Founder of Landlord Action, Paul Shamplina, has written to the Housing Minister, Heather Wheeler, inviting her to gain a greater understanding of the possession process before making drastic reforms. This comes after a survey¹ carried out by Landlord Action has revealed that 38% of landlords will consider selling up if the Government goes ahead with plans to abolish Section 21. A further 33% said they would only continue being a landlord with significant changes to Section 8.
The Government has expressed a desire to encourage longer-term tenancies, which Landlord Action agrees makes sense for those that want them, such as families. However, with the current average tenancy life-span already four years and one month, and with approximately 90% of tenants ending tenancies themselves, there is growing concern that abolishing Section 21 is not the right approach to achieve this.
According to the survey, 70% of landlords would be less willing to consider a longer-term tenancy if Section 21 was no longer available to them, and a staggering 85% said they would be more selective with their choice of tenant. “If this was the case, the Government’s efforts could end up being counter-productive and harming the most vulnerable tenants” says Paul Shamplina, founder of the regulated law firm and eviction specialists Landlord Action.
He continues: “Encouraging longer tenancies will only be possible with major investment in housing courts to help speed up evictions, which currently take 22.8 weeks from gaining possession to issuing a claim for eviction², and clarification regarding new grounds within Section 8 to protect landlords.
“It is clear from our survey that with so many other obstacles already faced by landlords, such as the introduction of more regulation, the reduction in the tax relief that landlords can claim on mortgage interest and a three per cent Stamp Duty surcharge on buy-to-let properties, there is a real possibility of the but-to-let market significantly shrinking over the next five years meaning higher rents for tenants.”
With a long pedigree of working with Government on reform and legislative change, for example giving evidence to the Select Committee tasked to reform Section 21, Paul Shamplina, has now written to the Housing Minister, Heather Wheeler.
Concerned that, despite the opportunities for tenants, the Government may not have a clear handle on unforeseen consequences that changing the law around Section 21 will present, Mr Shamplina has invited Heather Wheeler to attend Landlord Action’s offices in Borehamwood to see first-hand the work Landlord Action carries out, meet their team of solicitors and share their experiences of the court process. He has also invited the Housing Minister to attend an eviction with him and see the reality of what happens on the ground in order to support the government’s work in formulating policy and new law which presents equal opportunity for everyone operating in the PRS.
¹ Survey responded to by 263 landlords
² Ministry of Justice