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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Landlords’ critics rejoice as government caves in to their demands

Activists have expressed their delight that the government has “listed to the voice of renters” in its provisions for widespread reform of the private rental sector.

Yesterday the government confirmed that it would publish a White Paper ahead of a Renters Reform Bill, within this next legislative year, with a series of radical reforms.

These include scrapping what the government has called 'no fault' evictions - section 21 evictions - “giving renters better rights when they are told to leave despite complying with the terms of their tenancy.”

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There will be additional reform of landlords' grounds for possession to give them greater powers to tackle repeated rent arrears or anti-social behaviour among tenants.

Privately rented homes are likely to be subject to the same minimum standards now required off social rented homes, while there will also be a portal for landlords which appears likely to become a form of register.

In addition, a new ombudsman for private rented landlords “will ensure disputes can be easily resolved without going to court.”

Critics of landlords have seen all this as a victory.

Polly Neate, chief executive of campaigning charity Shelter, says: “Today’s Queen’s Speech shows the government has listened to the voices of renters, who have been fighting for a long time to be heard. For years private renters have said they need more security, so they don’t have to live in constant fear of a no-fault eviction.

“These vital bills could finally give renters a system that is fair and safe – with the scrapping of Section 21, a new property portal that allows people to check their landlord is decent, and regulation to strengthen the rights of social tenants.  But these promises will remain words on page until they become law. Now the government needs to get the job done.”

And Baroness Alicia Kennedy, who leads the Generation Rent pressure group, says: "We can’t level up without dramatic improvements to the quality of rented homes. Reforming tenancies and raising standards in the private rented sector are essential first steps towards this so the government’s recommitment to a Renters Reform Bill is hugely important.

"Renters have been waiting three years for the government to abolish these insidious Section 21 evictions. Finally, legislation looks to be on its way.

"But we can’t rest until the changes are passed into law. Now it’s the details that matter.

"It is essential that any new tenancy regime reduces the number of unwanted moves and gives renters the confidence to challenge poor practice by landlords.

"The plans also appear to address the desperate lack of regulation of private landlords, with a new ombudsman, a property portal and a requirement to meet the Decent Homes Standard. We need more detail on each, but they are essential measures if private renters are to exercise their rights effectively.”

 

 

Matt Downie, Crisis chief executive, says: “This Queen’s Speech provides some hope for renters anxious about being turfed out of their home in the midst of the cost-of-living crisis and recognises the urgent need to address poor quality social housing with tenants’ voices at the heart of this reform.

“But let’s be clear, this speech gives with one hand while taking with the other. 

“The plan to introduce legislation that has the potential to criminalise anyone forced to sleep rough is nothing short of shameful and flies in the face of any effort to tackle rough sleeping for good. What’s more, we need urgent action to pull struggling families back from the brink.

“We cannot end homelessness with this mismatched plan.”

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

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    Rogue Activists rejoice at destroying private rented sector. It was never an issue known to me where landlord and Tenants were at odds with one and other and in the main got on very well. Those un-Regulated Rogue Activists don’t represent Tenants, they are an outside element with they own agenda feathering their own nest.
    There’s so many lies in this Article it doesn’t deserve comment. It says Private Rented needs to be Regulated and we been one of the most Regulated Businesses in the Country with 160+ pieces of legislation already for goodness sake how can they get away with that.
    It says Tenants shouldn’t be asked to leave when they haven’t breached any Terms of the Contract but that’s the whole idea of having a Contract, when the Contract has ended they are out of Contract and can’t expect to have the rights and protection of the Terms of the Contract that has ended. I understand about Periodic if continuing by mutual consent same terms of Contract apply. Anyone would have thought the Government had enough on their plate enjoy the Recession Congratulations.

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    Turkeys voting for Christmas comes to mind…. They will reap the whirlwind (Bomber Harris).

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    I bet we'll find Shelter, Acorn, Generation Rant etc have been secretly buying up turkey farms over the last few years!

    Decent tenants will have to wait even longer to get better homes which the rogue tenants will now be able to squat in longer with the connivance of these hypocrites who claim to be on the side of tenants.

     
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    If the likes of shelter and Gen Rent can’t see how this will harm renters in the long run, then they are so incompetent they don’t deserve a penny from anyone. I suspect they know full well the damage this will do, which will in turn create more ‘customers’ for them.

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    I've said it before, they thrive on people's misery. They must be rubbing their hands with glee! Then they go to the Government and their Corporate "sponsors" with their begging bowl demanding ever more funds for their "charitable efforts" (which of course require lots of execs on 6 figure salaries). In the real world, some of us will just get on with the business of providing shelter to people, despite the barriers placed in our way.

     
  • Richard Law

    Sounds good to me. If you are a decent landlord you have nothing to loose

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    There are plenty of good landlords, who have rented out their property in good faith. When you have a bad tenant, who stops paying rent, trashes the property and is abusive to neighbours - that landlord has plenty to lose. The courts are so far behind that it takes more than a year to evict a bad tenant and by that time, the lost rent and damage to property often exceeds £20k.

