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RLA urges rethink of indefinite tenancy proposal

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The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has asked housing charity, Shelter to back its call for dedicated housing courts to deal with repossessions in England’s private rented sector.

The RLA has also urged a rethink on a proposal, by Shelter, that England should adopt the indefinite tenancies introduced in Scotland in December 2017.

Rethink of indefinite tenancy proposal


In a report released on 17 June, Shelter suggests that England could provide private tenants with the same indefinite security of tenure as north of the border, making ‘no-fault’ evictions no longer possible.

But according to David Smith, policy director for the RLA, the proposal doesn’t take account of key differences between England and Scotland: “The only reason the Scottish model has worked is because a properly funded and staffed housing court was established to cope with the dramatic increase in repossession cases needing to be heard.

“Across England and Wales it takes an average of over five months for landlords to repossess properties through the courts. This is not good enough.

“We call on Shelter to back the RLA’s plans for a dedicated housing court that can process repossession claims in legitimate circumstances without frustrating landlords. Simply tinkering with the existing courts will not work.”

The new rules introduced in Scotland ended fixed-term rentals, making leases effectively open-ended and requiring that landlords have a good reason for evicting tenants. The rules have increased security of tenure for private renters. However, David Smith disputes Shelter claims that they have not affected the supply of homes for rent.

“Shelter has used figures from before the changes were introduced,” he added. “As the latest data from the Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors notes clearly, whilst the demand for new homes to rent has increased considerably in Scotland, new landlord instructions have fallen, providing less choice for tenants.”

Read more about this story on the Landlord Today website.

Neil Jennings

Neil is the Operations Director at Assetgrove Lettings, London's Leading Rent Guarantee Company, providing Landlords with no voids, property maintenance, fee-free property management and stress-free service.

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