DBPR sought the views of London lettings agents on whether they have seen void periods rise or fall in recent months. Our Lettings Director Peter Hermon-Taylor commented "The premise of the removal of a landlord’s right to end a tenancy (for reasons other than a sale or the landlord moving back in), what the press are calling ‘no-fault evictions’, will undoubtedly be a cause for concern for most landlords. Our firm is right on the front line of landlord/tenant relationships, with a significant portfolio of rental properties under management, and therefore we are well placed to gauge where the balance of power lies, at least in our market.
Current legislation has created a delicate balance of vested interests between landlord and tenant; a landlord obviously wants the property to be looked after and the rent paid on time if this does not happen a landlord has certain rights to bring the tenancy to an end. Equally a tenant wants the landlord to afford them peaceful enjoyment of the property and to maintain the property in a good state of repair, dealing with any issues quickly. If the landlord does not fulfil their obligations, then the tenant can and does make life difficult. By removing the landlord’s potential right to end a tenancy, the balance of power shifts to one very much weighted in favour of the tenant.
The unintended consequences of this shift in power could well be to dissuade new investment in the PRS and push up rental prices through a reduction in supply. However, the Government is also talking about simplifying and streamlining the eviction process, which could help to alleviate a landlord’s concerns on the impact of the removal of Section 21 rights.
The devil as always will be in the detail.