But-to-let landlords will have little alternative but to become more selective over what tenants they are willing to accept if the government removes Section 21.
Many landlords see the Section 21 ‘no-fault’ eviction process as their only safety net against unscrupulous tenants.
The National landlords Association (NLA) fears that some of the most vulnerable tenants on state benefits will be “the biggest casualties” of the controversial new initiative.
The NLA described the proposal to abolish Section 21 as “ill-thought-out” and urged the government to “think twice” before changing the rules on eviction in the private rented sector.
In a survey of landlords, the NLA found that of those who had sought to end a tenancy in the past five years, regardless of whether they used this no-fault process or specified they had grounds for eviction, 57% had done so because of rent arrears.
Some 43% respondents said that if the government pressed ahead with its controversial plans, they would become more selective when choosing tenants for their property.
In a separate survey, the NLA found that 76% of landlords who let to Universal Credit tenants, 66% of those let to housing benefit tenants, while 63% of those who let to migrant workers experienced rent arrears in the last 12 months.
Richard Lambert, CEO of the NLA, commented: “Rent arrears are the biggest problem that landlords face, and the main reason why they use Section 21 to evict a tenant. So if the government removes what they see as their only safety net - Section 21 - they will have no option but to become more selective. That will hit people on Universal Credit, housing benefit and other state benefits which have fallen way behind rents. They will become the biggest casualties of this ill-thought-out government policy.
“It’s surely not right that the most vulnerable in our society should have to struggle to find accommodation because of the government’s failure to provide landlords with appropriate powers of eviction when faced with rent arrears.”
“We urge the government to think twice before taking this retrograde step.”