Eviction court process should be simplified in reform package – call

14 May 2021 | Renting

A leading buy to let mortgage expert has backed the government’s pledge to issue a White Paper and additional consultation before embarking on legislation to reform the private rental sector.

The White Paper – promised for the autumn following a pledge in this week’s Queen’s Speech – should particularly look at court processes according to Angus Stewart, chief executive of online buy to let mortgage broker, Property Master.

“Landlords have been bracing themselves for the Renters Reform Bill for some time now, so we welcome the fact we now have a way forward.  We are pleased to see the first step will be a White Paper which gives all parties including tenants, landlords and mortgage providers a chance to give their views” he says.

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“This is an extremely important piece of legislation and heralds the biggest change in the private rented sector since the 1988 Housing Act which in effect set up modern tenancy agreements under which the majority of landlords let out their property and which underwrites the lending of mortgage providers. 

“Landlords need to know they can take back properties when they have a legitimate reason for doing so and tenants need to be able to plan their futures.  We should not forget mortgage lenders who will be looking for reassurance as to their rights as creditors.  Getting the balance right will be crucial and as ever the devil will be in the detail.”

Stewart says there is an opportunity here to make the process simpler for all parties and even to drive down costs.  

He continues: “The court process at present around repossession is both cumbersome and expensive.  Similarly, there is an opportunity to reduce costs around the tenancy deposit scheme and benefit tenants by, as the Government has signalled, making deposits portable.  But there are big questions as to how this will all work operationally, and the fear is landlords will be left to pick up the bill.” 

This post has originally been featured in Letting Agent Today.