    I’m not sure why anyone would think a decent landlord would have nothing to lose in the above scenario.

     
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    Richard

    This idiocy could well leave many decent landlords with nothing left to lose! (Please note the correct spelling).

    You seem to have got your logic back to front.

    Currently decent tenants have nothing to fear and nothing to lose with retaining the status quo.

    By allowing rogue tenants to block homes from being made available to decent tenants, this legislation will only protect the rogues and harm decent tenants and landlords alike.

    Rogue landlords will still have their own highly effective means of solving the problems caused by rogue tenants and no legislation will stop that.

     
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    I'm a good landlord. But I have a terrible tenant. Endless complaints including mould, subsequent council letter and no-win no fee solicitor letter. I'm too frightened to put the rent up. Relations will sour more and she cant afford it. Lied about her financial advisor job on fake references. She's on benefits. And I have the retaliatory eviction legislation to worry about. She's always complaining about something.

    Good landlords have a lot to lose. Noone needs this new legistlation. Not landlords and even more the tenants. Most tenants are good but the threat of S21 is good for both sides.

     
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    Until we see exactly what the new eviction procedures and timeframes are it's a bit early for anyone to claim victory.

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    Theoretically, yes. But we all already know Govt. will make a complete mess of any new system. The Courts should be forced to clear cases in a matter of a couple of weeks, instead they’ll just add to the backlog.

     
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    Another few nails in the coffin, so sad for all those decent people who want to rent but are going to find it more and more difficult. Why can't these campaigners and the Govt see the blindingly obvious. None of this is actually going to help tenants.

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    Richard- ! It’s less about decent landlords and more about decent tenants. In this two way “ relationship” it’s the landlord that is taking the lions share of the risk, This and other legislation will be bad for renters in the future.

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    "Privately rented homes are likely to be subject to the same minimum standards now required of social rented homes,"

    I think LA housing and student accomodation are both exempt from the latest EPC C nonsense? So this "bringing PRS up to the mighty LA standards" is another lying smear against PRS.

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    He’s that made me laugh too. There is so much research out there to show that social housing standards are way below PRS standards.

     
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    On the face of it there isn’t much to worry about here if you are a decent professional landlord which most of us on here are and we should welcome anything that helps us to get rid of the rogue landlords in our industry giving us all a bad name. However the devil as always will be in the detail and so I’ll be interested to see how they are going to beef up legislation to take action with bad tenants and I’m sceptical this will reflect our needs because no-one bothers to engage with us. Also as has been mentioned above by a few already where is the register for Rogue Tenants?

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    Rogue landlords will always ignore the law.

    I'm looking forward to hearing how those rogue tenants (who currently make the lives of decent landlords a misery) suffer when their only recourse is to rent from a rogue landlord!

     
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    Lawyers funded by legal aid, they will soon stretch the legislation. You have no real idea who your tenants are. So called rogue landlords operate outside of the law so won't be bothered.

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    Abolition of section 21 I have no problem with that! I am one of the largest HMO landlords about and I have a "No eviction policy". I will only evict for fault and that is always non-payment of rent. I want tenants to pay, stay and behave

    Fellow landlords you've nothing to fear but your fear! All that will happen is the same number of tenants will be evicted but the reasons made plain - non-payment of rent.

    Perhaps with the abolition of section 21 the governments and the likes of shelter crisis etc will wake up to the reality that landlords are more sinned against than sinning. The scale of rent default in the private rented sector is appalling. Landlords and the NRLA have done themselves a disservice by hiding rent arrears under section 21 no fault evictions.

    I have housed over 20, 000 tenants over the 30 years I have been a landlord only this year have I ever come across a tenant who genuinely could not pay the rent, all the rest are wilfully refusing to pay the rent and even though I have a "No eviction" policy I have had to evict thousands of tenants who wilfully refused to pay the rent. Many tell me that they want to be evicted because they've been told by the council not to pay the rent and the council will rehouse them.

    Once section 21 is abolished I think you will find there will be be a mass realisation of what we landlords have to put up with.

    Jim Haliburton
    The HMO Daddy

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    But failing to pay the rent means they make themselves "intentionally homeless" so the council will not help them. So why would councils really do that?

     
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    What I am concerned on all of these is that, I as a small landlord am totally unprotected and left me ready to be ravaged by tenants, pressure groups, solicitors, local authorities, central government, etc.

    Legally speaking as a small landlord I am being victimised, discriminated, punished, vilified, etc. and I have no legal protection despite that together there are 2.5 M small landlords worth more than £500 billion. This is the big irony!

