Landlord Action invites Housing Minister to “work together” on changes to possession process as 38% of landlords will consider selling up if Government scraps Section 21

Landlord Action invites Housing Minister to “work together” on changes to possession process as 38% of landlords will consider selling up if Government scraps Section 21

Founder of Landlord Action, Paul Shamplina, has written to the Housing Minister, Heather Wheeler, inviting her to gain a greater understanding of the possession process before making drastic reforms. This comes after a survey¹ carried out by Landlord Action has revealed that 38% of landlords will consider selling up if the Government goes ahead with plans to abolish Section 21. A further 33% said they would only continue being a landlord with significant changes to Section 8.

The Government has expressed a desire to encourage longer-term tenancies, which Landlord Action agrees makes sense for those that want them, such as families. However, with the current average tenancy life-span already four years and one month, and with approximately 90% of tenants ending tenancies themselves, there is growing concern that abolishing Section 21 is not the right approach to achieve this.

According to the survey, 70% of landlords would be less willing to consider a longer-term tenancy if Section 21 was no longer available to them, and a staggering 85% said they would be more selective with their choice of tenant. “If this was the case, the Government’s efforts could end up being counter-productive and harming the most vulnerable tenants” says Paul Shamplina, founder of the regulated law firm and eviction specialists Landlord Action.

He continues: “Encouraging longer tenancies will only be possible with major investment in housing courts to help speed up evictions, which currently take 22.8 weeks from gaining possession to issuing a claim for eviction², and clarification regarding new grounds within Section 8 to protect landlords.

“It is clear from our survey that with so many other obstacles already faced by landlords, such as the introduction of more regulation, the reduction in the tax relief that landlords can claim on mortgage interest and a three per cent Stamp Duty surcharge on buy-to-let properties, there is a real possibility of the but-to-let market significantly shrinking over the next five years meaning higher rents for tenants.”

With a long pedigree of working with Government on reform and legislative change, for example giving evidence to the Select Committee tasked to reform Section 21, Paul Shamplina, has now written to the Housing Minister, Heather Wheeler.

Concerned that, despite the opportunities for tenants, the Government may not have a clear handle on unforeseen consequences that changing the law around Section 21 will present, Mr Shamplina has invited Heather Wheeler to attend Landlord Action’s offices in Borehamwood to see first-hand the work Landlord Action carries out, meet their team of solicitors and share their experiences of the court process. He has also invited the Housing Minister to attend an eviction with him and see the reality of what happens on the ground in order to support the government’s work in formulating policy and new law which presents equal opportunity for everyone operating in the PRS.

¹ Survey responded to by 263 landlords
² Ministry of Justice

Precise Treatment Reduces Pain

Detail needs experts. Expert time is worth it when it saves you a costly mistake. Main objective: Get the property back. Best action: Very precise treatment.

Serving a notice is actually the most important part of the possession process.

It isn’t complicated but one tiny error can cause dreadful problems.

That’s why we say, don’t DIY and don’t use internet amateurs. It’s not worth it.

1. Compliance Errors
If the tenant doesn’t leave at Step1, the notice had better be valid. Because then it has to go to court. Any little error can get a case thrown out. And you have to start all over again.

2. Attempting Short-Cuts.
In an effort to be quick, some internet services aimed at landlords are using short-cuts around the process. But if the tenant doesn’t leave (50%) these practices can backfire at court and the case thrown out.

3. Trying to Save Pennies.
Internet services have mushroomed and landlords can expect to get what they pay for. To get the process done PROPERLY it takes a certain amount of time for an expert to look over a file and be accurate. Our fees cover that expert time.

Chasing courts for dates, arranging advocates and preparing court papers is time consuming. Especially if you’ve never done it before.

Some landlord and agents have served notices themselves. They believed they were saving a few pounds but it often ended up costing them more.

If you lose a claim, the court can order you to pay the tenant’s defence cost, which can run to hundreds or thousands of pounds.

Our in-house Solicitors are there to get your property back as fast as they can. And we protect landlords and agents from themselves.

As experts, we know that in the rush to get things done, errors can happen. And those errors can can come back later to mess up your case – and the whole process has to start again.

You can speed things up – give us accurate information quickly. Help us to help you.

There are services on the web who will prepare papers BUT they get you to pay the court-fee separately and get you to sign the court papers – so in fact they don’t represent you!

If your notice (at Step1) wasn’t drafted or served correctly you risk wasting your court fees and losing a whole lot of time because of a small error.

We won’t let your case anywhere near a court until we have checked every little detail. To make sure you don’t waste time or money, at Step-2 we first only charge part of the fee.

If your notice is fine, then you just pay the balance of the fee and we issue the claim. If there is a problem with your notice or paperwork, we will advise you what to do next.

Courts take the view that possession proceedings can make someone homeless. So they are very careful. If there’s any error in the notice, they throw the case out. It’s the process. Get it right or lose.

If the notice is invalid, you have to start all over again. The weeks or months you’ve waited are wasted. If there were rent arrears, there are now more.

If there weren’t rent arrears, they might now start. More fees. More lost rent. And still no possession. Tenants can be alerted to making a counter-claim.

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