Vulnerable tenants would be “hit hardest” by removal of Section 21: RLA

Vulnerable tenants at a higher risk of rent arrears would be “hit hardest” by plans to remove Section 21, according to the Residential Landlords Association.

A survey conducted by the RLA shows that 84 per cent, of those who participated, said that plans to scrap Section 21 would make them “more selective” about the tenants they choose to rent to.

The data also shows that of the landlords which have utilised Section 21, 84 per cent had done so because of tenant rent arears, 56 per cent due to damage to the property, and 51 per cent because of anti-social behaviour.

Furthermore, over a quarter, 26 per cent, of landlords say they have served a Section 21 notice at the request of their tenant, in order for them to seek social housing and avoid being classed as intentionally homeless.

The RLA outlines that it currently takes an average of over five months, from when a landlord applies to court, for a property to be returned to them under Section 8.

Residential Landlords Association policy director David Smith says: “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.

“At present, only Section 21 provides this certainty. If the government is to get rid of it, landlords should have the same level of confidence and certainty about repossessing properties in cases such as rent arrears, anti-social behaviour or wanting to sell the property.

“Without such confidence landlords will simply leave the market, making it more difficult for the growing number of people looking for to find a home to rent.

“Secure tenancies will mean nothing without the homes to rent being there in the first place.”

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