Letting agents in Suffolk have warned plans to ban ‘no fault’ evictions in England could lead to fewer homeowners putting their properties on the private rental market.
Under proposals in the Renters Reform Bill white paper, landlords will be prevented from evicting tenants without giving a reason, while there will be an end to blanket bans on benefit claimants and families with children.
Levelling Up secretary Michael Gove said the Government wanted to end the ‘injustice’ of tenants being at the mercy of ‘unscrupulous’ landlords who fail to repair homes and let families live in damp, unsafe and cold properties with the threat of being evicted for no reason hanging over them.
However, Jason Scales, managing director of Viking estate agents in Felixstowe, warned landlords might decide they don’t want the ‘hassle’ associated with letting their homes and either withdraw from the market or not make their properties available for rent.
He said there was always a reason why landlords wanted to evict tenants, whether it was because a tenant was behaving anti-socially or the homeowner simply wanted to sell.
He added this had become the main reason in the last two years because of all the extra legislation from the Government.
“This has been my family business since 1986, but it has changed beyond recognition. In the last four or five years, so many things are stacking up against landlords and this will make it less attractive,” Mr Scales added.
He said ultimately homeowners could decide to do what they wanted with their properties and if they wanted to take them off the rental market to sell them instead, that was their choice.
He warned that any reduction in private rental homes over the next five years would put pressure on council housing stock and the social sector as prospective tenants would have to look for homes elsewhere.
“I think there will be fewer new investors coming onto the market because it will be less attractive and the older generation of landlords are saying ‘this is becoming too much hassle’ and what we are going to have is a shortage of rental properties,” Mr Scales said.
Bhaarat Sharma, lettings manager at Abbotts estate agents in Ipswich, echoed many of Mr Scales’ sentiments.
“It will discourage more landlords from coming onto the market so we will see fewer stock. The lettings market and sales market has been booming. For any one property we have on the market, we have 50 people looking at it.
“If the landlord has to give a reason, at the end of the day, it is their property, their asset and their decision if they want it back,” he said.