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Council says rental market “out of control” but wants landlords’ help

A council says the private rental market is “out of control” and he wants rent controls - but nonetheless is asking landlords to step forward and help combat its shortage of homes.

Andy Batsford, lead councillor for Housing and Homelessness, has appealed for local landlords to assist with what he calls “the growing rental market emergency” in Hastings, where over half of the town population is in rented accommodation. 

He claims there has been a nine per cent rise in rents this year, following up to 40 per cent in recent years.


"These rent increases are proving to be a disaster for our local families and residents who are seeing their lives devastated by the burden of huge monthly rent bills. These are now well over half of their wage packet and that's before all the other bills and costs.

"This situation is driving family after family into debt, break ups and ultimately making people homeless and needing to seek help from the council. 

“Every single case includes individuals and children in desperately unhappy and unhealthy situations not being able to go to school, or family life breaking down due to the stress of money and not having a safe roof over their heads.

"This rental market is out of control and broken, pricing family after working family out of the opportunity of the most basic need - a safe, secure home. There just are not the rented homes out there on the market to rent at real affordable prices, forcing working families to stretch their finances. We as a town need to come together and support and help our fellow families.”



Therefore he says he is putting out “a massive call” to local landlords to offer properties to the council instead of to a letting agent. 

He says: “This will ensure that local families currently in temporary accommodation have a safe and secure home and can get back to work and the children back to school and some sort of normality."

Landlords who rent via the council will get guaranteed rent for three years, even if the property is empty. The council will also be responsible for the upkeep and repair of the property and return it as it was after three years.

Batsford says his council is campaigning to draw attention to and need for a rent cap system “that they enjoy across Europe.”

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  • George Dawes

    What about council houses , oh they sold them all off ....

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    Counsellor has some Cheek given they are one of the biggest single causes of high Rent rises. Scores of Regulations & costs by them added on to LL’s plus £20m licensing take from LL’s for nothing in return in some London Boroughs and is a nationwide raid. There should be Price Control on sale of high rise Flats all over priced by tens of thousands of £’s.
    Small LL’s are a bit like lorry drivers taking for granted, abused, bullied over Taxed and over Regulated, so they had enough now don’t want to do it anymore more, they weren’t appreciated guess what now begging them.

    Theodor Cable

    How can it be that these idiots do not understand that any costs they pile on to LLs, will inevitably be passed on to the tenant. In many cases too, those fees will carry an additional 10/15% more for tenants to have to pay.

    These dim Counilors are literally hurting the people they are supposed to be protecting!!!!!

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    So, this is the same Andy Batsford that was pushing for the renewal of the selective licensing scheme that covers the whole of Hastings at £665 a pop (or that was the last one, that ran from 2015-20 and would have pulled in £4.6 million). Renewal was rejected as not fit for purpose.
    Chickens coming home to roost, Andy


    And any landlord that hands their property to the Council for 3 years has to be mad. No control over who lives in my houses? No thanks!

  • Theodor Cable

    They want LL help?
    They are havin' a laugh!!!!!!

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    In my area of the East Midlands, property is relatively cheap but has still gone up by 50% in the last 4 years and 3-4 times in the last 20. Rents are barely changed these last 4 years. Hardly out of control!

    But homeowners and landlords are having to pay much more to buy a house, not to mention the stamp duty penalty that wipes out the first year's profit even on a modest 3 bed semi, section 24 and hostile councils and licensing (thankfully not so much in my area). It must be far worse in places like Hastings. I have no idea why landlords even bother renting out property down there.

  • John  Adams

    It's no surprise, that rents are going up, Local Licensing schemes, EPC changes, Section 21 changes, Tax changes, all these things have to be paid for and the reason many landlords are in property was because of the fact Pension changes made years ago, mean that for many this is the only way to secure some kind of income. LL's operate in the Private sector and supply and demand are the arbiters of prices, and Government failures over the last century to build social housing together with increasing population levels particularly amongst those that require social welfare is the route of the crisis we now facing. Hastings LA looking for Rent Controls, well that's simply going to reduce supply, as Mortgages have to be paid, perhaps they should focus on spending their money buying and building properties, instead of I don't Know, wasting money on Councillors expenses...

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    What annoys this little Hitler is rents are out of HIS control!

    Hopefully market forces will continue to hold sway?

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    So the bullying approach hasn't worked then no?
    Local Authorities (politicians, tenant support groups et al) should remember that 99% of landlords are like all other business professionals, making prudent decisions based on their own financial future and stability. If you over regulate and adopt a persecuting approach to them then those same business people will take their money and invest it in other businesses.
    Perhaps a softer tone and a more conciliatory attitude towards landlords is the way forward. I would add though that this needs implicating now/today, before it's too late.
    As pretty much everyone has alluded to on this and previous threads on the subject of an alarming reducing housing supply.... don't say you weren't warned.


    Have you seen the news today. Labour are listening! They are advising that landlord should pay tax on our income, like we don't already....

    I agree with what you are saying. However, I am afraid they seem to be doing the exact opposite and hardening their views.

  • girish mehta

    So they have collectively are responsible for failure of their hosing policies and generation maximum income for short term gain. Bring in the worst measure I.e rent controls and destroy the rental sector

    Then go to international investor. Get them to build matchbox houses . Make tenants pay higher rent and charges. They make the money pay no Uk tax.
    Then HMRC go begging to these companies to aak them for some token payment.
    As in the case of Global companies .
    Destroy you own economy so you get it cheap then become slaves to them.
    They dictate their terms and the the politicians who gets in the gravy train become tomorrow multi billionaire.

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    Unfortunately nothing is going to change. Rental controls will come in as rents have gone up massively. The reason does not matter, though I agree that Section 24 has played a big part. If they think they have a problem now just wait......However, for those of us that have mortgaged properties we have to acknowledge how easy we have had it with record low interest rates.
    Interest rates WILL go up. How much will be down to the UK economy and then we will see how strong the rental market is.and indeed the housing market in general. Private LL's whom either do not have a mortgage or a very small one will be fine, for those whom don't plan now and re-structure to be able to cope with 8% rate will be in a lot of financial trouble. If you are not convinced just google the rates in the late 1980's and into the 90's and life was a lot simpler then.
    My advice to all fellow LL's is reduce your mortgage debt as it will be a very bumpy road in around 5 years time.
    Sorry to sound like a doomster and i would be the first to say that i might not be right, but i've been in this business since the early 90's, took my chances and will now look at down sizing to protect my future.

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    Yes Andy we had it easy when we were paying 15% + and nailed to the wall now factor that into your equation, this business didn’t start yesterday.


    In my view your comment reinforces the point I make. For any newer Landlords for those whom owned mortgaged properties interest rates were plus 15% back in the late 80's, i remember it well, hopefully though never to return! Personally, i didn't have the number of properties then that I have now and more importantly the number of mortgages.
    My point with the 'easy comment' Michael refers to the record low interest rates some 20 years later in 2008. For some these low rates are the norm, but as you allude this is a long term business and in my humble opinion rates will have to go up. Make sure you can afford it is the essence of my message.


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