment of rent, which can harm communities. Many landlords are trying to do the right thing but simply cannot access the information or support that they need to navigate the legal landscape, or they are frustrated by long delays in the courts. In addition, inadequate enforcement is allowing criminal landlords to thrive, causing misery for tenants, and damaging the businesses and reputations of law-abiding landlords."
This bill is designed to revamp and rejuvenate the rental sector, which many good landlords and agents have been calling for, having found the current system out dated and difficult to navigate. Yes, it also looked at unfair treatment of tenants and Shelter were heavily involved, but as with all things in life there has to be balance and some tenants subjected to the actions of criminal landlords or living in poor quality private or social housing have undoubtedly felt unfairly treated.
The inclusion of pets is not surprising and the ending of Section 21 no fault evictions has been looming for years. Scotland has been under the new system since 2017 and their system still allows landlords to recover possession to sell the property, move back into it, allow a family member to live in it or for rent arrears/anti social behaviour. They believe that under strengthened regulations it has become easier for a landlord to regain possession through a tribunal system than under the previous system.
Clearly the government will need to invest in the infrastructure to back this up in England and there are many more hurdles to get through before the final bill is passed but I can safely say it's coming but you don't need to panic. A good agent can get you through any legislative changes, but if you're worried or unsure just ask! That's what your agent is there for.
If you have any queries on any of the above please do not hesitate to contact a member of the team 01785 223344 / 01630 658888