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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Power swings to tenants under Government Reform Measures

The government has released the full details of what it calls the Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper.

This is to form the basis of a Bill to out its reforms into law.

It will ban Section 21 evictions and extend the Decent Homes Standard to the sector.

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It will also end what it calls “arbitrary rent review clauses, give tenants stronger powers to challenge poor practice, unjustified rent increases and enable them to be repaid rent for non-decent homes.”

It will be illegal for landlords or agents to have blanket bans on renting to families with children or those in receipt of benefits.

And it will make it easier for tenants to have pets, a right which the landlord must consider and cannot unreasonably refuse.

All tenants are to be moved onto a single system of periodic tenancies, which in the government’s words mean “they can leave poor quality housing without remaining liable for the rent or move more easily when their circumstances change.”

A tenancy will only end if a tenant ends or a landlord has a valid reason, defined in law.

There will be a doubling of notice periods for rent increases and tenants will have stronger powers to challenge them if they are unjustified.

The government says it is also “giving councils stronger powers to tackle the worst offenders, backed by enforcement pilots, and increasing fines for serious offences.”

There will also be a new Private Renters’ Ombudsman to enable disputes between private renters and landlords to be settled quickly, at low cost, and without going to court.

What the government calls “responsible landlords” will be able to gain possession of their properties efficiently from anti-social tenants “and can sell their properties when they need to.”

There will be a new property portal that will “provide a single front door to help landlords to understand, and comply with, their responsibilities as well as giving councils and tenants the information they need to tackle rogue operators.”

The government says: “These reforms will help to ease the cost of living pressures renters are facing, saving families from unnecessarily moving from one privately rented home to another hundreds of pounds in moving costs. 

“We have already taken significant action over the past decade to improve private renting, including reducing the proportion of non-decent private rented homes from 37 to 21 per cent, capping tenancy deposits and banning tenancy fees for tenancy agreements signed after 1 June 2019, and introducing pandemic emergency measures to ban bailiff evictions.

“While the majority of private rented homes are of good quality, offering safe, comfortable accommodation for families, the conditions of more than half a million properties – or 12 per cent of households - pose an imminent risk to tenants’ health and safety, meaning around 1.6 million people are living in dangerously low-quality homes, driving up costs for our health service. 

“The sector offers the most expensive, least secure, and lowest quality housing to millions of renters, including 1.3 million households with children and 382,000 households over 65. Rents are also rising at their fastest level for five years. This can damage life chances and hold back some of the most deprived parts of the country.”

And Housing Secretary Michael Gove says: “For too long many private renters have been at the mercy of unscrupulous landlords who fail to repair homes and let families live in damp, unsafe and cold properties, with the threat of unfair ‘no fault’ evictions orders hanging over them.

“Our New Deal for renters will help to end this injustice by improving the rights and conditions for millions of renters as we level up across the country and deliver on the people’s priorities.”

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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    • S S
    • 16 June 2022 00:21 AM

    Whilst there is a shortage of homes, LL do not have to accept tenants on benefits as there will always be a working applicant for a property. If Government wants PRS LL to accept tenants on benefits then they need to change the benefit system. The current system means no PRS LL wants to risk taking on a benefits tenant if they have a choice of working tenants. Unfortunately the good benefit tenant is tarred by the system and there is no reason to take the risk. There won't "blanket bans" but there will always be better applicants.
    Rents are rising because there is a shortage in supply. There is a shortage in supply because the government is making the landscape untenable for the smaller LL so they are selling up. Making it more challenging for the good decent LL is going to exacerbate the exodus and oh - rents will continue to rise. Gosh they didn't think of that!

    We are moving into Commercial Property where LL's retain control.

    George Dawes

    Problem with that is business rates …..

     
    Bill Wood

    I have two small industrial units, 1000sq.ft, and neither tenant pays any business rates, something to do with Business Rates Relief. The tenant sorts it out, I don't need to do anything.

    (And the showers don't leak! :-) )

     
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    I have 2 shops let to small businesses , neither pay business rates as I didn't when I used to operate from a garage premises, Business rates relief for small businesses

     
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    Conservative party is green on the outside and red on the inside.
    The alternative is even worse.

