Government’s rent reforms will punish private and institutional landlords – comment from Collyer Bristow

15 Apr 2019

The Government has today announced radical reforms of the private rental market that will create open-ended tenancies and restrict a landlord’s ability to remove tenants. 

The reforms to so-called ‘no fault’ notices served under section 21 of the 1988 Housing Act, together with recent changes to the tax position on buy to let investors and the ban on letting fees, make it increasingly challenging for private landlords and may dissuade institutional landlords from making further investment, says property law firm Collyer Bristow.

Paul Henson, a Partner in the Real Estate litigation team at Collyer Bristow said: “The Government has a Dickensian view of private landlords offering substandard homes for extortionate rents.  Whilst the market is far from perfect, this view is outdated.  Private landlords want tenants in their homes, and most tenancies are in fact ended by the tenants themselves.

“The demand for rented homes continues to grow, particularly in London and the South East.  The market is attracting considerable investment from financial institutions with smart and professional build to rent offers.  This professionalisation of the rental market is needed and desirable.

“Government reform must focus both on the needs of the tenant and the landlord.  Any reform that makes the market less desirable for private and institutional landlords could leave tenants in a much weaker position in the longer run.

“We wait to see the full detail of the Government’s reforms and particularly the suggested amendments to section 8 (fault based) procedures and how they intend to expedite the court possession process.”

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