The government’s proposals to shake up the Renters’ Reform Bill risk driving up rents and reducing tenants’ rights.
That is the view of the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB) who fear planned amendments by ministers will fail to solve the housing crisis.
Their warning comes after the government published plans for new legislation which seek to end Section 21 evictions. They also aim to remove blanket bans on benefit claimants or families with children and force landlords to consider requests to allow pets.
Measures will also include doubling notice periods for rent increases and giving tenants stronger powers to challenge them if they are unjustified.
Jonathan Rolande, spokesman for the NAPB, said: “Much has been made of the ban on the fact ‘no-fault evictions’ somehow gives complete security to tenants who otherwise were at the mercy of a bad landlord from the day they moved in. This is not the case.
“A Section 21 is, or was, a reminder to a tenant that the landlord wants the property back for whatever reason, but not because the tenant is at fault in any way.
“With these consigned to history landlords will have to rely upon Section 8’s, the court route or demonstrate they need to sell the property hence needing it empty.
“My worry is, conversely, landlords will feel more insecure than they did yesterday. If landlords sell up by the thousands, as is already happening, there can only be two outcomes. We will see fewer properties to rent, driving up rents. Additionally, the smaller ‘mum and dad’ landlords will sell up and corporations will take over. After that, more than ever, the property and its occupiers will be a commodity, run with ruthless efficiency.”
Meanwhile, Rolande says last week’s interest rate rise could be a good thing in the long-term for the property market
He continued: “Perhaps in the long-run this rise is for the best, the property market has been increasingly looking out of control with many abandoning all hope of ever being able to afford a property. Perhaps pain now might just avoid pain for the long-term.”