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Have your say on Section 21

Friday 13 September 2019

ARLA Propertymark is encouraging all letting agents to respond to the UK Government’s consultation on ‘A new deal for renting: resetting the balance of rights and responsibilities between landlords and tenants.’

ARLA Propertymark has submitted a comprehensive 39-page document in response to the Government’s consultation on planned changes to the eviction process in England.  

The consultation is available online from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

 

 

ARLA Propertymark opposes the abolition of Section 21. Changes to the current system should only take place following the development of specialist housing courts and mandatory grounds allowing landlords to regain possession of their property. Changes must be fair both to tenants and to landlords.

Revisions to the system must provide sufficient mandatory grounds to cover all of the common reasons why the landlord needs to regain possession of the property.

The housing court system must be overhauled to allow for specialist hearings and informed rulings.

Without new court systems the likelihood of the following may be increased:

  1. Reduction in private rented housing stock
  2. Landlords becoming more risk-averse and choosing the “best” tenants
  3. Additional pressure on the social rented sector to house displaced tenants

The proposals currently have the potential to make homelessness worse:

  1. Landlords are likely to exit the market because of their fear of not being able to regain possession of their property
  2. This is likely to lead to displacement and may lead to increased instances of homelessness
  3. This will lead to increased expenditure for the local authority in funding alternative accommodation
  4. This may also create instances of evicted tenants having a bad reputation as they join the Register of Judgments

Any changes must also be mindful to avoid increasing discrimination and negatively impacting low income and vulnerable tenants who could turn to rogue operators.

Individual responses

Letting agents can make an individual response to the consultation and we encourage you to do so. Responses can be submitted via an online form, email or post. 

To help letting agents respond, ARLA Propertymark has produced some guidelines and a template document. 

Get resources

Commenting, ARLA Chief Executive David Cox, said: “The Government’s plans could be devastating for the private rented sector and landlords operating within it. It is vitally important that letting agents get involved and highlight the implications. If you are opposed to the abolition of Section 21 as we are, and you want your voice heard then this is your opportunity to have your say.”

The consultation closes at 11:45 pm on 12 October 2019.

Submit your response