The housing minister James Brokenshire’s announcement yesterday that there will be a consultation period on the ability of landlords to remove tenants using Section 21 of the 1988 Housing Act, with potentially far reaching consequences for landlords, risks creating ‘chaos’ in the courts, according to the National Landlords Association (NLA).
The government’s proposal to remove Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions, essentially creating indefinite tenancies, has unsurprisingly been slammed by the NLA.
The NLA has long argued that Section 21 has become a backstop to overcome the ineffective Section 8 process, where a landlord has to go to court to regain possession when a tenant is in breach of their tenancy agreement, because it is seen as slow, costly and inefficient.
Richard Lambert, CEO of the NLA, said: “Landlords currently have little choice but to use Section 21. They have no confidence in the ability or the capacity of the courts to deal with possession claims quickly and surely, regardless of the strength of the landlord’s case.
“England’s model of tenancy was always intended to operate in a sector where Section 21 exists. This change makes the fixed term meaningless, and so creates a new system of indefinite tenancies by the back door.
“The onus is on the government to get this right. It’s entirely dependent on the government’s ability to re-balance the system through Section 8 and court process so that it works for landlords and tenants alike.
“The government should look to Scotland, where they reformed the court system before thinking about changing how tenancies work. If the government introduces yet another piece of badly thought-out legislation, we guarantee there will be chaos.”