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Almost half of landlords expected to exit the PRS

Removing Section 21 could prove devastating for the private rented sector, with almost half of landlords and letting agents more likely to reduce some or all of their investment in the private rented sector, new research shows.

A new survey by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) of almost 6,500 landlords and letting agents, their biggest ever response, has found that 46% of landlords and letting agents could quit the buy-to-let market as a result of the government’s plans to end Section 21 - so-called ‘no fault’ evictions.

The study also found that more than 40% of landlords are waiting for other planned changes by the government to become clearer before they make decisions on their ability to provide homes to rent.


Last month, the government announced plans to end Section 21 repossessions, alongside proposals on improving the process known as Section 8, under which landlords can repossess properties on grounds such as rent arrears or anti-social behaviour.

This process requires landlords to apply and be granted permission to repossess via the courts yet official data shows that it takes over five months on average from application to repossession.

According to the survey, of those landlords with experience of such repossessions, 79 did not consider the courts to be reliable. Almost 91%of landlords supported the establishment of a special housing court, bringing together all housing disputes under a single body.

With concerns that landlords selling property will usually require tenants to be evicted, the RLA’s survey found that 48% of respondents said that they would be encouraged to purchase a property to rent with a tenant in situ if they could reclaim the three percent stamp duty levy on the purchase of rental homes on the condition that the tenants can remain in the property for a year or more.


According to the survey, there is widespread support for new grounds to be established upon which landlords can regain possession of a property.

This included to sell a property and to ensure tenancies can best meet the needs of certain groups such as students, who do not require the indefinite style tenancies being proposed by the government.

David Smith, policy director for the RLA, commented: “Security of tenure means nothing unless the homes to rent are there in the first place.

“With the demand for private rented housing showing no signs of slowing down it is vital that landlords are confident that they can quickly and easily get back their property in legitimate circumstances. 

“Whilst the system should clearly be fair to tenants, it needs also to support and encourage good landlords.

“Our survey shows how complex it will be to ensure that the grounds on which landlords can repossess properties are both clear and comprehensive.

“This needs to be underpinned by a court system that is fit for purpose and properly resourced. At present it is neither.

“It is vital that the government’s planned reforms are carefully considered to avoid finding ourselves needing to reopen this whole issue later down the line.”

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Poll: Are you planning to quit the buy-to-let market as a result of the government’s plans to end Section 21?


  • icon

    Forget about Housing Courts just leave S21 alone or what’s left of it following Deregulation Act which has already depleted made it very weak. That simple enough & stop meddling, if what you mean by housing Court is First Tear Tribunals or upper keep well clear of that, it will be far worse I have attended & observed.

  • Chris JaiBahadur

    My landlords are really getting fed up with the governments continual interference. Two of my landlords have now decided to sell their portfolio of properties which amounts to 6 properties.
    One landlord has decided to buy in Spain and just do holiday lets and I can see others doing the same.
    These interfering ministers have no conception of what ultimately will happen to the PRS. Shelter and the like need to gear up for an influx of homeless people.

  • Andrew McCausland

    This Government has helped destroy the PRS at a time when more housing is required for the increasing population, and changes needed to modify the existing stock to accommodate changing lifestyles. If private landlords won't spend their own money on these investments who will?

    The Government can't afford to. The BTR sector can fill some of the hole with new build but won't touch refurbishments. The crass handling of the sector by this Conservative administration is almost beyond belief. Are they surprised by a survey last week that 75% of LL have abandoned the party?

  • icon

    I’m starting to sell and will be getting into holiday let’s and buying abroad. What this government has and is doing to our industry is simply unbelievable and I can’t see it getting any better get out why u can we are being Treated as terrorists at the minute

    • 23 May 2019 10:10 AM

    Worse than terrorists
    S24 has the capacity to bankrupt a LL leaving them HOMELESS!!!
    That a LL could end up homeless along with his tenants as a result of housing them.
    Only in Britain!!

  • icon
    • 23 May 2019 10:18 AM

    Abolsh S21 by all means.
    But change S8 so that rent default causes immediate removal by police after 2 months rent arrears which is 1 month and one day where rent is paid monthly in advance which is most tenancies.
    The day after the LL attends to remove tenants with police assistance if necessary.

    No court action just a NTQ issued 14 days after 1st rent default.
    There would then be very little need for a Housing Court as most current evictions are for rent default.
    Councils would then be inundated by tenants who had been evicted due to rent default and therefore have made themselves INTENTIONALLY HOMELESS!!


    It's a lovely thought Paul but we all know it won't happen

  • James B

    Landlords can’t win this one, government is chasing them out the sector but then they are the bad guys for evicting tenants and selling up

  • icon
    • 23 May 2019 17:00 PM

    @ A Townshend
    Yep I know what you are saying.
    Sometimes I do drift off to a world of pure fantasy!!!
    But this is the way they do it in Oz and it works fine.


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