Yet another potential blow for landlords
Potentially more bad news for landlords
The final version of Bob Blackman MP’s Homelessness Reduction Bill has been published prior to the second reading in Parliament. It appears the final version delivers yet another blow to landlords.
The previous draft would have stopped councils from advising tenants to remain in a property until evicted by bailiffs if served with a valid section 21 notice.
However, the revised version appears to support and allow council policy to continue as it states that such tenants should be treated as homeless UNLESS a relevant local housing authority asks them to stay put. It goes on to say that the tenant may not overstay a court order, but that the local housing authority must only consider the likely consequences / financial harm to the interested parties, of course a landlord is an interested party but I doubt they will consider the financial harm caused to them.
This now legitimises and encourages a practice which we know to contradict the government guidelines. As we have previously discussed councils were implementing this prior to the Bill will it now open the floodgates for it to become standard practice across all authorities?
Would this make you think twice about renting to a social tenant as we know it is not illegal to refuse to rent to this category of tenant. The current trend is for local authorities to utilise private landlords as a means of providing homes for social tenants. Will this now reverse?
We have seen over the last twelve, over 40% of possession claims from private landlords have had to go all the way to repossession by bailiff with the average time of this process taking an unacceptable 45 weeks. This is a huge rise from about 22% of claims just five years ago.
If the Bill gets passed, and councils are actively encouraged to continue this behaviour, will we see private landlords refusing to let their properties to social tenants?
Looking at our own statistics over 60% of landlords have found that social tenants that they were removing and had served a Section 21 on the tenant to be evicted, had been advised by their council to remain in the property until the bailiffs turned up.
Clearly this had impacted on the financial situation of the landlords and causing stress to both landlords and tenants which depending on how you interpretive the revised Bill contravenes the Bill.
In the long term who suffers from all of this? Of course, it is the social tenant and the council as private landlords will just refuse to let to social tenants and may choose to evict any existing tenants now to minimise the financial debt now. The council will then be under pressure to source alternate accommodation.