Landlord News

Queen’s Speech: Housing repossession reforms must have support of landlords

Em Morley - December 20, 2019

The latest Queen’s Speech occurred yesterday (19th December), in which she stated that “new measures will be brought forward to protect tenants and to improve building safety.”

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has responded to the speech, stating that ministers need to ensure that landlords support any plans for the reformation of landlords’ rights to repossess rented housing. Otherwise, the market could see a mass sell-off of properties.

The RLA has warned that with the demand for rental housing outstripping demand, the proposals made within the Queen’s Speech to end Section 21 repossessions need a suitable replacement.

We need a system that ensures landlords are confident that they will be able to swiftly and effectively gain repossession of their properties in legitimate circumstances. Without such confidence, the supply crisis in the market will only worsen, making it harder for prospective tenants to find a place to live.   

The association also points out that it has long called for the new framework to provide clear and comprehensive grounds upon which landlords can repossess properties. This includes cases such as anti-social behaviour and tenant rent arrears, with guarantees about the timeframes involved for each. We also need to see measures to prevent abuses by problem tenants.

On top of this, the Government needs to develop a dedicated housing court to ensure that there is easily accessible and swift justice available where there are conflicts between landlords and tenants.

David Smith, Policy Director for the RLA, comments: “We accept the need to protect tenants from abuse but it is crucial that plans to reform the way repossessions can take place are got right if the Government is to avoid a rental housing crisis. 

“Unless the new system is fair to good landlords as well as tenants, those same landlords who we need to support simply will not have the confidence to provide the rented homes that are needed to meet the demand.”