Following on from Housing Minister Heather Wheeler’s article in RLA where, in wake of the recent government policy to scrap Section 21, Wheeler recognised the need for a change the housing regulations, to create a “new deal” between landlords and tenants. Wheeler acknowledged that few landlords evict tenants for no reason, and she also recognised that landlords had to be able to repossess their property to evict tenants swiftly, should they need to.
To this end Wheeler is proposing strengthening Section 8, expanding its remit to include serving eviction notices if they need to sell up, or move back into the property themselves, and also looking at reforming the system to make evictions processes quicker. She emphasised that the government was at the beginning of a consultative process, and stressed that the government was listening to all parties.
Arthur Online CEO and co-founder, as well as landlord in his own right Marc Trup welcomed the development:
“The news that the government was thinking of scrapping Section 21 came as a shock, but I said at the time, it’s important to wait and see the details of what they are proposing. The Housing Minister’s comments today are a good start.”
On Wheeler’s proposals for Section 8, Marc agreed, adding “it’s a logical step, if Section 21 is scrapped, then major changes need to be made to Section 8 to help out landlords. Ultimately however, what will determine the success of what Minister Wheeler is proposing is whether court proceedings will be accelerated to remove bad tenants. Section 8 was always fine in theory, the issue is that in practice it takes a really long time to get a ruling. I would like to see the eviction process simplified and made quicker, and if that can be achieved, it will help compensate the loss of Section 21.”
Marc also urged fellow landlords to take part in the consultation process the government has started on this matter: “It’s really important that landlords have their voices heard. Too often there is a lack of balance between the rights of landlords and tenants, so landlords need to discuss their concerns with the government.”