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Government urged not to underestimate impact of removing Section 21

The government’s plan to scrap Section 21 without improving the court system and alternative process for regaining possession of a property, known as Section 8, will have an adverse impact on landlord confidence, according to ARLA Propertymark.

The government finally published the consultation of abolishing Section 21 repossessions in the private rented sector last week, which will run for 12 weeks, until Saturday 12th October 2019.

But the professional body for letting agents fears that the government is contemplating changes to section 21 without actually making any improvements to the system beforehand.  

Reflecting on the amendments to the Section 8 eviction process and consultation on abolishing Section 21, David Cox, chief executive, ARLA Propertymark, commented: “At a time when the industry is facing many challenges and changes the government cannot underestimate the impact the removal of Section 21 will have on landlord confidence.

“Strengthening Section 8 is essential, and it must move to a system of mandatory grounds with anti-social behaviour and rent arrears being top of the priority list.

“The success of the private rented sector has been built on the fact there is flexibility in the market for landlords, but more importantly for tenants.

“The government must make changes based on tenant behaviour, not just the demographic change amongst renters.

“Reform to the justice system is vital, and digitalisation, privatising bailiffs and investing to ensure a properly functioning court system, must be advanced in order that confidence amongst landlords and within the sector is maintained.”

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