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    Not sure the alternative is actually worse anymore At least the Labour mob here in Wales sorted out my tenants covid debts for me long before Bozo did anything. Also Labour would at least build more social housing so they wouldn't have to try and force LL to take on benefit tenants. This lot want to sell it all off again - good luck getting me or anyone else to pick up that stock and rent it out now. I'm lucky now that I don't need to make a living from my properties - they are just additional income for retirement - but there is no way I would get into the market as a new LL today. Also I have good tenants - some who needed benefit support during covid but always made sure rent was paid in time.

    I just don't get any sense this bunch of idiots in Westminster have any interest in the ordinary LL or tenant; they make up their housing and rental plans depending on whatever the idiot in charge wants that morning when he wakes up with a hangover. As for the state of the economy and the effect its having on my main business - I won't even get started on that farce or I'll get banned for language. Supposed to be the party of business? Not any business I know apart from their own self interest.

    Only good thing is my tenants have no plans for moving out when I speak to them, because the stock available on offer is either rubbish or too expensive these days. Means I don't have to pay through the nose to some agency to re-rent at least.

    Like everyone here, just sick to the teeth with it all and there is no way in hell I would pick up any more properties to rent. Maybe we'll end up with massive trailer parks like in the USA or something when tenants can't find places to live because LL's have all said, enough is enough and taken their investments elsewhere?

    Anyway, I'll stop ranting as I'm not hurting as much as some of you folks out there, but red, blue, green or pink with ribbons, housing policy and regs are a mess. Damn, I might even give Starmer a shot at next election - can't be much worse now Corbyn is long gone.

     
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    How true , they are more left wing than Labour ever were. Shameless.

     
  • George Dawes

    It will be illegal for landlords or agents to have blanket bans on renting to families with children or those in receipt of benefits.

    Good luck with that one

  • George Dawes

    The Tories and labour are two sides of the same corrupt coin , politicians bought and paid for by the wef and their cronies

    The last 2 years has shown that

  • Franklin I

    It seems like this maybe the last nail in the coffin for the good LL.
    Too much regulations, too much laws, too much pressure and a total lack of support has now made the BTL market look like a bad option.

    When you have a tenant on benefits and you apply for an eviction, the first thing the local council does, is to inform the tenant not to VACATE!

    This means three things;

    1) One you have to apply for a County Court Judgement eviction
    2) You have to pay for the bailiffs
    3) This all costs money

    You'll not be compensated for your losses.

    When 85% of LL"s leave the Private Rented Sector, the government will create a new reform that will be applied with commonsense that protects both tenant's and LL's not the one that exposes the LL to every conceivable element of RISK!

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    When this comes in I shall start selling my portfolio of 8 houses all accomodating families with children. I will sell 1 each year. Hope government can find my tenants a new home. Some have been with me for almost 10 years.

    Rik Fergusson

    Same, I will sell my 6 places all with long term tenants, one per year due to CGT plus my 2 HMOs, that's 14 homeless tenants to house for thr government morons

     
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    Same with us, Wendy and Rick. One a year being sold. In the process of selling our second one now.
    Once the ‘corporate boys’ have their feet firmly in the door (John Lewis, Nationwide) no doubt they will receive all the tax breaks etc, the Government have taken from us😡. Not forgetting a good ‘pat in the back’ for providing much needed accommodation!

     
    Bill Wood

    But what will you do with all that money?
    Property is still, despite the agro, the best investment of all.

    And what will you do with all that spare time?
    Giving good people a good home at a reasonable price and sorting out a leaking tap or dealing with carpet moths keeps me engaged and active (and happyish)

     
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    Bill, I'm probably much the same as you at present and ' happyish' however when all this nonsense comes in I will not be 'happyish' and I will not be operating under these rules, so as properties come empty they will sit empty until sold one per year, 16 properties, no debt so the proceeds will see me out in comfort , likely my children will miss out on a fat inheritance and the government will also loose out on all that IHT, but that's not my problem

     
    Bill Wood

    Andrew, I won't be selling, (or buying) The rental income will stand me in good stead till the end, whenever that is, and I'll manage new regulations, new challanges, new problems for as long as I can. It will help keep me active and useful. I hope one of my daughters will show an interest in the properties at some stage, but if not, then so be it.

