The Government has moved to reassure landlords that it’s committed to introducing reforms to create a fairer and more effective rental market, but has rejected a petition’s call for quicker evictions.

Responding to an online petition signed by nearly 12,000 people that pushes for landlords to be able to instigate court proceedings when tenants have stopped paying rent for two weeks, it says: “We are grateful to landlords for their forbearance during this difficult time and are conscious of the financial pressure on landlords.”

It explains that it will reform the market “when parliamentary time allows”, adding: “This will be achieved by legislating to remove Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, to provide tenants with more security – but also strengthening the grounds for eviction to ensure that landlords have confidence that they can gain possession when it is fair to do so.

“This includes working closely with the Ministry of Justice to explore how we can simplify court processes and make them work more efficiently.”

Petition

Leading property investment mentor and landlord, Ranjan Bhattacharya (main picture), launched the petition in early October, which now has 11,804 signatures.

He believes the current system is unfair to landlords who have to wait lengthy periods for repossession, while incentivising some to only rent their properties to tenants with higher than average income who are likely to care about getting a bad credit rating.

In its reply, the Government says that given the ongoing pressures of the pandemic, it believes its current approach strikes a fair balance between ensuring landlords can progress the most urgent cases and ongoing protections to tenants.

It says: “The Government has been clear that tenants remain liable for paying their rent.

“Where possible and appropriate, including cases of rent arrears, we encourage landlords and tenants to consider alternative dispute resolution such as mediation to reach a mutually acceptable agreement to resolve their dispute, without the matter needing to go to court.”

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