Minister gives nod to landlord concerns

In her first speech as Minister for the Private Rented Sector, Felicity Buchan told the National Residential Landlords Association’s annual conference that the Government accepted NRLA proposals for arriving at a solution to the problem of tackling anti-social tenant behaviour should section 21 be scrapped.

Her ambition was to strengthen landlords’ powers to combat anti-social behaviour and she accepted the NRLA’s proposal to put the issue to a meeting of key stakeholders. These would include representatives of landlords, tenants, the police, local authorities and others and would be tasked with developing plans for swift and effective action to quell the antics of anti-social tenants.

Otherwise, Buchan reiterated Government commitment to private rented sector reform, and to work to this end with both landlords and tenants. The Government understood concerns about the impact that its plans could have on the student housing market and pledged to look at what could be done to avoid such damage. And she accepted the importance of an efficient court system when Section 21 is abolished.

The Government does not support rent controls, she said. Such a policy would lead to disinvestment in the sector, ‘which is not good for anyone’.

‘We welcome the Minister’s comments and agree that the Government’s rental reform plans need to enjoy the confidence of both responsible landlords and tenants’, said NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle.

‘The NRLA has made clear that more needs to be done to ensure the behaviour of anti-social tenants can be tackled effectively when Section 21 goes. We therefore welcome the Minister’s acceptance of our proposal for a roundtable on the issue. It is vital that all key stakeholders representing landlords, tenants, the police and others can develop clear and workable plans to ensure neighbours and fellow tenants alike are not left at the mercy of nightmare tenants’.