     
    Nicola Evans

    Same, we’ll start selling this year, then 1 a year. We only have 9, but that’ll be 9 more families looking for housing, i do hope the government starts building soon! If all of us sell our ‘small’ portfolio’s it’s going to add up to one hell of a lot of property!
    Tbh, I don’t think the government cares, i think its all part of the big master plan cooked up between them and the banks for the banks to control the prs ultimately!

     
    David Lester

    We have just started our plan of exiting the PRS market, 8 properties one per year due to CGT. If we are not considered a Business how can the Government dictate their left-wing vote catching ideas, from people who have never worked in the private sector! I will be writing to my MP suggesting that they get rid of Boris or I will not be voting Conservative.

     
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    There’s mostly a blanket ban on those on benefits with mortgage conditions preventing this, plus a good number of leaseholds will ban pets.

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    Nick - Seem to recall some talk of the Government trying to pressurise mortgage companies to ease back on that particular condition.

     
  • Peter  Roberts

    I’ve got some real good long term tenants of the 5 properties that I have left, (was 12 properties) the rents have always been reasonable and the accommodation very tidy.
    But like Wendy I shall continue to sell off at the rate of one per year and I certainly will not be going back into BTL.

  • Fery  Lavassani

    The fact is that rouge landlords who operate under the radar, will always find rouge tenants. Maggie's Housing Act 1988 brought about Section 21, so people like us could get into the industry and create homes for millions of tenants. Without Section 21 you will be gambling every time you let your property. I have no problem with periodic tenancies. I always give the tenant initial six months tenancy and after that the periodic kicks in. But giving the luxury of terminating the contract at the tenants pleasure where the landlord should have "valid reasons" as defined in law, really mean back door to protected tenancies. I wonder how many Section 21 Form 6As will be issued within the next few months.

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    I trust your tenancies continue as a contractual periodic.

     
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    I wonder how many S21s will be issued from now until this becomes law? They will absolutely not be "No Fault Evictions' - the fault lies squarely with the Govt!

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    If it moves to a single type of periodic tenancy there will be major problems in the fixed term student market.

  • Rik Fergusson

    Self management of multiple properties will die without fixed terms unless the LL is happy to never take an extended holiday

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    From what I can gather in Scotland, rents have risen to provide the same gross income from, say 9 or 10 months, that would have previously come from 11 months. I'll probably budget for Sept to June now instead of July so approx 10% p/m increases. Luckily the whole student market here is dominated by about half a dozen agents, all of whom I know. That's the current thought process doing the rounds.
    Maybe Robert Brown can add to this.
    PS - my response was to Jo !!

     
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    I agree with Grumpy.

    I was able to increase my rents by 30% after the loony SNP anti PRS legislation in December 2017 but have had zero voids since then due to the drop in available rental properties.

    Many previously let to students are now fully short term rentals, especially in Edinburgh and St Andrews, further pushing up market rents for all, especially students.

    I no longer let to families due to the difficulty in getting them to leave since December 2017.

    English tenants should be very afraid but landlords have little to fear.

     
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    If It is going to be more or less the same as it was before the introduction of the AST in the 1980`s The Government can expect the Same result. It will no Longer be an appealing investment for private investors. I would expect at least 25% reduction in property to rent within the next 2 years. And also 10,000 of notices issued so the less than perfect Tenants who we currently house become too risky to keep on.

  • Franklin I

    Power swings to tenant's and more LL's swings to exit of BTL market.
    The beginning of end based on poor government decisions!

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    I never thought I would say this because I have had some great tenants on benefits over the years, but I will not be taking anyone on benefits and I will be looking at the potential tenants work history to show they are unlikely to claim. Sorry to all the great single parents and disabled people that I have accommodated over the years, you will have to ask the council for a house now! 🤷‍♂️When I scaled back from 100 to 20 houses, I was unsure if it was a good decision, now I know!

