With a white paper on rental reform due this autumn, the NRLA has outlined its calls to government ahead of any legislation changes. NRLA CEO, Ben Beadle, explains more.

Rental reform is coming and, ahead of the Government’s white paper, we are calling for assurances from ministers that landlords’ rights to repossess will be protected.

The long-awaited document outlining a blueprint for change has yet to be published, with the NRLA producing its own shadow white paper, including solid, workable proposals based on feedback from members themselves.

Abolishing Section 21

The Government has been clear in its commitment to abolishing Section 21 – the so called ‘no fault’ eviction – so our priority must be ensuring any replacement is fair to landlords as well as offering protections for tenants.

The NRLA document ‘A New Deal for the Private Rented Sector’ proposes a system that provides greater certainty to landlords that they will be able to regain possession in legitimate circumstances – an assurance given by ministers when the plans were first announced.

Repossession for landlords

It also includes a list of comprehensive grounds upon which landlords can regain possession of a property where there is a legitimate reason, including where the landlord needs vacant possession to sell, move in or carry out renovations.

Elsewhere it calls for a new dispute body, similar to the employment body ACAS, to enable landlords and tenants to reach agreement without the need to go to court and for government to look at introducing video technology where possible to speed up the process.

Tackling the rogues

The document also includes a stark warning that the Government must take positive steps to tackle the rogues if its proposals are to succeed.

It is frustrating for us, and the sector as a whole, to see the negative perceptions of landlords and lazy stereotypes that exist as a result of the actions of the criminal minority.

Good landlords have nothing to fear from properly funded, robust enforcement of the 168 pieces of legislation that currently affect the sector, and we are asking for upfront, multi-year funding for local authorities to help them do this.

We also want Ministers to conduct a full assessment of the ability of councils to carry out this enforcement work.

Balancing the needs of tenants and landlords

I have been involved in roundtable talks with the Government and other industry representatives ahead of the publication of the Government white paper and all parties agree it is vital that any changes strike a fair balance between the needs of both tenants and landlords if they are to work.

For my part I have stressed the need to develop policies that ensure good landlords have the confidence to continue to provide the homes to rent the country desperately needs in a post-Section 21 world.

We believe that the proposals we have set out, with the help of our members, help strike this balance and look forward to working with Government to find workable solutions.

The NRLA and Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) are committed to supporting landlords and their tenants in the private rented sector. We offer a wealth of free deposit protection resources, documents and guides on all aspects of lettings, which you can rely on to ensure you are compliant with all current legislation.

TDS also runs regular workshops to keep you updated on deposit protection legislation and dispute best-practice. Book your place on the next live course or access workshops on-demand at TDS Online Academy.

If you aren’t a customer of TDS yet, it’s quick to join (even if you use another scheme). Discover why other landlords have switched to TDS: Why Switch?

About the Author

Ben Beadle - NRLA Chief Executive

Ben Beadle is chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), the UK’s largest trade body for landlords.

A landlord himself since the age of 20, Ben started out as property manager before working his way up through the ranks at Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS).

He was then Operations Director at property management business Touchstone before overseeing the merger of the National Residential Landlords Association (NLA) and Residential Landlords Association (RLA) to create the new trade body earlier this year.

His key aims as head of the organisation are to strengthen the voice of landlords in Westminster and Cardiff, to improve the reputation of landlords in the media and to support members through information, training and accreditation.

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