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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

‘Lean on landlords that aren't doing the job’, says shadow housing minister

Councils are being urged to do more to crack down on rogue landlords who are leaving thousands of tenants living in hazardous condition that are likely to cause harm, according to the shadow housing minister.

Speaking during a visit to Walsall at the end of last week, Labour’s John Healey warned that some tenants were being forced to live in rented housing so squalid that it is likely to leave tenants requiring medical attention.

Government figures suggest as many as 2.4 million people in England live in rented homes, both in the private and social sectors, with category 1 hazards.

The worst affected regions are the east and west Midlands, which features large numbers of Victorian homes, where about a quarter of a million rental properties suffer from category 1 hazards, according to the figures compiled by Labour based on the English Housing Survey.

These hazards include exposed wiring or overloaded electrical sockets, dangerous or broken boilers, very cold bedrooms, leaking roofs, mould, vermin, broken stairs, among other issues, according to Labour. 

Healey said: “It is a major problem everywhere, but the West Midlands has a bigger problem than most other places when it comes to private rented homes that are not up to scratch.

“There are too many tenants who just can't get their landlords to do what they should. In fact, one in four private rented homes don't even qualify as being fit for human habitation.

“I'm talking about properties with faulty electrical wiring that can cause a fire, condensation or damp, they've got vermin infestations. All of these things can be hazardous to health and to life.

“Labour is leading legislation that we have now got the Government to back, to give tenants the legal right to take their landlord to court if they don't make necessary improvements.

“But in the meantime, people need a council like Walsall to step in and lean on landlords that aren't doing the job.”

During his visit, Healey praised Walsall Council’s new plans for a licensing scheme for private landlords in the town.

Healey added: “All credit to the council for putting this in place. It shouldn't be needed, but it is, and if that is what it takes to get some private landlords to pull their fingers out then it must be a good thing.

“Without a clampdown on the worst landlords, people are at the mercy of living in conditions that no one should have to put up with.”

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    no tenants are forced to do anything--they can leave

    an evidence -free rant from a labor nobody

  • SCN Lettings

    Jumping on the landlord bashing bandwagon for the millenials vote. As for "damp" in 16 years of being a landlord and 6 years as an agent I have only come across one issue of damp caused by a leaking roof. That was sorted by a new roof by the landlord. The rest were condensation caused by lack of heating and ventilation and drying the washing in the property.

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    there are some bad landlords and let properties out there, but no where near the number labour are saying, as terry above has said tenants are free to move, the simple reason that these living in bad conditions are not moving is that they themselves are bad tenants that no landlord with a good property would rent to.

  • Peter David

    After section 24 becomes fully in place having over crowding with leaking roof and rising damp will be the very least of anyone's troubles. More than likely these tenants will be queuing up outside the council looking for alternative accommodation as the landlord quits an industry which is being taxed to hell and back.

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    Couldn’t agree more put a house up for rent and got SIXTY calls with most saying the same the landlord is selling. This is before the first tax bills hit once that happens there is going to be carnage and homelessness of epic proportions this useless government are playing with fire:

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    gidiot did this deliberately

  • SCN Lettings

    "Fixing the broken housing market"....and who broke it.....

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    It can’t last the policy is unsustainable landlords are going to going bust with tenants in b & b and premier ins you couldn’t make it up.

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    Lucky I could incorporate

    Peter David

    HMRC are going to tax property companies heavily now too. Be careful.

     
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    Good landlords need to be rewarded with all tax breaks and laws fair to both sides.
    Landlords from hell, need putting out of business! simples.

  • phil dillon

    sec 24 biggest mistake ever, how Govt cannot see what the fallout is going to be is beyond comprehension

  • Peter David

    Section 24 breaks the first rule of accounting philosophy. The allowance against income of expenses which are wholly and exclusively incurred in the running of the business. A buy to let mortgage is exactly that.

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    How do u know HMRC are going to tax property companies heavily ? If they apply s24 to companies it will crash the economy

    Peter David

    It's already in place. Do you honestly think the gov would allow such an easy escape? If only.

     
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    Section 24 is not in place for incorporated limited company landlords 100%.

     
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    How many privately owned houses have 'broken' stairs or mould in them. Mould is usually down to tenant behaviour - drying clothes all over the house, stuff all over the floor, no ventilation etc etc. My own house has never had a broken stair in 24 years, never had any mould etc etc. The only reason I didn't incorporate my properties is because I would have to 'sell' them to myself with 6% stamp duty and selling costs and reapply for my mortgages again....!! I'd be very upset if I had determined the cost was worth it and then the Government then decided I couldn't offset my expenses (i.e. mortgage) against the income..... What are they doing? I could understand if they did it on all new BTL's but maybe they need to see what the figures are doing and how many are selling. I provide HMO's of mostly 4 bed houses and not one of my tenants would want to buy. If I sell, all these people will be looking for another home.

  • SCN Lettings

    Section 24 failed in Ireland....It's failing in Scotland, and it's failing in England and Wales too with families in b&bs, and increased homelessness. May fiddles while the displaced tenants freeze. All down to misguided policy.

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    @elizibeth there is incorporation relief on SDLT and capital gains if u meet certain criteria. S24 is unaffordable and unsustainable for decent sized portfolio landlords it can’t last

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