Industry News Sally Walmsley 02/12/2020

Landlords publish new deal for rented housing

Reforms would sustain tenancies wherever possible

Private landlords are calling on the Government to establish a new landlord and tenant conciliation service as part of its planned changes to the private rented sector.

The call, being made by the National Residential Landlords Association, comes as it publishes its proposals for the Renters’ Reform Bill.

With the Government committed to abolishing Section 21, or ‘no fault’ evictions as some describe them, the NRLA is calling for fundamental reforms to the rights of repossession that are fair to both tenants and landlords.

The plans outline clear and comprehensive grounds upon which landlords should be able to regain possession of their properties. This includes cases of tenant rent arrears, anti-social behaviour and situations where landlords want to sell a property. 

Where possession notices are challenged, the NRLA is calling for the creation of a new, publicly funded conciliation service, similar to the employment dispute body, ACAS. This would seek to resolve disagreements between landlords and tenants without the stress and costs associated with going to court.

Whilst more serious cases, such as those related to criminal activity by a tenant, would need to go straight to court, most could be considered by the conciliation service.

This would help the tenant and landlord to reach an agreement to keep the tenancy going or bring the tenancy to an end in a way that works for both parties. Both parties would be able to access the advice and support they needed to make their case. 

Where landlords failed to abide by the terms of the agreement they would be banned from being able to repossess the property on the same grounds for six months. Where renters did so, the case would be fast tracked through the courts.

With possession cases taking many months to be considered and ruled on by the courts, the proposals announced today would reduce the workload on them ensuring they can more quickly consider and act upon cases that do come before it. 

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the NRLA, said: “As the Government prepares this important Bill, it needs to enjoy the full confidence of both landlords and tenants.

"Our proposals are for a fundamental reform of re-possession rights which strike the balance between the needs of both. The over-riding aim is to sustain tenancies wherever possible or bring them to an end in a collaborative way. 

“We hope that Ministers will accept our proposals and act on them soon.”

In December 2019 the Government announced plans to introduce a Renters’ Reform Bill which it said would:

  • Abolish the use of ‘no fault’ evictions by removing Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 and reforming the grounds for possession
  • Give landlords more rights to gain possession of their property through the courts - where there is a legitimate need for them to do so - by reforming current legislation
  • Improve the court process for landlords to make it quicker and easier for them to get their property back sooner
  • Introduce a new lifetime deposit so that tenants don’t need to save for a new deposit every time they move house
  • Continue to develop and implement measures to wider access to and expand the scope of the database of rogue landlords and  property agents

To read the NRLA proposals in full click here.

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley Magazine and Digital Editor

Sally is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

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