Landlords and letting agents have joined forces to campaign against government plans to scrap Section 21, the so-called ‘no fault eviction’.
‘Fair Possessions Coalition’, which includes the likes of the National Landlords Alliance, National Landlords Association, Residential Landlords Association, ARLA Propertymark, among many others, wants to see Section 21 repossessions remain in place unless a suitable system comes in to replace them.
It is argued that the current ‘Section 8’ process, under which landlords can repossess properties based on a number of grounds, is not fit for purpose and does not provide the level of certainty offered by Section 21.
The current judicial process for dealing with possession cases is confusing for tenants and takes an average of over five months from a landlord applying to the courts for a property to be repossessed to it actually happening.
The coalition fears that removing Section 21 without introducing a viable alternative that enables landlords to repossess their properties would deter investment in the buy-to-let sector.
Linked to the reform should be, the coalition argues, the establishment of a new, dedicated, fully funded housing court.
This, the coalition says, should make better use of mediation taking into account models in use abroad and meet in local venues such as schools and community centres, making the process less intimidating and easier for landlords and tenants to obtain the swift and accessible justice they need if the relationship is to work effectively.
The coalition believes that that such reforms must form part of a wider package of measures including welfare reforms to better support vulnerable tenants to sustain tenancies and smart taxation to encourage the development of the new homes for private rent the country needs.
The ‘Fair Possessions Coalition’ includes ARLA Propertymark; Cornwall Residential Landlords Association; Country Land and Business Association; East Midlands Property Owners; Eastern Landlords Association; Guild of Residential Landlords; Humber Landlords Association; iHowz; Landlord Action; Leeds Property Association; National Landlords Alliance; National Landlords Association; North West Landlords Association; Portsmouth and District Private Landlords' Association; Residential Landlords Association; Safe Agent; South West Landlords Association; Theresa Wallace (chair, The Lettings Industry Council).