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Landlords slammed by report that demands national register

A new report makes searing claims about the performance and quality of landlords and their homes in the private rental sector.

Almost inevitably it comes from campaigning charity Shelter, which has co-authored the study called Time For Change - Making Renting Fairer. It has been co-authored by the Nationwide.

The report comes with a number of predictable demands including the abolition of Section 21 eviction powers - already a commitment from the government - as well the ending of the controversial Right To Rent checks conducted by landlords and agents.

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A joint statement from Shelter chief executive Polly Neate and Nationwide chief executive Joe Garner says: “Many private renters are still faced with poor quality housing, poor landlord, housing management agent and letting agent practice and discrimination. Renters also face an underlying lack of security and power.

“Over the last 15 months, we’ve conducted extensive research. We have interviewed a broad range of stakeholders including private renters, users of Shelter’s helplines, local authority officials, Shelter’s legal advisers and case workers, representatives from sector organisations and landlords. 

“They told us about the many issues private renters face from poor housing standards and bad practice to discrimination and a lack of power.

“Shelter and Nationwide have used the findings of this research to develop a shared long-term vision for an improved private rented sector.”

Key elements of the report’s demands include:

 

 

A national landlord and housing management register. “All landlords and housing management agents must register themselves, the properties they manage, details of the letting agents they work with and the rents they charge to a national register. Landlords and housing management agents must also evidence that the homes they manage meet essential safety requirements. This register would operate alongside the rogue landlord database and could also facilitate a new lifetime deposit scheme. A register would be a foundation for developing greater accountability in the sector and so must be a legislative priority for the government.”

The abolition of Right To Rent: “This policy has been shown to lead to discrimination on the grounds of race and nationality. Nobody should face discrimination in their search for a new home. Government must urgently abolish this policy which represents a substantial barrier to the ability to access private rented housing for migrants, people perceived to be migrants and British people of colour without passports.”

The introduction of a regulatory body covering the private rented sector. “This body should oversee the national landlord register, rogue landlord database and the regulation of letting agents. It should also provide another avenue for redress for renters.”

The abolition of what it calls ‘no-fault’ evictions. “Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 must be abolished, and Section 8 amended, so that landlords must prove they have a legitimate reason for evicting tenants. The government has promised to abolish Section 21 evictions. Its abolition must be a legislative priority. Security of tenure underpins all reform and regulation in the sector, and only once tenants have security will they be able to enforce their rights.”

The regulation of all letting agents: “All letting agents need to adhere to a code of practice. Additionally, all letting agents must be sufficiently qualified and licensed. These measures would vastly improve standards within the sector and should be a key priority for the government.”

Far more enforcement: The report wants councils funded to hire “sufficient Environmental Health Practitioners, Tenancy Relation Officers and any housing staff they need to address poor housing standards and practice.”

Here’s the full report.

  • Ruan Gildchirst

    Rents and property are still very much overpriced, with many people paying mortgages and rents that they can no longer afford while numerous properties stand vacant. The solution, of course, is to cut your losses and stop paying. But then you might soon have to relocate. That is OK, because, as I mentioned, there is no shortage of vacant properties around. Finding a good place to live will become less and less of a problem as people stop paying their rents and mortgages and get foreclosed or evicted, because the number of vacant properties will only increase. The best course of action is to become a property caretaker, legitimately occupying a vacant property rent-free, and keeping an eye on things for the owner. What if you can't find a position as a property caretaker? Well, then you might have to become a squatter, maintain a list of other vacant properties that you can go to next, and keep your camping gear handy just in case. If you do get tossed out, chances are, the people who tossed you out will then think about hiring a property caretaker, to keep the squatters out. And what do you do if you become property caretaker? Well, you take care of the property, but you also look out for all the squatters, because they are the reason you have a legitimate place to live. A squatter in hand is worth three absentee landlords in the bush. The absentee landlord might eventually cut his losses and go away, but your squatter friends will remain as your neighbors. Having some neighbors is so much better than living in a ghost town.

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    What an idiot!, can't be bothered to waste any more words.

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    He's repeating the same nonsense in different posts but is best ignored.

     
  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    When will Landlords Move their mortgages from Nationwide, and stop patronising a company that financially acts AGAINST them. ?

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    • 06 November 2020 13:51 PM

    Yep I am a Nationwide customer and I try to keep as little in my accounts with them as possible while making them pay the costs with little profit from my average £50 balance.

    What Nationwide are doing is a disgrace.
    LL should attempt to leave them if possible.

    But my understanding is they are pretty competitive in the market.
    So who would they transfer to!?

     
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    They don't know what they are talking about and all they do is talk and can't even do that morans, you will keep on until you collapse the economy then what.

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    I don't have a problem with this national register of landlords, just so long as we can have one for tenants as well.

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    • 06 November 2020 21:53 PM

    Tenants don't need a register as everyone knows tenants are as pure as driven snow!!!

