The Government is facing increased pressure from the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB) to swiftly implement the Renters Reform Bill. Even though there are whispers of the Prime Minister’s unwavering commitment to the bill, despite challenges from within his own party ranks, the ongoing delays tied to this contentious legislation are seen as potentially damaging to the property sector in the long run.
NAPB Spokesman, Jonathan Rolande, weighed in on the debate, saying: “The bill is well-intentioned and rightly gives more security to tenants whilst protecting landlords from many of the potential side effects. The main fear of many landlords is the removal of Section 21, the notice that is served to obtain possession of the property, once the initial term has expired. Once the bill is in place, possession can only be sought if a person is selling or moving back in.”
Detailing further concerns, Rolande added, “In reality, like so many things that look to upset the apple cart, the removal of Section 21 will have little or no impact on most landlords. If a tenant is happy and paying rent why issue them notice? If they are misbehaving in a serious way or not paying, a Section 8 still gets the property back. The problem here is less the content of the bill and more the perception.”
Highlighting the challenges faced by landlords, he stated, “Although you’ll be hard-pressed to find many people sympathetic to the average landlord, they have a right to feel that they’ve been under attack of late. New landlords must pay additional stamp duty when they buy, mortgage interest tax allowance has been abolished, new EPC rules may see them spending thousands to upgrade, safety checks are an additional expense, talk of rent capping and now we have The Renters Reform Bill that is headlined as legislation to give tenants more rights and landlords less chance to get their property back.”
Voicing his opinion on the necessity of swift action, Rolande emphasized, “Hundreds of thousands are contemplating selling up and leaving the sector. With prices usually higher for a vacant home, many tenants may somewhat ironically find Section 21s arriving to beat the ban and allow the property to sell for market value. If the Renters Reform Bill is the medicine the market needs, can we just get on with it? The delay and therefore the fear of the unknown is the worst of all worlds. Many happy tenants will lose their homes in this interim period. Once it is in place, we’ll know what we’re dealing with and there’s a good chance it won’t be as dreadful as people think.”