The headline reads Short Notice Evictions Face Axe in Tenant Victory and the article continues to vilify the ‘demonic’ existence of the private landlord. Yet again the author and undoubtedly many of the articles readers fail to see that the private landlord is of vital importance to the housing market and the growing rental demand. The housing shortage in the UK is well documented over many years and this on the surface seems to be another nail in the coffin of the private landlord. David Smith, the policy director of the Residential Landlords Association put it simply and rather well “For all the talk of greater security for tenants, that will be nothing if the homes to rent are not there in the first place.”

It’s important to stress that these changes are primarily targeted at protecting the no-fault evictions where landlords give notice to a tenant who is not under a tenancy contract and we would assume predominantly for the reason that the landlord wishes to sell the building. It is of course their building and their choice but we appreciate how unsettling this can be to a no-fault tenant. Having been a tenant, a property owner and a landlord I understand the implications but this can’t be turned into another political headline winner to the detriment of the landlord whilst overlooking the bigger picture. Making life increasingly difficult for the private landlord won’t solve endless government’s failings to resolve the housing crisis. The large majority of landlords are reputable and guided by professional letting agents. Like so many things the small minority damage the reputation of the majority. 

Guardian article link: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/apr/15/short-notice-evictions-face-axe-in-tenant-rights-victory

If Section 21 evictions are abolished and changes are made to Section 8 then the overall changes may be marginal but I would always encourage tenants to renew their tenancy agreement when it expires even if they are long terms tenants. This will give them more security as to the potential lead time to be asked to move out. Rolling contracts don’t help tenants and it’s easy enough to sign a new contract.

The headline is still that and there are no clear changes planned as yet but it will be interesting to see what direction the proposed changes make.