    Any LL must surely therefore conclude that any tenant will be acceptable as they can do no wrong!!

    This is what Shelter and GR contend so it must be true!!😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄

    What are all you LL so worried about!!??

    Rather than a Tenant Register I prefer the concept of a Tenant Referencing Passport but apparently that is banned under the TFA.
    Which is a shame as I believe it would work very well for good tenants; obviously not so good for allegedly bad tenants.

    Perhaps that is why the usual suspects WOULDN'T want such a register!?

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    It wont make any difference as if you are desperate for a home then youll take anything or be homeless so all itll do is mean you know that your rental ride will not be pleasant and many renters will still have to take the property, best idea is to Nationalise Letting Agents and all landlords have to use them

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    I don't know what that will achieve David, an agent is just an agent whether nationalized or not, the choice of tenant is still the landlords decision.

     
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    Why do Shelter persist in this adversarial monologue? We all know there are good and bad tenants and good and bad landlords. Instead of continually promoting the idea that all tenants are saints and all LLs are the devil they could come up with some constructive ideas for improving the PRS for all. Instead they LL bash and promote the idea that there is a war going on when the truth is that most tenants and LLs are quite happy!
    The PRS is not perfect so let's all work constructively to deal with the rogue elements on both sides and make it a good experience for all. If all the private LLs left there would be chaos so lets move forward together instead of taking sides regardless of the facts!

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    Shelter, like most charities, are in it for themselves, highly paid staff who do very little.

     
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    There were virtually No Private renters prior to the de-regulation of Private under the housing Act 1988.
    by 2010 there were 2.8 Million private renters. This had grown to 4.5 million by 2018.(a) The number has grown for a reason because the system was working . How many of the 4.5 million have been housed by Shelter for the £15 million they have received in public funding. (b) NOT ONE. All they do in reality is keep none paying Tenants in the property longer , denying a paying tenant a home.
    If the Government wants to read reports they should be Reading Joseph Rountry Reports . (Who provide Homes.) There are a few of them . But basically the more you regulate the worse it is for the tenants. How much has Osborn`s section 24, and Selective Licenses cost Tenants. Not just in increase rents. But actually having somewhere to live.
    (a) Governments report into housing 2018.
    (b) Tax Payers Alliance.

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    • 08 November 2020 19:42 PM

    But good LL don't care about homelessness.
    All we want are decent properties with legal LL.

    We simply don't care if having an effective LL licensing system causes tenant homelessness.

    Why should fraudster LL be permitted to unfairly compete with good LL that do the right thing?


    If only having good LL results inevitably in mass tenant homelessness that wouldn't be the fault of good LL.

    Perhaps with an effective LL licensing system Councils could assist bad LL to become good ones thereby increasing the available rental stock.

    The actions of Shelter will cause more tenant homelessness but it isn't their fault that there are millions of fraudulent tenancies.

     
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    Of Course Landlords care about homelessness. The majority of Private Tenants are very happy both their Landlord and their PRS Homes. And the Landlords happy with their Tenants. I have never felt in competition with fraudulent Landlords whoever they are I don`t think I have ever met one.
    I disagree with having to jump through hoops, why tenants run up arrears, laughing at you and spending a fortune to remove non paying tenants , and tenants that damage the property.

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    • 09 November 2020 09:55 AM

    You clearly know very little.
    Of course you are in competition with fraudster LL.
    You just don't know it as they are hardly likely to tell you!.

    I and other LL do NOT care about homelessness.
    It is not our fault.
    If tenants refuse to pay rent and we have to evict because they refuse to surrender their tenancies then they make themselves intentionally homeless.

    You care so much about homelessness offer your properties with free rent!!

    I care absolutely nothing for those who are mostly homeless through their own fault.

    There is plenty of rental accommodation available.
    But these feckless homeless types refuse to move.
    Most of them are gaming the system in a vain attempt to get social housing.

    Good LL just want responsible tenants who will pay their rent
    and offer to vacate when they can't.
    Few tenants do this as most of them are feckless.

    It is not the responsibility of good LL to house the homeless.

    LL want honest tenants who will offer to vacate if they cannot afford the rent in future.

    Unfortunately such tenants are as rare as rocking horse doo doo!

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    For a Fair Justice system, there should be a balanced approach = Register or Licensing of Landlords and Tenants with the Landlords being able to access the history of tenants and vice versa.

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    I too want tenants who pay the rent and look after the property and I certainly evict tenants who don`t pay. I have no intention of housing any rent dodger, Or anyone else for free. Rent Dodgers make it difficult for Genuine People because now it is too risky to take a chance.

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    Spot on Stephen.
    I am now much more picky when selecting tenants.
    I have learnt from my mistakes taking on tenants who have just about enough income to pay the rent.
    I am mindful of their employment status and have notched up my expectations considerably.
    Even the best of us can get it wrong sometimes, but heavily mitigating this situation is the way forward.

