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No-fault eviction ban will put vulnerable tenants at risk, say landlords


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25 Jul 2019

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Scrapping section 21 evictions could make it harder for low-income tenants to find homes, a new survey by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) suggests. 

 

The government plan to ban no-fault evictions in England in a bid to give tenants security and halt "revenge evictions". 

 

But the proposals have prompted anger from landlords who say it will make dealing with anti-social behaviour far harder. The RLA survey suggests the plan could hurt lower-income tenants as landlords say they will be more selective over who they let to. 

 

The survey of 6,400 landlords found 84% of RLA members would pick tenants on higher incomes and could decide to let fewer homes to tenants with pets to minimise the risk of damage. 

 

If section 21 is scraped, landlords will have to rely on section 8 notices to evict tenants in the case of rent arrears or anti-social behaviour. But this is a more lengthy and costly process that requires going to court. 

 

The survey suggested that 45% of RLA members would consider selling some of their properties as a result of a section 21 ban such was the concern over the impact on the sector.

 

Housing charity Shelter said the fears are ungrounded and that there had been no such consequences in Scotland since it banned section 21.

 

David Smith, policy director at the RLA, said: "While no landlords should ever abuse the system, it is only right and fair that they can repossess properties swiftly and with certainty in legitimate circumstances."

 

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: "The government's plan to scrap no-fault evictions is vital to tackle the turmoil experienced by people up and down the country, especially children and the elderly who are worst affected by sudden evictions. 

 

"Being turfed out of your home for no reason, with no evidence, and with just eight weeks of warning can have devastating consequences. This practice must be consigned to the history books."

 

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