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“Don’t hand money to millionaire landlords” unions tell government

Trade unions have joined the call for renters with Covid-related arrears to get cash help from the government - but they warn the government not to hand money to “millionaire landlords.”

The unions Unite, Unison, teachers’ union NEU, the GMC and communications union CWU have joined with tenant activists groups to write to the government ahead of tomorrow’s Budget. 

In addition to the letter, the unions and activists have also issued a separate and more strident statement.


The letter urges the government to ban evictions on rent arrears grounds, scrap Section 21 evictions, but reserves its strongest words for the issue of compensation to landlords. A statement accompanying the letter says the government must “ensure that any financial support to help clear rent debt is targeted at landlords in real risk of financial hardship and doesn’t result in public money being handed over to millionaire landlords.”

The letter to government claims that landlords have already received significant financial support over the past 12 months. “Stamp Duty Land Tax has been slashed for new property purchases, including for buy to let investments, while the Bank of England’s base rate of 0.1 per cent has further fuelled property price rises. Buy to let landlords have been eligible for mortgage holidays, but have not been required to pass these on to tenants in the form of a rent holiday” says the letter. 

But the statement says: "Handing over public money to wealthy landlords who can afford to absorb the cost of missed rent payments will only make the problems in our rigged housing system worse.”


It adds: “Government backed loans would help underwrite landlord profits but would leave renters pressured to take on massive debt repayments they can’t afford. If you can’t afford your rent, how can you afford loan repayments?”

And it goes on: “There’s nothing in the proposals for grants or loans to pay off rent debt to stop landlords taking the cash and evicting their tenants anyway. Before we start talking money, the law should be changed so people in arrears due to pandemic can't be evicted.”

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    Unions destroyed British industry in the 70s and 80s so why wouldn`t they move on to wreck something else?

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    Oh the bitter and twisted loony left unions, they just hate to see people working hard to better themselves.

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    Because we're all multi millionaire capitalists, aren't we? Sensible words fail me, we'll be stuck with Boris for decades with an opposition this inept.

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    Hey I am a millionaire landlord, can somebody please inform my bank balance to act accordingly. It keeps misbehaving and going to overdraft whenever a tenant wants their house upgraded.


    When you say ‘upgraded’, do you mean ‘repaired’?


    @lee Holland no upgrades not repairs, ie combo boilers instead of solo system, EpC upgrades to C from D etc etc

  • Andrew McCausland

    I think it quite sad to see the level of ignorance this letter from the unions shows about the subject.

    How do they suggest determining who gets the rent arrears payments and who qualifies as a millionaire landlord and therefore someone who in their world view should not qualify?

    A few investors have been advantaged by the SDLT reduction, but a substantially lower number than of the homeowners (union members too?) at whom the policy was aimed.

    The comments about mortgage holidays beggars belief. They don't seem to realise that the mortgage holiday is simple a deferment of the repayment, not cancellation of the debt. The mortgage payments still have to be repaid later, with interest, like any other debt - but not a debt like rent arrears apparently.

    In the interests of fairness, I do agree that any LL who accepts government funding for arrears should not be allowed to evict for, say, 24 months as long as rent payments continue and there are no other circumstances like ASB involved.

    I am all for working in collaboration with various interested parties including unions to get the country back on its feet. However, I would ask that they give the issues some serious thought before making this sort of statement as it just undermines their credibility.

  • Matthew Payne

    I not sure they expect them to be taken seriously. These extreme gambits are designed to help move the debate to slightly left of centre, which they won’t achieve with any more sensible proposals that are slightly left of centre. These messages are also as much about justifying their own existence to their membership, and appealing to their target audience which we are not, no different to Sadiq Khan calling for rent controls in the run up to the Mayoral election.

  • Keith  Johnson

    Unions are by nature anti private sector, their socialist and Marxism values are designed to profit the public sector, but they forget who pays the bills, Thatcher had the right idea privatisation and get rid of these blood sucking union leaders who extract vast sums of money from their members and offer nothing in return, except poisonous rehteric

  • Andrew Murray

    As the TUC Congress begins today, the TaxPayers’ Alliance has revealed that the average remuneration of the top 29 public sector union bosses was £153,935 in 2019.

    Education union bosses topped this year’s annual Public Sector Trade Union Rich List, with six senior staff sharing £1,296,869 between them.

    Sally Hunt, former general secretary of the University and College Union, received £534,805, despite previously criticising university leaders for similar sized pay packets. The boss of the National Association of Head Teachers, Paul Whiteman, was the second highest paid, taking home £211,286. Meanwhile, the Association of School and College Leaders head, Geoff Barton, earned £174,206, almost 7 times the starting salary of a new teacher.

    The figures come after teaching unions opposed the reopening of schools, including the recent threat of strikes. Instead of industrial action, union leaders should be cutting back their salaries in the interests of parents and taxpayers.
    Its the union bosses who are millionaires !


    I’m not sure the Taxpayers Alliance should really be discussing funding issues when they are one of the least transparent think tanks in the UK.

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    The only millionaire landlords are the ones building blocks of, for rent only, flats. They get tax concessions that other landlords don't get so perhaps these numpty unions are aiming their rhetoric at them and not us small private sector landlords. I don't suppose they even know the differences themselves such is the mentality shown in this article by these brainless idiots.