     
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    I think LL's should pull in their horns and not buy anymore we know what is happening with the work situation and the thousands of Flats being built clearly not required. The Tenants are in trouble and will be so that means LL's with heavy borrowings are also in trouble, even if you owe very little don't expand but consolidate. The LL that owes nothing should sit there and do nothing in the light of Shelter & Nationwide conspiring to destroy him, some cheek Shelter riding on our backs, Nationwide two faced and dangerous knocking LL's while their subsidiary TMW one of the biggest providers of btl mortgages making a killing & ruthless I used to be a customer.

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    For all LL's that might own the property out right or not you have to be mindful of the huge amount of Regulations & costly Requirements already to impact on you, so no use thinking or pretending you will have nothing to pay there are huge. Landlords have to remember most of the rise in property prices is false just inflation that is more beneficial to your sleeping partner than you or did you forget that, everything you do they hit you and if you have a couple of properties you are already a 40% tax payer especially with S24, currently if you want to get out 28% (next year probably your tax rate) so your sleeping partner that hates you gets 40% but it don't end there give anything to your family and they will lose another lump at their tax rate, you might be able to mitigate some of this if you are lucky enough not to have a dysfunctional family and plan ahead, the 7 years mad rule that hardly applies for the first 4 years, you are supposed to know going forward your health 7 years in advance, live horse & you'll get grass.

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    What else do I pay other than normal repairs, electricity check, tax on income (mine is below the personal allowance and the house efficiency certificate, which is per tenant and a one off for the duration.

    Is there more stuff?

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    David your obviously having a laugh the list is as long as your arm ? I have listed a lot before no need to go there again wait until you are hit with HMO's etc + upgrading your EPC , Insurances, Right to Rent, How to Rent, ICO, Deposits costs, Gas Certs' boiler break downs, Electric Condition Report, Fire Alarm Certs, Emergency Lighting Checks, Tenant Referencing, Landlord Courses hundreds of £'s, LL member annual fee, that's a dozen extra off the top of my head you passed on. I see without even having to think. Have a nice day I have plenty to do.

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    • 10 November 2020 10:42 AM

    I have it on good authority that all that you have mentioned will be required as part of a property MOT.
    Almost like HIPs!!
    But LL are going to have to be as organised as you which I reckon few are.
    I mean for FS some LL are still not aware of deposit regulations!!!!!!

    LL who don't do as you do are heading for a mighty fall.
    This MoT thing is only about 2 years away.
    It is currently being worked on along with the LL redress scheme.
    So licensing through the back door.

    LL would do well to follow your lead.
    If they don't they will come an almighty cropper!!

     
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    Insurances is paid anyway rented or not, as a building owner I do not have any HMOs, my hoses already comply to the EPC, so just a renewal with new tenants, Right to Rent and How to Rent, are already printed and my LA does that for nothing. What is ICO?

    Deposits for what? The only deposit I get involved in is from the tenant at h beginning of the tenancy.

    Fire alarms are the tenant responsibility at the time of entry and that proof is given they work. That takes 5 minutes!

    Gas certificate yes...If I had any gas!!!!!!!!
    Electric check yes.

    Tenanct Referencing is a one off £100.00 for my LA and is not paid again until a new tenant. Not bad for a normal 6 year tenancy - Approx. £17 a year. Fair deal I would say!

    What the hell is Emergency Lighting Check? I do not pay that. I do not have to do a Landlord Course!!!!!!!!!

    LL Maber Annual fee? What is that and I do not pay it.

    As a stand alone LL, I reckon on general must do payments are somewhere in the region of £200-400 a year.

    Works well for me.

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    And anyway, if the future brings me more costs from Govt. or Authorities, then that just gets banged on the rental agreement at the next review, which for me is 1 year.
    AND - I bang on 15% of any extra outgoings which the tenant has to pay, or now tenancy

    So for me, if I get and additional fees, I get 15% on top - Makes me even richer.

    I love it.

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    Well done you David, how do I bang on 15% on top when I am thousands of pounds in arrears already and tenants haven't got it ?.
    When the high profile LL's have done their Cherry picking we house the rest they are people as well and given half a chance most are ok.

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    First you get rid of them and/or slap CCJ's on them. Including what they owe you.

    And then you chase them for the CCJ's forever, so effectively you have ruined their financial standing for the rest of their lives unless they pay you back.

    Inform all your local agents of who they are so they will for sure never to get a rented property in your area.

    Basically you will have ruined them. Unless they pay.

    And use the Hiigh Court for the chasing.....NOT County Court bailiffs. That will take a long time. High Court is well worth the cost.

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    You possibly won't get the cash back, but you will get them out of your property.

     
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    Years ago I had a car repair garage, if someone didn't pay me they got a CCJ on princible, generally I did get my money even if it was only £10 a month as an attachment to earnings

     
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    Excellent.....And good to know it wrecked their financial viability for a relatively cheap way too.....
    NICE...

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