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38% of landlords consider selling up if Section 21 is scrapped

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New research reveals that nearly four in ten private landlords will consider offloading their properties if the government scraps Section 21 in England and Wales.

Responses from landlords concerning the plans to axe Section 21 repossessions – so-called ‘no fault’ evictions – reveal that:

  • 38% of landlords will consider selling up if the government plans go ahead;
  • 33% would only continue being a landlord with significant changes to Section 8;
  • 70% of buy-to-let landlords would be less willing to consider a longer-term tenancy if Section 21 was no longer available to them;
  • 85% say they would be more selective with their choice of tenant. 

Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action who carried out the survey, comments: “If this was the case [that Section 21 was scrapped], the government’s efforts could end up being counter-productive and harming the most vulnerable tenants”.

He adds that encouraging longer tenancies will only be possible with major investment in housing courts to help speed up evictions, explaining: “It currently take 22.8 weeks from gaining possession to issuing a claim for eviction, 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 3% stamp duty surcharge on buy-to-let properties, there is a real possibility of the buy-to-let market significantly shrinking over the next five years meaning higher rents for tenants.”