Landlords want to see fast track housing tribunal

Housing Tribunal

Almost four in 10 landlords would like to see a fast track housing tribunal introduced if government proposals to scrap Section 21 evictions notices go ahead, according to a new survey.

Of those surveyed for the Paragon private rental sector trend report, 39% of landlords backed a tribunal, while 24% said they would like to see shorter court processes for evictions.

Section 21 no-fault notices were introduced as part of the Housing Act 1988 and allow landlords to issue eviction to tenants in order to repossess their property, usually within four months and without having to go through the courts.

The government unveiled plans earlier this year to abolish Section 21, a decision which some landlords say could make it difficult to evict anti-social tenants as they will be forced to rely on the more costly and time-consuming Section 8 notice, which involves giving evidence in court.

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Paragon’s survey comes as the government gather views from landlords on how to make the existing Section 8 process work more effectively.

The survey also found that 15% of landlords wanted assurances any costs involved in evictions would be covered, while 7% made the case for submitting evidence online.

The vast majority – 84% – said they felt the maximum time from serving notice to taking possession should be no longer than eight weeks.

A poll earlier this year by the National Landlords Association found 11% of landlords had been forced to use Section 21 in the past five years to evict tenants, with 7% resorting to using section 8 to terminate a tenancy, a far trickier process.

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But the Ministry of Housing, Community and Local Government’s recent English Private Landlord Survey found the vast majority of tenancies end at the tenant’s request.

John Heron, director of mortgages at Paragon, said: “Some of the main concerns for landlords around a move to the Section 8 eviction process relate to the efficacy of the existing court process.

“What we see here is widespread support for a fast track housing tribunal that can deliver a fair and timely solution for both landlords and tenants.”

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11th July 2019