Similarly, 24% of those who plan to evict their tenants in the next 12-18 months, say they will do so because the increasing legislative burden means they have decided to sell.
The survey asked landlords whether they had served a Section 21 notice in the last 12 months, to which 34% responded yes. The most common reasons given were rent arrears (31%), landlords selling their property (26%) and anti-social behaviour (22%). Just 2% said it was in order to move back in.
Landlords were also asked whether they planned to issue a Section 21 notice of eviction to their tenants in the next 12-18 months, before the Renters Reform Bill comes into force preventing landlords from using Section 21. 28% of landlords said yes and a further 28% stated they were not yet sure.
The vast majority (42%) said the reason is based on concerns that they will be unable to gain possession easily in the future, and 24% attributed their decision to increasing legislation driving their decision to sell up. Just 10% of landlords said that it was because their tenants are already in rent arrears, 6% are currently experiencing anti-social behaviour, and only 2% of landlords said they wish to move back into the property.
Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action and chief commercial officer for the Hamilton Fraser Group, said, “The response to our latest survey paints a very clear picture of the unintended consequences of abolishing Section 21.
“More than a quarter of tenants who have or will be asked to leave their rental properties (via receipt of a Section 21 notice), are in such a position not because they have done anything wrong but because landlords fear they will be unable to gain possession of their property easily in the future, if their circumstances change.
“Competition for rental properties is already at an all-time high, and we could be heading towards a rental stock crisis. It has been reported that in some parts of London, for example, tenants are offering up to a year’s rent in advance. But for most, this simply isn’t feasible.
“Whilst we don’t know how many of the properties sold will remain in the buy to let sector, it’s clear that tenants will ultimately suffer as the combination of pressures forces rents to continue to rise.
“Landlords need reassurance and clarity on the future of evictions soon if the sector is to avoid a deluge of evictions and homelessness.”