Joanne Young, Legal Director in Ashfords’ Property Litigation Team gives her reaction to the Government’s announcement to ban controversial ‘no-fault’ evictions
I am concerned about the proposals announced today. In the same vein as the tenancy deposit rules, the licensing of HMOs, the retaliatory eviction law and, recently, the new legislation on tenant fees, the proposals to prevent section 21 being used by landlords to obtain possession is another step aimed at improving the PRS (private-rented sector) and tackling ‘rogue’ landlords. No one can argue that there are some very poor practices by some private landlords. But this ignores the excellent private landlords who are providing great quality housing for tenants. Those landlords, landlords I see on a day to day basis, do not use section 21 without good reason; it is used simply because it provides a means of obtaining possession that does not result in long court proceedings- proceedings that can have a significant financial impact on those landlords. Unless there are real improvements in the Court process, I fear these proposals may be the final straw for many private landlords. I share the concerns that, in the long term, this may simply drive many landlords out of the market. I also suspect that the ‘rogue’ element of landlords will continue as they do at present- with little regard to the law.