  • James B

    We will be sticking with our policy of homeowner working guarantors with every tenant

  • Kristjan Byfield

    The reality is that the removal of S21 actually won’t change much. Tenants end over 90% of tenancies- this won’t change. With S8 grounds being strengthened (for Landlords) these will be better/easier to enforce and S21’s used as a ‘simpler’ way to remove a rogue/troublesome tenant- landlords/agents will simply use the intended S8 grounds. The right to occupy & sell will (almost certainly) be protected/enshrined within the new regs as well as the right for banks to repossess (with caveats to avoid abuse). As such, this will likely impact roughly 2% of tenancies (which is still around 80k). Please read Ben Beadle’s recent open letter on behalf of NRLA to Shelter for greater statistical insight- it’s a long(ish) but brilliant read!

    However, this will likely make landlords and agents be far more cautious about ‘questionable’ tenancies. Where there are concerns over a pet being a nuisance or where the affordability is at the threshold (worsened by rising living costs)- these tenants will likely be shunned for fear of being stuck with them unless they formally breach the contract actionable under S8. Therefore, this will likely impact the very people the likes of Shelter are (supposedly) trying to help & protect.

    S21 are likely to go until the latter part of this year and it is not unreasonable to think this may only apply to new tenancies going forwards. Rent increases in line with fair market conditions are likely to still be actionable- so concerns over being stuck with a tenant who, after several; years, is paying way below market rate is also likely to be unfounded.

    As such, this is likely a storm in a teacup and better S8 grounds/framework could actually lead to a better-structured landscape for agents & landlords alike.

    The white paper will obviously set out more detail, so we are all largely speculating until then, but let’s see…..

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    Thinking the best of everyone might be what we're supposed to do, but we're talking about politicians, Shelter, Acorn, Generation Rant etc here - so we already know what is likely to be the outcome and it won't be beneficial to anyone other than the dregs of society.

     
  • girish mehta

    This is bad news for the tenants and charities. With all the hype about bad landlords and it was easier to evict tenants under section 21 even though it took quite a long time. Now the tenants and charities won’t be able to spread misinformation. Rough tenants will now be evicted . And landlords should chase every tenants for every penny. It is a charter for lawyers to make money . It is going to expensive for landlords to evict . These will lead to higher rents. The government policies have failed to deliver any tangible benefits so far . Another headline chasing policy for votes .Eaton hurrah henries will move on with their millions and leave the housing sector for worse, this has been their policies for decades . Divide and line their pockets .this is only a vote grabbing exercise.

  • George Dawes

    Look at the latest scam/con - commercial auctions of properties that aren't let after a year

    ( failing to mention business rates , parking issues etc etc )

    Auctions that the big boys will hoover up , all backed up by the government ....

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    Renters of the PRS sector would never vote for the conservatives !

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    Neither will landlords going forward

     
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    Andrew

    The big problem is exactly who we CAN expect to support us.

    Currently it's no one!

     
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    What is it about all those people do they not understand it’s the Private Rented Sector Housing which means it’s Private. Privately owned and Privately funded not Public how difficult is that for them to comprehend.
    We have no recourse to Public Funds but now we are expected and being forced to act as Public Landlords with Private money.

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    I am a Landlord and I've never used S21 to evict a Tenant. But I do have a middle class educated professional friend who rents their home through the PRS and they told me they had to move home three times in succession after staying less than a year in each case. The reasons were various, the landlords decided to change their investment strategy, they wanted the property for their family, they wanted to sell. So while i am concerned that the law is now weaker for Landlords, i can accept there has been a lack of security for tenants. It will now be even more important to do thorough background checks and only take good Tenants. leave the trouble makers for social housing and the Government to sort out.

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    The point is being missed here we very seldom have to use Section 21, we don’t have to because the Tenants knows its here, when its gone no restriction or responsibility for them you’ll see what happens it’s designed to create bad Tenants, when they can do whatever they like move out at anytime or stay as long as they like with a powerless clown for a Landlord.

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    I have a terrible tenant atm. She acts as though S21 does not exist already. I can't imagine how unbearable it will be when S21 goes. I have literally had thoughts about pulling the plug on the house by stop paying the mortgage. Failing that reversing an HGV into the front so that I can get the house condemed. Or petrol bombing it. Or waiting at night and murdering the tenant or running them over in a stolen car.

    I stress the above are just bad thoughts that now enter my head and I would never do any of them apart from stop paying the mortgage.

    I worry about how to get out of being a landlord when the courts take so long, and I worry about the S21 Degregulation Act where she keeps complaining about repairs all the time. I worry a judge will never get rid of her.

    I also look at Scotland and Wales. The Scots are talking about getting rid of rent arrears as a mandatory reason for possession. A tribunal will have a hearing! Now it seems tenants don't even need to pay rent. The state is looking to steal private assets.

     
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    Correct Mr Foley. I am afraid it's lambs to the slaughter.

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    The tenant has all the power already the landlord has all the responabtilys but with very little power, the tenant has all the powers but none of the responablitys they just have to sit in the house, the damage it does not pay the rent just sit. The court actions are a long-winded time consuming expensive farce. Glad Im getting out of the one-sided game on an uneven pitch It has to work both ways for the PRS to continue simple as that

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