Rent reforms put on hold: Decision on whether to ban tenant-evicted tenants without a good reason is delayed to next year

The Government has pushed back new rules that affect the operation of the rental market.

The long-awaited changes to the rental industry include banning section 21 notices. These notices allow landlords and tenants to initiate a process of evicting tenants.

The Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities revealed that the Rental Reform Whitepaper will not be published until next years.

Industry experts say that while the paper was expected to be unveiled in autumn, the extra time will allow for the Government to create a balanced package.

The controversial Rental Reform White paper will now not be published until next year

The controversial Rental Reform Whitepaper will not be published until next years.

A Section 21 notice is a legal notice that allows landlords to evict tenants for any reason they choose. This practice was previously pledged to be scrapped by the Conservatives.

Propertymark, an association of letting agents, has welcomed the delay. It claimed that it was ‘always to big a task to try and squeeze wholesale reforms in to two years’.

It hopes that the delay will allow the Government to keep its promise for ‘a fair private rental sector that works for both tenants AND landlords’.

It stated that the ban on Section 21 notices is still ‘a bone for contention’ amid concern about its effect on current and future landlords and the consequent effect of raising rents.

Propertymark’s Timothy Douglas stated that, ‘Due to their significance, it is only right for the Government to not rush into large-scale reforms to private rented sectors in England without taking time to develop them properly.

“The pandemic has brought new challenges to be considered. It shines the spotlight on notice periods and raises the need for efficiencies in the possession process in courts. In addition to finding solutions that improve affordability, supply, and support landlords and letting agents who worked hard to maintain tenancies during the pandemic, it is important to consider the following:

“We also believe that a system of all mandatory ground should be adopted to effectively compensate the removal of Section 21. Technological solutions must be found to digitize possession claims. We also acknowledge that early-stage mediation and conciliation have a role in disputes and possession proceedings.

The long-mooted proposed changes include plans to ban section 21 notices

Proposed changes include the ban of section 21 notices.

Agents representing landlords agreed that a ban on section21 notices could lead to more landlords selling, which could lead to a shortage in rental homes and higher rents.

David Reed, from Antony Roberts estate agents, stated that he was pleased with the delay in publishing white paper. It is in both the landlords and tenants best interests not to rush to publish legislation and just abolish Section 21 notices in a hurry without proper consultation.

“Otherwise, it could lead to more landlords being sold up, leading in a shortage of rental stock and upward pressure on rents.

He explained that there has been a sustained contraction in rental supply. This is not good news for the economic recovery and comes at a time where post-pandemic lifestyle decisions must be made.

“Lack of property choices means tenants have to rush to make decisions. Rents are also rising in certain areas.

He continued, “All tenants should have a choice of properties to peruse and properly think about with rents that are affordable.”

“To achieve such conditions the Government and all those involved in such consultations should ensure the incoming legislation doesn’t dissuade existing landlords or potential landlords from entering the sector for their first time.

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