The government’s proposed Renters (Reform) Bill has come under scrutiny many times, with experts regularly expressing concern that this controversial plan could push landlords to exit the market which would put a huge strain on the housing market.
Well, it seems the government has listened. Last month it announced two fundamental changes that will no doubt come as a very welcome change to landlords. Let’s look at what’s changed:
Section 21 evictions will not be axed… for now!
The government’s original plan to abolish section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions was probably the most heavily criticised measure outlined in the bill. Experts warned that this change would have catastrophic consequences – not just for landlords but for tenants too. One of the reasons it’s come under such scrutiny is due to the length of time that it takes for the courts to process possession claims. Even in cases where landlords have a solid legitimate reason it can take over 6 months to process, so scrapping section 21 repossessions will only exacerbate this further.
Because of this, the government has decided to press pause on the abolishment until improvements have been made to court processes – so it sounds like a court reform could be on the cards too.
A ground for the student housing market
The government is keen to put an end to fixed-term tenancies but it has acknowledged that this will cause issues for student lets that are required on a short-term basis. There are concerns that scrapping these tenancies will create a huge amount of uncertainty for both landlords and students. Therefore, the government has announced that it will set up a ground for possession to cover these sorts of student tenancies.
A sigh of relief?
After months of lobbying, the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) celebrated the announcement of these changes, calling them a “huge win”. The association’s Chief Executive, Ben Beadle, also commented: “Following extensive campaigning by the NRLA, we welcome the approach taken by ministers to ensure court improvements are made before section 21 ends. The Government is also right to protect the student housing market. However, more is needed to ensure student landlords are treated the same as providers of purpose-built student accommodation.
“We will continue to engage positively with all parties as the Bill progresses through Parliament.” You can find out more about what the NRLA had to say via its news article.
So are landlords likely to be breathing a sigh of relief at the announcement of these changes? Quite possibly! If you’re a landlord, let us know your thoughts on these developments by leaving a reply below.