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46% of Landlords Threaten to Quit the PRS

Professional man walking away with caption: 40% of landlords threaten to quit the PRS.

The Residential Landlords Association has surveyed the landlord community in the wake of the government’s announcement it wants to scrap Section 21, no-fault eviction notices. The results are a damning indictment of landlord confidence in the private rental sector.

More than six thousand landlords and agents completed the survey, which shows how emotive the subject is. 46% of them said they were planning to sell up and leave the sector, in part because of the planned removal of Section 21 notices.

In addition, a further 40% of landlords were waiting to see what the government does next. If they feel under more pressure, they plan to quit too.

“Security of tenure means nothing unless the homes to rent are there in the first place,” says David Smith from the RLA.

“With the demand for private rented housing showing no signs of slowing down it is vital that landlords are confident that they can quickly and easily get back their property in legitimate circumstances.”

If Section 21 is scrapped, landlords can still use Section 8 to repossess their property, but it can take up to five months to go through the process. Many landlords say the current process is not fit for purpose.

The RLA is calling for the government to overhaul the court system. Good landlords will then have the right support in place when they need to repossess their properties.

Bad News for Tenants

If landlords do decide to quit the sector in their droves, it is clearly bad news for tenants.

The number of people looking for rental accommodation is rising. Many older people can no longer afford to buy a home. It isn’t just Millennials who are being pushed out of the housing market.

Britain’s largest residential landlord, Grainger, has seen a sharp rise in the number of middle-aged renters. Many middle-aged renter are dealing with job losses and relationship breakdowns. They want affordable housing, but demand outstrips supply, especially in cities like London.

If thousands of landlords quit the private rental sector, the housing supply will fall. Any landlords left are likely to push rents up in response. This will make it even harder for cash-strapped families to find suitable accommodation.

RICS Predicts Rents Will Rise

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has already predicted that rents are likely to rise by around 3% in the next five years. This is a ticking timebomb that could cause huge problems for low-income families. And with public housing in very short supply, the landscape is ripe for rogue landlords who are more than happy to provide cheap sub-standard housing.

What are your thoughts on the government’s plans to scrap Section 21 notices? Tell us more in the comments or via social media!

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