News: Almost four in ten landlords would consider selling up if Section 21 is scrapped

Mon, 20 May 19

Nearly four in ten private landlords would consider selling up if the government scraps Section 21, shocking new statistics reveal. 

According to a survey carried out by Landlord Action, 38% of buy-to-let landlords will consider offloading properties if the government axes Section 21 repossessions – so-called ‘no fault’ evictions. A further 33% said they would only continue being a landlord with significant changes to Section 8.

The study also found that 70% of landlords would be less willing to consider a longer-term tenancy if Section 21 was no longer available to them, while 85% said they would be more selective with their choice of tenant. 

“If this was the case [that Section 21 was scrapped], the government’s efforts could end up being counter-productive and harming the most vulnerable tenants” said Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action.

Shamplina has written to the housing minister, Heather Wheeler, inviting her to gain a greater understanding of the possession process before making drastic reforms.

Encouraging longer tenancies will only be possible with major investment in housing courts to help speed up evictions, according to Shamplina.

He added: “It currently take 22.8 weeks from gaining possession to issuing a claim for eviction, and clarification regarding new grounds within Section 8 to protect landlords.

“It is clear from our survey that with so many other obstacles already faced by landlords, such as the introduction of more regulation, the reduction in the tax relief that landlords can claim on mortgage interest and a 3% stamp duty surcharge on buy-to-let properties, there is a real possibility of the buy-to-let market significantly shrinking over the next five years meaning higher rents for tenants.”

A separate survey by the Residential Landlord Association’s (RLA) which asks what a post-Section 21 private rented sector should look like has already attracted more a record number of landlords.

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