One of the things I love about being a letting agent, (and I know I have said this before) is there are no two days the same. Something is always happening in our industry and fortunately because I train my staff I have to ensure I am always up to date with what is going on as well as knowing what is coming up that could affect my landlords….
On the 6th February 2015 the House of Lords approved a Government amendment to the Deregulation Bill where landlords could be blocked from issuing a Section 21 notice on their tenants.
Through the Housing Act 1988, there are two ways of a landlord gaining possession of a property…..
1. The Section 21.( which has been a landlords’ security blanket) and gives a landlord the right to possession without having to give any reasons, once a fixed term of a tenancy has expired.
2. A Section 8 notice, however, this can be more lengthy and expensive.
This legislation known as ‘retaliatory evictions’ is to stop ‘revenge evictions’, and will impose a ban on any landlord serving a section 21 notice on a tenant for a minimum of six months.
Why have they done this? Well, for the minority of landlords who refuse to keep up the repairs on their properties, it will give confidence to tenants to be able to report disrepair on their home without the worry of them being evicted.(hence the name retaliatory eviction)
It is a minority of landlords, however the worry, is there are bad tenants out there and they will exploit this, which in turn will bring significant uncertainty for thousands of responsible landlords.
Chief executive of Citizens Advice, Gillian Guy says ‘ no renter should be evicted simply for complaining about bad conditions. This is a vital step towards ending retaliatory evictions..’
Out of the approximately nine million renters in England, a third of them are in disrepair in the private secotr according to Shelter, fortunately, I have not come across many and I certainly wouldn’t take a neglected property on my books to let out to our good tenants.
The Government are keen to get properties up to standard and from April 2018 any properties that have an EPC rating of F and G will be banned from being rented, but it does concern me that the many good landlords out there could find themselves on the wrong side of this legislation.
I have said before in my previous columns that in 2020 they are predicting a shortage of around 1 million homes and the private sector is increasingly being relied upon to supply these homes and locally in Poole and Bournemouth out of the 70,000 plus rentals 43,000 are provided by the private investor and although I cannot dispute this legislation is good for the purpose it is intended to be for, I just know a good landlord will be held ransom on this.
This still has to be passed before Parliament before the next election, which considering is being dissolved at the end of March might not get a hearing. But forewarned is forearmed and although this was blocked last year, it has got through now, and I don’t think it is going to go away.
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