  • Matthew Payne

    Twaddle. It will give tenants even less choice, and make it even more expensive, and the ones that will be marginalised the most will be the ones in the greatest need. It is immensely frustrating that so many people do not understand the dynamics of how the prs works on the streets, not a scooby.

    (Mr Gove feel free to DM me and I would be happy to book some education sessions)

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    Matthew - I suggest that you contact Melissa Lawford of the Telegraph as she's runnig an article melissa dot lawford at telegraph dot co dot uk

     
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    Abolishing Section 21 is going to cause more harm than good to tenants. The only tweak that was needed was for long term genuinely blameless tenants to be compensated with maybe 2 months rent to help cover their moving costs.
    Abolishing it will see thousands of people evicted before the ban kicks in, thousands of properties removed from the PRS causing rents to rise even more. Much stricter referencing for tenants. The stigma of a Section 8 eviction and probably a CCJ for thousands of tenants who currently walk away without clearing the rent arrears that were the real reason for the eviction.
    A Section 21 notice could be served for any reason or no reason so the recipient was seen as being a poor innocent victim (regardless of the reality). There was no stigma. In cases of rent arrears it was a powerful piece of paper that helped tenants negotiate with other creditors and get their finances back on track, thereby enabling some of them to continue with their tenancy.
    A Section 8 has only ever been served to rogue tenants so there will be no opportunity to elicit sympathy or help. They will just be seen as people who have brought their troubles on themselves.

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    Well put Jo, nail square on head there

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Power will, and has been ( due to Govt failures to provide Social - Council housing ) increasing for landlords.
    rental reform will only exacerbate this. Fewer properties will mean higher rents.

    For the small majority of tenants who are given a tenancy ( which will be a much smaller % of tenants on benefit, without a cast-iron Guarantor ) there will be more power to them in some regard, but it will come at great cost to them and the tenants Not accommodated in the PRS.

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    I agree this is all really annoying and unfair on decent landlords. However if I was a tenant, especially one on benefits, I'd be even more worried. Shelter can explain to them why rents are so high, and why landlords won't take them on, not greedy landlords, just another failed government policy.

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    "Power swings to tenants" I like the headline but the tenants have had all the power for some time now, as everyone knows NO landlord will evict without good cause, and a lot of thought Money time will be used up during the following months Landlords have been the whipping boy for years now and I still read these pages even though I fully stopped been a LL Its so nice to not worry about bills and letters from the council and not to be "on Call" any more from anyone and everyone.
    I am to keeping houses empty it is a better return than banks and the stock market.
    And for once in the last 30 years fully relax, Let the big boys do it and see if the rents come down!

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    • L C
    • 16 June 2022 09:57 AM

    The government really don't see that they are creating a bigger monster here.
    Driving landlords out of and already desperate market will just lead to further shortages, rent increases and make it EVEN HARDER for people to find properties.

    None of these reforms are benefitting tenants, lets be honest here.

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    First they destroyed industry in the 80s and now the PRS in the 2020s. The Conservative party, the gift that keeps on giving until there’s just nothing left but cinder’s.

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    And let us not forget brexit, the gift that gives more each day.

     
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    Over taxed, over regulated, under appreciated, and at a time we’re needed more than ever. The joys of being a Landlord.

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    I have no issue renting to housing benefit tenants as long they have a guarantor. I'll still invest in btl's but will have to navigate the throught the rules. Bonus is that rents will rise :-)

  • George Dawes

    I suppose it depends where you have shops , unfortunately both of mine are in PCL and even with the 50% relief there's quite a bit to pay , god knows how they'll exist next year when it goes back to normal , if we ever go back to normal that is ....

