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Graham Awards


Gove accuses landlords of letting tenants live in unsafe homes

Housing Secretary Michael Gove has made a sweeping attack on the conditions of homes run by private landlords.

In a statement backing up the Queen’s Speech - in which the forthcoming Renters’ Reform Bill was previewed - Gove says: “Too many renters are living in damp, unsafe and cold homes, powerless to put it right, and under the threat of sudden eviction.

“The New Deal for renters announced [in the Queen’s Speech] will help to end this injustice, improving conditions and rights for millions of renters.


“This is all part of our plan to level up communities and improve the life chances of people from all corners of the country.”

As well as abolishing Section 21 eviction rights currently in the Housing Act, the new Renters Reform Bill - thought likely to be introduced in Parliament before the summer - will reform Section 8 possession powers for landlords by introducing grounds for repeated incidences of arrears and reducing notice periods for anti-social behaviour.

There will also be a new Ombudsman for the rental sector with the intention of more quickly solving landlord-tenant disputes without needing to go to court.

Meanwhile a property portal will be introduced to help landlords understand their obligations and give tenants performance information to hold their landlord to account.

The Bill has won support from the Local Government Association, representing some 339 English councils and the 22 Welsh councils.

A LGA spokesperson says: “A dramatic recent rise in the number of ‘no fault evictions’ from the private rented sector is putting additional pressure on homelessness services, so we are glad that a plan to strengthen safeguards for private renters is finally in place, allowing renters to challenge poor practice and unfair rent increases without fear of eviction.”

And the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, whose officers work via local councils, also back the measures outlined by the government.


A spokesperson says: “It’s been a long three years since the government announced its intention to ban no-fault evictions. It’s therefore heartening to see the announcement of a Renters Reform Bill, which should help to protect more tenants from homelessness and living in poor housing conditions. The introduction of a national landlord register in England would also be a game-changer for the private rented sector.

“We won’t be able to level up the country without focussing on the fundamentals – improving the places where people live and working to reduce health disparities around the country.”

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    Remember him stabbing Johnson in the back? Now it’s our turn. Vile man. Has no place in politics.

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    How many of those homes are damp and cold because the tenant doesn't understand the importance of ventilation and can't afford adequate heating?
    If people try drying washing indoors without heating or ventilation their walls will be covered in mould. There is usually nothing defective or unsafe about the property, just the direct actions of the occupants.
    There needs to be a public information program regarding the importance of ventilation especially now utility costs have got so high.

    The government need to ensure minimum wage and Universal Credit are sufficient for people to be able to afford rent, food and heating. It's no good laying the blame on landlords if it is government actions that are directly causing the problem. LHA is woefully under market rent as it has been frozen at a figure that was unrealistically low 2 years ago. Tenants are having to use money that should be for other living costs to pay the rent shortfall. They can't then find extra money for extra utility costs.


    I have a tenant I’m waiting to evict because of the above. Drying clothes in side, mould clearance company required, council letter, no win no fee solicitor letter. Lied in references and is just a lazy benefit claimaint. No way do I want to live in a world without S21. The Degreg Act is already causing me problems evicting.

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    I remember exactly that about him. BJ’s father called him Judas. Why does BJ employ him???

    All this levelling Trotsky tripe is too much now. Time to sell up and let them have all the rights in the world with no homes available to rent.

  • James B

    More vote campaigning nonsense
    Tenants to suffer with daft polices like this
    Gove will be gone soon we get a new housing Secretary every year anyway

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    …. And they wonder why there has been a massive increase in s21”s !!! Hang in there, there is way more to come after statements like Gove has made. Muppets.


    I think some people are getting out now whilst property prices are good. They've been screwed by the govt with their pandemic restrictions and are now getting out before a downturn, before the EPC regs and all Gove's statements about Decent Home Standard. Tenants will be in your property, you'll be obliged to make it a palace for them all while they don't pay rent.

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    To Michael Gove - thanks for your useful and factual comments. I appreciate the education that if a tenant is living in squalor, there’s no way it can be down to the tenants lifestyle and has to always be my fault somehow.

    Not everyone will be so easy to convince as me though, but I have a great idea - how about you apply your logic and wisdom to the government owned social housing, so that all the government housing is warm, has a high EPC rating and of course, they will all be absolutely free of mould regardless of the occupants lifestyle. This could all surely be done without raising any rents or dipping into taxpayers funds - you can easily do this using the income you get from the properties just like we will. This will serve as a shining example to all of us incompetent landlords, who just need to be shown how great things could be if we just took responsibility for our tenants actions.

    It’s also great to see that homelessness will come down because of the banning of no fault evictions - it’s clear to me that because we have labelled it a no fault eviction, then there must be no fault. Hope that’s true, otherwise it would only lead to the same amount of evictions, but just under different categories and would ultimately become more expensive and clog the courts up - but I’m sure that won’t happen.

    Thanks again, can’t wait for the levelled up utopia you have planned for us all - sounds absolutely smashing!


    Brilliant Steve!!


    Brilliant! Well said! 👍

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    Joe and Steve I could not have said it better. You are spot-on!

    Jim Haliburton
    The HMO Daddy

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    As a landlord in Wales with the registration, licensing and training I have to complete and pay for, the worry, frustration and ongoing costs of evicting a tenant with huge arrears I despair and am quite frankly worn down and fed up with what seems to be a daily onslaught by some politicians and organisations who just have no idea of how hard good landlords work at providing accommodation (that they would be happy to live in) for their tenants.

