A lettings and property management platform has broken ranks with much of the industry over the Renters Reform Bill.
While most agents and suppliers have welcomed the delay in the Bill, and in particular the government decision to put court process changes before the abolition of Section 21, one platform says this is a backward move.
The chief executive of lettings and property management platform SevenLiving, Charlotte Thursfield, says: “This decision may have a huge impact on the Bill moving forward, as banning the use of Section 21 formed a big part of the original pledge, and the government’s promise, to bring more security for renters to the private rented sector.
“It will take a while for any reforms to court procedures to be agreed, let alone take effect, so this decision only worsens uncertainty at a time where landlords already lack confidence in the Bill.
“It’s difficult for landlords to plan ahead and this deepens the risks associated with letting property.
“Ultimately, this is a big step backwards for what essentially aims to give more protections and create a more balanced system for both landlords and tenants.”
Thursfield’s view appears to be a minority one in the industry; most agents and organisations have welcomed the Section 21 delay.
The latest to back the government is non-profit industry service Safeagent.
Its chief executive, Isobel Thomson, says: “safeagent is committed to achieving safe and secure rented homes in a sector which works for all – tenants, landlords and agents.
“safeagent supports the common sense decision by the Government not to proceed with the abolition of Section 21 “until changes to the justice system are made” and the recognition that the sector must work for all.
“The role professional agents will play in steering landlords through the changes emanating from the Bill will be vital to ensure that they do not choose to leave the sector through concern about the new additional requirements being placed upon them and ultimately reduce housing supply in the Private Rented Sector, which is already limited.
“If all of the proposed measures are to deliver what the Government aspires to, it will be vital for them to ensure that the strengthening of Local Authority enforcement powers is followed through to make a difference and root out the small minority of landlords who operate illegally with little concern for the welfare of tenants.”