    Ones on a ridiculously low rent just so they pay the rates , when thy go I'll probably turn it into a coffee shop and manage it myself

    In Clarksons' words - how hard can it be ;)

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    One of mine is a coffee shop and doing well, but not managed by me

     
  • Nicola Evans

    This new white paper is actually going to make the situation worse!
    Benefit tenants are always going to fail on affordability!
    My advice is to upgrade your property, charge a premium, reference to within an inch of your life and be prepared for voids while you wait for the ‘right’ tenant. Either that or sell up!
    Decent landlords are always going to be penalised for those rogue landlords that will still fly below the radar while there are still desperate people out there, and there will always be those. People that will take anything rather than be homeless, will still be preyed on by unscrupulous money grabbing landlords. We as a profession need to start reporting landlords like this and encouraging the tenants to report them, its the only way the sector will get cleaned up, then maybe, just maybe, us decent landlords might just get left alone to do what we do well, provide good, decent homes for good, decent tenants.

  • Matthew Payne

    The detail has just been published. ww.gov.uk/government/publications/a-fairer-private-rented-sector/a-fairer-private-rented-sector

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    "It will be illegal for landlords or agents to have blanket bans on renting to families with children or those in receipt of benefits. And it will make it easier for tenants to have pets, a right which the landlord must consider and cannot unreasonably refuse."

    70 years ago it was a case of no blacks, no dogs and no Irish. Today it is no children or those in receipt of benefits. As for the poor old dogs, they have remained out in the cold unless they happen to be the landlord's pet. Can anyone wonder why regulations are steaming in on us so fast? You want the right to chuck people out of their homes on a whim. Renters have lives and families and it turns their life upside down. As a landlord you have responsibilities and you shouldn't do that.

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    • 16 June 2022 15:15 PM

    And as tenants, they have responsibilities aswell. Works BOTH WAYS.

     
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    • 16 June 2022 15:11 PM

    The only "control" that landlords will have is on the rental price. So increase your prices landlords, even if it's above market rate (be ready to have some void periods if necessary but it will be worth it) as you will eventually get a tenant (especially in London). Operating at a "high"/premium price will also reduce the number of low class tenants that gets attracted to your property. Walk into a waitrose, look at the store and people and compare it to Aldi or Lidl or a pound shop There is a difference in all aspects.

    The old argument "oh better to keep a good tenant than have void periods" is no longer valid with these changes.

    For new lets, market your property slightly above market rate. Be ready to stick to the price you want (as that's about the only thing you have control over). Be strict with your referencing.

    For existing lets, invest in your property and then increase the rent. Let them leave if they are not happy.

    Those politicians always go for the easy target, hard working people with assets.

    I will fight these with rent increase and extremely strict referencing. That's all you can do to protect yourselves against the increased risks, inconvenience and harassment.

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    • 16 June 2022 15:13 PM

    I've removed any "offensive" words... Now let's see free speech at work or maybe it only works one way?

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    It’s rubbish its not fairer Renting it’s already unfair to Landlords by a long way, so there idea of fairness is to make it more unfair.
    What’s all this talk about eviction for no reason the reason is always clearly stated at the beginning of the Contract and signed by all parties concerned. What’s wrong with that it’s signed for the Term of the Contract and the conditions attached there to, whether it be for 6 months, one year or more, as long as it’s not more than 7 years. Hence its known as an Assured Short Hold Tenancy (AST) so all parties had known exactly where they stood, it’s for the Contract Period only, there was never any question of the Property being let on any other basis and no indefinite rights of occupation given or otherwise. They clearly knew it was for the Contract period as they were not buying the Property. I never ever heard of anyone being evicted during the Contract Period unless extreme Circumstances which always involved a County Court judgement, so where were they treated un- fairly never.
    Further there was an amendment to the Law subject to both parties agreement it could run as Periodic on a month by month basis, how fair is that to the Tenant, bearing in mind only The Tenant and the Courts can end an AST the Landlord cannot !. So what’s all this nonsense about fairness it rubbish.

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    More Regulation + More Taxes + Higher risks = Higher Rents and Fewer Houses. = Less Movement because you will be locked in .

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    More anti-landlord nonsense from this awful government.

    Next they'll be sending landlords to the gulags. They are communist pigs this lot. The definition ''private property'' is rapidly losing all meaning. This government interference is beyond ridiculous, they might as well repossess our properties, it would be less stress at least.

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