FINDING a home to rent could become much harder if a ban on “no-fault” evictions comes into force, landlords have warned.
Controversial rules called Section 21 lets landlords turf out tenants without a good reason but the Government recently announced plans to scrap them.
Getty Images – Getty One in four landlords are considering selling at least one property in the next year
Now, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), which represents 50,000 landlords, is warning that the UK could be hit with a housing crisis.
A survey of 2,500 private landlords found that a quarter are considering selling up over the next year.
But the same survey shows that 23 per cent of landlords saw an increase in the demand for rental properties over the past three months.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has also warned that the imbalance between supply and demand could see rents increase by three per cent a year over the next five years.
What is the section 21 rule and what are your rights as a renterTHE law – known as Section 21 – means a landlord can ask you to move out with two months notice, without needing a particular reason.
The first step of every procedure is the section 21 notice – a letter of notification that the landlord must serve to the tenant, prior to the eviction. The notice to quit is purely informational and doesn’t carry any legal power.
If you’ve got a good relationship with your landlord, it might be worth asking them if you can stay in your home for longer. Send a letter to your landlord explaining your situation and keep a copy of any reply you get.
Your landlord can’t make you leave your home unless they’ve gone to court to get a possession order and a warrant for eviction.
You might be able to challenge your eviction and stay in your home.
A section 8 notice can require you to move sooner, but can only be served if the landlord has a reason, such as you breaking the terms of your tenancy.
New rules introduced in October 2015 have made it harder to evict you for reporting problems with the property.
If you’re asked to leave because you’ve asked for repairs then you should see advice immediately.
You can find more tips on how to challenge your eviction on Citizens Advice.
As it stands, landlords can issue a Section 21 notice without a valid reason to tenants giving them just eight weeks notice to find a new home.
In the survey, 50 per cent of respondents admitted issuing a Section 21 notice in the past year, which gives tenants just eight weeks to find a new home.
A ban means greater security for 11million renters who will be saved from no-fault evictions.
The Government is also planning to extend current legislation to allow landlords to evict tenants if they want to sell the property or move in, known as Section 8.
But this, alongside other changes in the sector, such as buy-to-let mortgage relief being scrapped in January this year and increased stamp duty on second homes, is causing many landlords to sell up.
David Smith, RLA policy director warns that research into securing longer tenancies for renters “will mean nothing” if there aren’t enough homes in the first place.
He said: “The Government’s tax increases on the sector are already making it difficult for tenants to find a place to live, with many landlords not renewing tenancies.
“If rushed and not thought through, planned changes to the way landlords can repossess properties risk making the situation even worse.”
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Mr Smith added: “Action is needed to stimulate supply with pro-growth taxation and a process for repossessing homes that is fair to all.”
It comes weeks ahead of the ban on unfair letting fees from estate agents and landlords as well as a cap on tenancy deposits to five-weeks rent.
But some experts warn that the ban could see rents increase by up to £100 a month as agents plan to push costs onto landlords to plug a £200million gap in the industry.
New figures from Rightmove suggest that renters still face forking out up to £2,500 for upfront deposits even after the ban comes in.
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