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Rental reform: The government must act to ‘have the full confidence of landlords’

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) is calling on the government to ensure that reforms are made to the way good landlords can repossess properties in legitimate circumstances.

The new Conservative government has pledged to end Section 21 repossessions in the rental market.

The party also pledged to strengthen the rights of good landlords to repossess properties when they have good cause to do so, and that is something that is urgentlly needed sooner rather than later according to the RLA. 


The group is calling on ministers to ensure that the new framework provides comprehensive grounds upon which landlords can repossesses properties in cases such as anti-social behaviour and tenant rent arrears, with guarantees about the timeframes involved for each and measures to prevent abuses by problem tenants.

The RLA also wants this to be underpinned by developing a dedicated, properly funded housing court to ensure considerable improvements to the time taken to rule on, and enforce, possession cases.

David Smith, policy director for the RLA, commented: “We look forward to working constructively with the government as it develops its plans for the private rented sector. 

“With the demand for rented housing remaining strong it is vital that the Conservatives' plans for the sector, whilst being fair to tenants, have the full confidence of landlords.

“The election should also be seen as an outright rejection of Labour's plans for rent controls. They would have undermined investment in the sector, choked off supply and made it more difficult for tenants to find the good quality homes to rent they need.”

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Poll: Do you agree that the outcome of the general election was an outright rejection of Labour's plans for rent controls?


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    It appears that RLA are wiling to give up Section 21. I see nothing above that would allow a Landlord to sell with vacant pocession. Is there any wonder as to why the government feel they can walk all over landlords.

    Ian Boddison

    I find it incredible that this issue of vacant possession keeps coming up. Why should a tenant be evicted just because the landlord wants to sell the property? There are plenty of landlords, us included, who will happily buy a property with a tenant...



    I tried to sell a property when "good" tenants were still in it but it was a nightmare. No cooperation during viewings regarding keeping the flat clean and tidy, giving viewers some space and privacy to look around properly, indicating that they would not move out without a struggle etc. Offers received once the flat was empty, cleaned and refurbished were nearly 20% higher than the joke offers from potential rogue landlords who were the only interested parties with sitting tenants. Vacant possession is essential to allow landlords to maximise return on investment on selling.

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    • 16 December 2019 10:06 AM

    There is no way this ridiculous Tory Govt though not as ridiculous as a Labour one will introduce a special court just so LL can recover their properties more easily.
    S21 will be abolished and folded into S8.
    County Courts will have to cope with the former S21 workload and consequently repossessions will take an average of 20 months.
    Expect lots more bankrupt LL with many BTL properties being repossessed by lenders.

    The S21 process is dysfunctional as it is.
    Getting rid of it leaving some sort of alleged enhanced S8 process simply won't work.
    The poor old County Courts and their bailiffs will have even more work to do with no more resources than they have now.
    LL are deluding themselves if they expect Govt to spend money on making a LL business more effective.
    S21 will go with no appreciable change in the even more dysfunctional S8 process.
    Happy days!!??

  • Daniela Provvedi

    I don't have much confidence in this Tory Government at the moment, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed in what the RLA & the NLA can do for us Landlords.
    But what I CAN say is THANK GOODNESS Labour or the Lib Dems didn't get in....


    I second that Daniela, even though the Tories have done us no favours, the thought of waking up to a Corbyn led government filled me with dread.

  • phil dillon

    In my opinion the NLA and RLA are spneless organisations that do absolutely nothing for LL in the PRS. PLease can anyone give me ONE example of these orhs changing Housing Policy

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    • 16 December 2019 15:48 PM

    Unfortunately the soon to be NRLA is all LL have; spineless or NOT!!
    They are the only body that LL have as a means to influence Govt policy.
    I consider that the Tory Govt has given LL 5 years to get out of AST letting before the potential of a Labour Govt in 5 years time.
    A LL business is simply unsustainable if depending on AST letting to single households.
    5 years to change business model to avoid potential expropriation by a future Marxist Labour Govt.


    I think we have 10 yrs before we need worry about any possibility of a labour government, that will make me 76, if I'm still around, and if I am I don't think I will be too bothered by then.

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    Hi Ian, no I did not & never will buy a property with a tenant in place, you are not going to get the true value of your property or be able to improve it either. I find my own Tenants like I have done for 40 years so I will leave those to you and the slum LL's from over seas who like to buy at knock down prices.

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    • 17 December 2019 18:22 PM

    Tenants are two a penny and no existing tenants are worth retaining at the cost of potentially reduced market value.
    A sitting tenant simply ISN'T worth sufficient to retain.
    There are plenty of aspirant tenants who invariably will be willing to pay far more rent than an existing tenant.
    Existing tenants have very little value in light of the overwhelming demand from tenants.
    I will be selling over the coming years and I will be getting rid of existing occupants to ensure maximum market value from as many prospective purchasers as I can.
    I am in the game to make as much money as I can and I am NOT prepared to allow the domestic circumstances of any existing tenant to interfere with my achieving maximum value from my property asset.
    EVERY tenant knows that any LL could choose to sell up at anytime.
    That is the nature of the PRS.
    Mostly there is no issue with this as most LL are invested in the market for a long time.
    But when you have the numerous attacks on the PRS by Govt etc that affects viability then it is no surprise when many LL CHOOSE to sell up.
    It is always the poor old tenant that suffers from stupid Govt regulations.
    They need their LL to remain a LL whereas the LL DOESN'T need to be the tenant's LL.

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    I have to agree with you there Paul, buy a property with a tenant in it and you are taking on another landlord's problems, been there, done that, got the tee shirt.

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    • 17 December 2019 20:57 PM

    I understand the potential efficacy of utilising an existing tenant.
    The problem though as you well intimate is that the following LL is inheriting the previous LL due diligence as far as the previous tenant is concerned.
    There AREN'T many LL that would trust the DD of a previous LL.
    However I suppose there is nothing to prevent a new LL carrying out DD on that tenant.
    But of course with the TFA that now becomes problematic.
    Most LL would prefer to market a new rental property to the whole of the market to achieve maximum rents.
    There would be nothing to prevent a recently removed tenant from applying again and who may well be successful.
    But invariably the rent would be higher than an existing tenant would wish to pay.
    It is normally the case that LL attempt to sell with a sitting tenant as they know if they give NTQ to an incumbent tenant they could face a lengthy and costly eviction process with certainly massive rent arrears.
    LL are being very naive if they believe they can achieve the same market price with an incumbent tenant compared to a vacant property.
    Such LL have to accept that they will be screwed down on market price if they have a sitting tenant.
    Based on my experience of evictions I would suggest that at least £10000 off the market value of a property would occur.
    If the property can't achieve EPC C status then even more off the market price would be needed equal to the costs of improving to EPC C status.
    But the fact remains is that a sitting tenant can be more trouble than the supposed ostensible value of retaining an existing tenant.
    A void is a price worth paying for sourcing a new tenant.


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