The Government has proposed the abolition of the Section 21 Notice which provides landlords with an accelerated process to regain possession of a property. 
This has already gained cross party support and so there is likely to be a debate at some stage in the future which will result in changes to the Housing Act legislation.  
So briefly what is about? 
Landlords can regain possession of the property using the Section 21 notice without providing reasons to the tenant. 
Alternatively a Section 8 Notice can be served if any of the Grounds in Schedule 2 of the Housing Act are met. There are mandatory grounds where a Court must allow repossession of the property and there are discretionary grounds where a Court may allow the property to be repossessed. 
There is a consensus among the political parties to update the housing legislation to provide a stable living environment for tenants whilst at the same time providing adequate protection for landlords to enable them to regain possession of the property. There is a belief among some that Landlords use the Section 21 legislation to evict tenants who are perceived to be troublesome. Whilst that can be true, more often than not it is because the process around regaining possession of a property using Section 8 can be more problematical and in particular where there are rent arrears, this can fail very easily. What is significant is that the vast majority of tenancies are ended by tenants rather than landlords. 
The removal of Section 21 may not be the big crisis for landlords that is being suggested, provided that the Section 8 process is improved. 
Landlords must have adequate redress which is timely particularly when dealing with rent arrears, regaining possession for themselves or a family member to live in the property, or to regain possession when the tenants behaviour has been violent or is construed to be anti-social. 
the legislation may actually be fairly straight-forward to improve, the court process and timeliness of that may prove problematical. 
The Government survey is on the attached link and is available for a short period of time to complete and add your views. 
We are without doubt going through the most significant period of change for the UK in decades. Regardless of your views on Brexit (and lets be frank the vote wasn't that far off a 50/50 split so there is bound to be division on the issue), leaving the EU will mean changes in many different ways. The Private Rental Sector was already being closely examined by Government and changes have already been implemented in 2019. 
Undoubtedly if there is to be an election, and it would seem likely that one way or another an election will be called in the not too distant future, the political parties will be positioning themselves with a range of ideas that could directly or indirectly affect the Private Rental Sector.  
So, I am going to attempt to pull together some of the key things that perhaps have already been proposed as well as highlighting anything new that may affect the PRS. My comments on any proposals I hope will be neutral to encourage comment and debate, but I also hope this will help provide some clarity as undoubtedly there will be lots of information being bandied about before and during an election campaign. Is this intended to influence how you may vote? No, most certainly not, it is merely a commentary on the issues being proposed.  
I will however make one personal comment: I believe the partnership between a Landlord and Tenant can be extremely positive, indeed I see this all the time. The greatest failing in the Private Rental Sector in my opinion is that when things go wrong the remedy for either the Landlord or the Tenant is rarely straight-forward and if a remedy is available it is either lengthy or very expensive or both. Having somewhere safe to live is a basic right and as the need for housing increases the basis on which any new legislation or regulation is made should be that it is fair to all parties and easy to achieve a meaningful remedy if things go wrong. The starting point should be that it is accepted that the vast majority of Landlords and Tenants are decent human beings who have a respect for one another, because that actually is the truth. In the minority of cases there are Landlords who flout the law and Tenants who do the same and they of course should be dealt with. New Legislation should have purpose and not be a knee jerk reaction to a perceived problem, nor should it be proposed as vote winner in a manifesto. The long term issues of providing suitable housing for a growing population are undoubtedly complicated and the need for the Private Rental Sector will continue to grow so the challenge of getting the legislation 'fit for purpose' is a serious one for the future. I hope those that are elected are up to the challenge and dare I say it perhaps they could all work together for once to achieve and work for the common good that provides a sustainable future for all parties involved in the Private Rental Sector. 
More in due course! 
April 1st 2019 - it may be April Fool's day but this is no joke. Up until today Letting Agents have been able to operate without providing any kind of financial protection for their Landlords and Tenants. When you think how much client money can be passing through a Letting Agent's account on a monthly basis it really is quite scandalous that this has been allowed to continue for so long. Whilst the vast majority of Letting Agents have acted responsibly and have had Client Money Protection in place for some time as indeed we have , there has always been opportunities for individual company owners or employees to abuse their position of trust and pilfer client money. So with effect from 1st April every Letting Agent is required to be a member of a Government approved Client Money Protection Scheme which will give financial protection to Landlords and Tenants alike. 
Crowe Property belongs to a professional body called the United Kingdom Association of Letting Agents (UKALA) which is aligned to the National Landlords Association. As members of UKALA we are also members of their approved Total Loss Client Money Protection scheme. 
We are also members of the SafeAgent Scheme providing reassurance to Landlords and Tenants that their money is in safe hands. 
If you would like any further information on the Total Loss Client Money Protection Scheme please contact us. 
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