Portsmouth landlords group fearful over plans to change repossession laws

Private landlords fear they could lose out
Private landlords fear they could lose out
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A COALITION of the country’s 18 leading leading private landlord groups have expressed concerns about the government’s proposed plans to reform the process of house owners rights to property repossession.

The coalition includes the Portsmouth and District Private Landlords Association.

Concerns are currently centred on section 21 of the 1988 Housing Act.

A section 21 ‘notice to quit’ is a legal procedure which the landlord can use to regain possession of a property which is let under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. It gives the landlord the right to request tenants to leave the property at the end of a tenancy agreement. After receiving this notification tenants have two months to vacate the property.

Plans to abolish section 21 have left landlords concerned about the efficiency with which they can repossess their properties.

A statement from the group said: ‘The coalition notes that whilst landlords much prefer to have good tenants staying long term in their properties they need certainty that in legitimate circumstances, such as tenant rent arrears or anti-social behaviour, they can swiftly and easily repossess their properties in much the same way as social landlords and mortgage lenders.’

The group feel removing the security of section 21 will create  uncertainty with landlords which will have a detrimental impact on future provision of privately rented accommodation on which many people rely.

The statement added: ‘Abolishing section 21 would undermine investment in the sector at a time when private landlords are relied upon to provide homes for one in five households in England.’

While other routes for repossession do exist under the Housing Act they are based on a range of complex criteria which the group feels does not offer the same level of protection for landlords.

A spokesperson for the group said: ‘A thriving private rental market that provides choice for tenants hinges on landlords having confidence that they can regain possession of their property in a timely and efficient way. At present, only section 21 repossessions provide that certainty. It should be kept unless and until a new system is in place that provides landlords with the same level of certainty. The other routes currently available for repossessing properties do not meet this test.’