Independent landlords are ‘vital’ to ensuring a fair and functioning private rented sector, the Housing Secretary has said.
Writing exclusively for the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), Michael Gove spoke of the importance of landlords in providing tenants “with flexibility and choice, and the value for money options that go with them.”
In his article for the NRLA’s members magazine, the Minister explained the Government’s plans to reform the sector following publication of the Renters (Reform) Bill.
Noting that there are few relationships as important as those between a landlord and tenant, he spoke of the common interests both have in a property as being: “a place that can be at the same time a home and an investment, a valued asset and precious security, a shelter and haven.” “It is vital”, he said, “that these relationships work for everyone, and that we strive to strike a balance for all.”
Focussing on the Government’s plans to reform the sector, which includes ending Section 21 repossessions, the Secretary of State warned that in the minority of cases where relationships between landlords and tenants’ breakdown “it is important that the law is there for the victim – whether tenant or landlord.” He pledged to provide “more comprehensive grounds for landlords to recover properties” and to make it “easier to repossess them where tenants are at fault.”
The Minister went on to pledge to improve the system where repossession cases end up in courts, citing the use of “digital platforms” as a way of speeding up the processing of legitimate repossession claims.
The Secretary of State concluded by declaring that the Government looked forward to working closely with the NRLA “to shape the sector for the good of landlords, and tenants, right across the country.”
Responding to the article, Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the NRLA, said: “We welcome the Housing Secretary’s commitments, and his recognition of the importance of individual landlords. As he rightly notes, the Renters (Reform) Bill needs to work for responsible landlords every bit as much as tenants. Without this it will serve only to exacerbate the rental housing shortage many tenants are now facing.
“The NRLA will continue to work closely with ministers to ensure the details of the Bill work for all. This includes campaigning for improvements to the courts system to ensure landlords are not left for months on end where they have a legitimate reason to repossess a property.”