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    Jim, you have changed your tune, probably more scrambling for your HMO rooms when they won’t be able to rent Flats or Houses as a whole because of this ruling.
    Looks like I’ll be forced to join with you to let rooms only so hopefully when I have a problem it will be a one room problem at a time, not a whole property problem with no Section 21, but I won’t be going around opening meters. This is a worse standard of Accommodation for the occupants with less flexibility and more expensive for them. I have 3 properties currently where there are Pregnancies in Shared Accommodation, one is having twins (god bless them). They all asked if they have to leave I said no work it out between yourselves if possible. Imagine if living in one room I have no doubt the system is the main driver here and they will
    become a Housing Priority. Government & Council’s seems like you are pushing through the wrong Bill.

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    Gove was a communist, obviously hasent changed.

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    I've had damp issues in the past, however I found a cure by renting only to people in work, earning enough to both live and pay the rent, no single mums and no one under 25. 90% of the time damp, mold and cold are down to tenants life styles .


    I know. Trouble is when council visits its you or the tenant and you as the LL will always be blamed. I used a large agent who used a 'leading' reference agency and the tenant uploaded the documents. Checks were done over the phone! Wound up with a benefits family who lied and are a real pain in the ar*e.

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    So the government is going on a mad spending spree. Building more social housing to cover the inevitable shortfalls of housing?
    Hmm... don't think so.

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    I have a student HMO which is sometimes mouldy and sometimes not. It depends on the group of students I have that year. Often I go down and find several drying racks for different occupants in the living room because they don't like spending money on using the drying facility on the washer dryer because it costs money. I do not have a mould problem in any of my other BTL's let to working tenants which proves the point!


    Going back to the 90s I rented a house to 2 girls, they then sublet the spare bedroom and one of them moved her moron boy friend in, got a phone call in January about damp beds and clothes, called round and there was this teenage girl wrapped up in a coat shivering with cold, I asked why the heating wasn't on, ''oh we cannot afford that, too expensive'', glad to see the back of them in the July, I've never rented to students since .


    I only rent expensive upmarket flats to wealthy students with (but not always) snobby parents. I'm happy to be looked down upon whilst taking shed loads of money from them.

    I very occasionally have mould problems due to drying clothes indoors but these are easily remedied at tenant change over time.

    I've never found any such problems if it's a group of boys, no washing ever needing dried, washing machine and oven returned in pristine condition although the microwave will be trashed and the flat need totally deep cleaned and redecorated.

    Girls tend to break the washing machine with hair clasps, buttons and bits of bras stuck in the pump, dry clothes inside and use the oven, but look after the place better.

    Mixed groups combine the disadvantages of both with none of the benefits and tend to have twice the footfall of friends and visitors, so best avoided.

    Of course I would never discriminate but am careful in my selection of new tenants.

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    • L C
    • 12 May 2022 10:13 AM

    It will get worse. With the cost of living rising rapidly (whilst the government do nothing to help) tenants will be saving money using heating less, not ventilating to avoid cold and more.
    Property standards will decline yet it will of course be "the landlords fault"

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    Levelling up so that everyone has the same? Isn't that communism?

  • girish mehta

    Another politician don’t understand the market. Easy to join on band wagon on no media hype to spread misinformation. If this is the quality of minister in charge the god helps us . Landlords do not no live in the property it is the tenant . They should look after the property. I had a property brought to a very high specification. Got council to come and inspect it . No problems. The tenent did not know the meaning of cleaning. This people did not know how to use mop and B bucket. Dishwasher kept on clogging up as the wound not rinse it. Putting left over good in their plate in the dishwasher. Now the pay for contract cleaner to come every week . Mr Gove wake up and listen to landlords ad well. Understand what need to be done . Don’t be an idiot and follow media hype . Politicians have failed to address real housing issues over decades. Do not divide landlords and tenants and use them to play you political games in order to win votes and stay in power


    They are very unlikely to win tenant votes what ever they do, but they will lose the vote of the real Conservatives, landlords and people in business.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    There is more regulation and legislation AGAINST landlords, versus Totally ineffective civil measures that are being reduced by Govt.

    When is Local and Central Govt going to accept responsibility. for what they've created.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    HMO Council Tax, - in light of disappointing Tribunal outcome, I have a different strategy I'm sharing with landlords ( but will not reveal it online, for obvious reasons )

  • icon

    I think their rejoicing will be short lived, with interest rates rising, removal of Section 21 and the back blow of sanctions of war, its not a good idea to have people attacking our economy from within.

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    When politicians do not even try to hide hatred and prejudice towards families who provide homes for people, what chance do we have for justice and fairness would they spew out this hate propaganda against other minorities based on the colour of their skin or gender ,of course not!
    We now know where this is ultimately heading ,Germany 1938 ring any bells ??

  • icon

    As an investor and landlord myself, I hate what the Government is doing to the PRS and their disgraceful attacks on landlords. However, as an ex tradesmen who has worked in hundreds of PRS properties, I have to say that when it comes to property maintenance, there ARE issues. A significant amount of landlords are clueless about maintenance and compliance, and will quite happily allow rent paying, zero hassle tenants to live in poor conditions, and be non compliant to save a few quid. There is an issue here and it does need sorting.

    Do I think Gove actually cares about tenants and sorting the issue is the motivation behind his comments? No.

    Do I think anything the Government does will sort the issue. No.

    None of that takes away from the fact that there is an issue.


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