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    I have tenants - affected by Covid - who are struggling to pay their rent. I suggested they defer, but they said they do not want to get into debt. (I have not raised their rent in four years - it is well under LHA rates.)
    Since they are not in arrears, would they receive some Government funding to recognise their efforts?


    This is very noble of you - do they qualify for LHA? This looks. like they might not be claiming their due.

    • 02 March 2021 13:41 PM

    Fully agree.

    If one looks a the overall statistics, age, deaths and survivors, the numbers are miniscule percentages.

    Crikey even 75,000 men in the RAF died in Bomber Command alone.

    Annual deaths from flu are regularly in the 10 to 15,000 dead. Every year and no one talks about it.

    The chances of death for under 80's for Corona is very small when compared to the other normal diseases like flu, cancer, tuberculosis, etc.

    Dont forget the 100,000+ deaths are been going on for a year now. 10,000 a month. Not that exceptional, given as well, that many deaths are attributed to Corona when they were not.

    I think it is all a scam to get tenants to not pay their rents.


    I think you need to be raising their rent to at least LHA rates immediately, they are clearly taking advantage of your good nature.

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    So who do they want the money paid to, it's owed to the landlord but they don't want it paid to them?? Do they need educating on what a 'mortgage holiday' is, ie still needs to be paid plus the interest added, and many of us didn't take one. Either shameless headline grabbing or a real ignorance of the current situation



    Their policy to debts is " Defer today, default tomorrow and defraud always".

    They still believe the Marxist doctrine that " All Property is Theft".

    This crowd of ragtag agitators is a million miles away from the Labour Party of Keir Hardy and Clement Attlee who helped the WORKERS escape poverty in the first half of the last century.

    The enterprising descendants of those WORKERS are many of the "privileged" property owners so despised by the Unions and the idle underclass that they claim to support, whilst living in luxury on their undeserved Union subscriptions.

    The second half of the last century showed the failure of their philosophy which was eventually rejected by the East European Iron Curtain Countries , when eventually given the opportunity to do so. Only those states still ruled by brutal dictators still live under the yoke of the Communism that they aspire to impose on us.

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    This handing out public money to all and sundry has got to stop. Landlords running a business from public funds relying on housing benefit tenants deserve all that they get.


    Where are these tenants going to live? If LLs don't accept LHA and social housing is full do we just make them homeless?

    • 02 March 2021 12:19 PM

    The payment of a debt is totally the total responsibility of the owner of that debt!!!!!!
    Their problem.



    Why did you like this post?

    I interpret it as "deserving the rent arrears, theft, vandalism etc." which much of the benefit taking underclass impose on those hapless landlords who house them.

    I don't and won't ever touch them and the vitriol spouted by these Unions only helps to deter other landlords from housing them.


    I do not wish to fund my business from public money and at the same time I do not wish to be accused (by Shelter) for sexual discrimination; the only way I can avoid such an accusation is to take Benefit tenants. I believe that this is a catch 22 situation!


    Jo Jo the demise of the High Street with the resultant reduction is shop doorways leaves all the individuals you wish to see unfunded with absolutly nowhere to sleep, how do you propose to solve that problem? In Victorian time one could sleep under the pier but now most piers have gone; park benches offer a solution so perhaps we should all invest in park bench production companies?


    If we house benefit tenants, we are leaching off public money. If we don't house them, we are discriminating against the poor. It's a lose-lose situation, and the biggest losers of all are people who want or need to rent but can't find anywhere because small, private, conscientious landlords have been driven out of the sector by the high costs, risks and constant unjust demonising by people who are not their tenants.

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    OK, hands up any union which does NOT invest in property companies who rent out commercial properties for profit.

    Hmmmm, not too many hands I suspect

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    Hi Jo Jo that's brilliant so what you are saying is no LL should be receiving Public Funds so therefore not rent to the Council at all. I agree with you and no Tenant should be living off public funds either stop the lot.
    Steve, Rent money owed to the LL should be paid to the LL that why he rented out the property but this proposal looks like they want to means test the LL, to see how many he can house for free.



    100% agree!

    I don't understand why some have liked both your and Jo Jo's posts, although the latter is pretty ambiguous.

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    This is just headline grabbing and pandering to their target audience.

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    Its ok we will only be appreciated when we have all left the market and left all tenants to the LHA or Council and tenants have limited choice. They they will realise that we offered a valuable service by running a business!

  • James B

    I would not let such articles wind a landlord up
    These lefties appease the section of society who need to be carried for various reasons and such statements are positioned deliberately to make their followers see they are fighting for them, we should let such rhetoric go over our heads.

    We have bigger problems ahead as government will be looking for landlords or anyone with assets to pay for the whole U.K. sitting at home on Netflix this last year! ..

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    The problem is that there are too many headlines , mainly derogatory, aimed at us ' The Landlord". At least in this we are popular. Most of us in the private category work with our tenants in a partnership.

    However this is not a head turning caption to grab the spotlight.

    In any case i'm sure the Unions will be happy tomorrow when the Chancellor will carve another slice from us in one format or another.

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    More to the point, why are such unions making comment on issues seemingly beyond their industry? And why are those opinions being given airtime…?

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    Union tells Government don't hand money to millionaire LL's, surely they are mistaking do they mean Billionaires Developers.

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    Forgive me if I'm wrong, but aren't Unions one of the biggest investors in BTL properties/construction in the UK? I'm sure I read somewhere once that the TUC and Unite both have massive property portfolios?


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