S21 Notices Central Housing Group

Section 21: New call for government to rethink proposed ban

There’s been another call on the government to rethink its plans to change the Section 21 eviction process.

The founder of Landlord Action, Paul Shamplina, has written to housing minister Heather Wheeler, inviting her to gain a greater understanding of the possession process before making drastic reforms.

This comes after a survey of 263 landlords carried out by Landlord Action has revealed that 38 per cent of landlords will consider selling up if the government goes ahead with plans to abolish Section 21.

A further 33 per cent said they would only continue being a landlord with significant changes to the possession powers granted by Section 8.

The government has expressed a desire to encourage longer-term tenancies, which Landlord Action agrees makes sense for those that want them, such as families.

However, with the current average tenancy lifespan already four years and one month, and with approximately 90 per cent of tenants ending tenancies themselves, Landlord Action claims there is growing concern that abolishing Section 21 is not the right approach to achieve this.

According to its survey, 70 per cent of landlords would be less willing to consider a longer-term tenancy if Section 21 was no longer available to them, and 85 per cent said they would be more selective with their choice of tenant.

Shamplina says: “Encouraging longer tenancies will only be possible with major investment in housing courts to help speed up evictions, which currently take 22.8 weeks from gaining possession to issuing a claim for eviction², and clarification regarding new grounds within Section 8 to protect landlords.

“It is clear from our survey that with so many other obstacles already faced by landlords, such as the introduction of more regulation, the reduction in the tax relief that landlords can claim on mortgage interest and a three per cent Stamp Duty surcharge on buy to let properties, there is a real possibility of the buy to let market significantly shrinking over the next five years meaning higher rents for tenants.”

Shamplina has invited Wheeler to attend an eviction with him to support the government’s work in formulating policy and new law which presents equal opportunity for everyone operating in the private rental sector.

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