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Paul Shamplina Calls for Clear Timelines on Section 21 Abolition in Rental Sector Reform

As the Renters Reform Bill progresses through the House of Commons, Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action, urges the government to provide a definitive timeline for the abolition of Section 21, highlighting the need for certainty in the rental sector.

Demand for Clear Court Reform Deadlines
In the latest discussions surrounding the Renters Reform Bill, an amendment was agreed upon that postpones the abolition of Section 21 until the court system is adequately equipped to handle the anticipated rise in Section 8 eviction cases. However, activists and industry stakeholders alike are frustrated by the lack of a specified date for this change, leaving many in the sector calling for clarity.

Shamplina highlights the importance of this clarity, stating, “Undoubtedly, court reforms are necessary to ensure the system can effectively handle the increase in Section 8 proceedings resulting from the abolition of Section 21. Without adequate preparation, there is a risk of overburdening an already strained legal system, leading to further delays and inefficiencies that could adversely affect both landlords and tenants.”

Impact on Landlords and Tenants
The uncertainty has already prompted many landlords to exit the market, which Shamplina points out could lead to a reduced pool of rental properties, thereby driving up rents due to increased competition. “It’s important to recognise that the uncertainty surrounding the future of Section 21 has already led many landlords to sell their properties,” he explains. This trend could have a significant impact on both availability and affordability in the rental market.

Shamplina adds, “A transparent roadmap outlining the steps and timeline for court reforms would provide much-needed clarity to all parties involved, allowing landlords to plan accordingly and ensuring all parties have access to fair and efficient legal recourse.”

Further commentary on the Renters Reform Bill was provided by Allison Thompson, National Lettings Managing Director at Leaders Romans Group, focusing on other significant amendments, including tenant rights concerning pet ownership. She notes, “The amendment granting tenants the right to request permission to keep pets in their rental homes will likely raise concerns among landlords.” However, she acknowledges that the bill provides mechanisms to balance these concerns, such as requiring tenants to maintain insurance for potential pet damages.

Additionally, Thompson discussed the inclusion of a review of local council licensing schemes to avoid overlaps with a new national rental property portal. This review aims to standardize and effectively manage rental properties across England and Wales, ensuring they meet the decent homes standard.

Lastly, Thompson supports the bill’s aim to stop blanket bans on tenants with children or those receiving benefits, reinforcing the commitment to fairness and non-discrimination in the housing sector.