New government plans that will see landlords unable to evict tenants at short notice, could lead to a lack of locally available rental property, says a Crook estate agency.

Edd Forster, property sales manager at Vickers & Barrass, which handles dozens of lettings across Weardale, was commenting on moves to protect renters from ‘unethical’ landlords and provide them with more long-term security.

Section 21 notices allow landlords to evict renters without a reason after their fixed-term tenancy period ends.

However, he said landlords should be able to use a Section 8 possession notice to evict someone who has broken the terms of their tenancy.

This could include non-payment of rent, which might sometimes involve landlords taking costly court action in court if the tenants refuse to leave.

Edd Forster said the plans represented yet more legislation that could restrict landlords, adding another level of financial burden.

He said: “We will see increasing numbers of local landlords exiting the market which in turn, will lead to a dearth of decent rental accommodation available at a time when there is a chronic shortage of quality stock to let.”

“It’s a question of balancing the needs of tenants while ensuring landlords can have ‘speedy redress’ in seeking to regain possession of their property for legitimate reasons, such as to sell it or to move into it themselves.

The news comes as Vickers & Barrass continues to see the volume of regional lettings steadily increase and is actively looking for more properties to let.

“We will be watching developments with caution while continuing to support landlords,” added Edd Forster.

Vickers & Barrass’Crook office offers a professional sales and lettings service for residential and commercial property across the region. It’s part of a firm of rural chartered surveyors and estate agents, who provide professional land agency and surveying services to farmers, estates and landowners.