Over 40 per cent of landlords are waiting for changes by the government to become clearer before they make decisions on their ability to provide homes to rent, according to the Residential Landlords Association.
These figures come just weeks after the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors warned of private rents increasing by an average of three per cent a year over the next five years. This comes as a result of landlords being less prepared to rent property while demand from prospective tenants increases.
In April, the government announced plans to end Section 21 repossessions, alongside proposals on improving the process known as Section 8, under which landlords can repossess properties on grounds such as rent arrears or anti-social behaviour.
This process requires landlords to apply and be granted permission to repossess via the courts yet official data shows that it takes over five months on average from application to repossession.
Most landlords supporting establishment of special housing court
The report found that around 79 per cent of landlords with experience of repossessions did not consider the courts to be reliable.
Almost 91 per cent of landlords supported the establishment of a special housing court, bringing together all housing disputes under a single body.
Around 48 per cent of respondents said that they would be encouraged to purchase a property to rent with a tenant in situ if they could reclaim the three per cent stamp duty levy on the purchase of rental homes on the condition that the tenants can remain in the property for a year or more.
The survey also found widespread support for new grounds to be established upon which landlords can regain possession of a property.
This included selling a property and to ensure tenancies can best meet the needs of certain groups such as students, who do not require the indefinite style tenancies being proposed by the government.
No signs of slowing down in private rented sector
David Smith, policy director for the Residential Landlords Association (pictured), said that security of tenure means nothing unless the homes to rent are there in the first place.
He added: “With the demand for private rented housing showing no signs of slowing down, it is vital that landlords are confident that they can quickly and easily get back their property in legitimate circumstances.
“While the system should clearly be fair to tenants, it needs also to support and encourage good landlords. Our survey shows how complex it will be to ensure that the grounds on which landlords can repossess properties are both clear and comprehensive. This needs to be underpinned by a court system that is fit for purpose and properly resourced. At present it is neither.
“It is vital that the government’s planned reforms are carefully considered to avoid finding ourselves needing to reopen this whole issue later down the line.”