Letting agents have warned that government plans to abolish Section 21 evictions will remove 600,000 properties from the private rental market, drive up rents and increase pressure on the justice system.
These predictions are made within a new report from The Lettings Industry Council (TLIC) called Beyond Section 21.
It warns that landlords, nervous of being unable to evict tenants who stop paying rent, will resort to much tougher screening processes that will exclude lower-income tenants and those in receipt of benefits.
The report follows the government’s now closed consultation on banning Section 21, which garnered some 20,000 responses from across the sector.
The TLIC claims that a ban will drive out many landlords from the traditional long-let private rented sector (PRS) and into the arms of Airbnb or out of the sector for good.
This will remove 600,000 properties from the market and also create 45,000 additional possession hearings for County Courts to deal with.
“It is vital to strike a balance between the needs of tenants for long-term security and legal certainty [and] restoring landlord confidence to ensure an adequate supply of private rented homes,” says Theresa Wallace (left), Chair of TLIC.
“The government must not proceed with its proposal…without careful consideration of the impacts and implementation of measures to mitigate such negative consequences.”
To avert a crisis, Wallace calls for a beefed-up Section 8 evictions process to enable an accelerated process; encouraging both sides to use mediation before going to court; reform of the judicial process to create specialist housing courts and a fast-track process to enable bailiffs to be found once a possession order has been granted.
Paul Shamplina (left) of Landlord Action says: “These four measures make sure that the tenants’ need for long-term security regarding their tenancies is met while at the same time respecting the landlords’ right to use their property economically and according to their needs.”